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Chocolate Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

A buttery shortbread cookie is spread with luscious white chocolate & peppermint-tinged semi-sweet chocolate. Topped with crushed candy canes, this cookie is festive & decadent! Try this recipe for your next holiday party or cookie exchange!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Servings: 18 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate like Ghirardelli
  • 8 ounces quality white chocolate like Ghirardelli
  • 4 candy canes crushed (about 2 ounces crushed peppermints)

Instructions

  • Sift together the flour and salt into a medium sized bowl. Put aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the 1 cup of sugar and 3 sticks of softened butter on low-medium speed, until just combined. Reduce the speed and add the vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture in increments, and mix until the dough just starts to come together. It will be clumpy and stick to the paddle attachment.
  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board and shape into a rough ball. Try not to 'work' the dough. Using a butter knife, split the dough ball in half.
  • Shape each into a rough disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease & flour ether a shortbread cake mold or shortbread pan, and reserve. I often use a baking spray with flour when making these cookies.
  • Taking one disk, place on a well floured board. Using a floured rolling pin, roll to the general size of your mold or pan, about 1/2 inch thick. If using a shortbread mold, transfer to the mold and roll into all the nooks and crannies with a sturdy drinking glass. If using a regular pan, press to fit.
  • Fork prick several times and place into your hot oven to bake.
  • For a shortbread cookie mold or pan, bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
  • For cut/shaped cookies, I only found about 10 minutes will do.
  • Once baked, allow to cool to room temperature in the pan.
  • Once cooled, prepare your chocolate and peppermint candy: Break apart the white chocolate into a microwave safe, small to medium sized bowl, and do the same for the semisweet chocolate into a separate bowl.
  • Starting with the semi-sweet chocolate, heat for 30 seconds and remove from the microwave. Stir the melted and unmelted portions together until you get a smooth and glossy chocolate. (This takes about 1 minute in a 1300W microwave. Since the chocolate 'keeps its form' for a while when microwave heated, make sure to try and stir it every 30 seconds. Don't overmelt the chocolate or the texture will change.)
  • Add the peppermint extract to the semisweet dark chocolate (1/4 tsp extract per 4 oz. of chocolate) and stir to incorporate
  • Pour on to the shortbread still in the pan and smooth with a small offset spatula. Place the whole pan into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Next, take your candy canes or peppermint candies and crush them (I use an old coffee grinder) into small to powdery pieces. Set aside.
  • Once the semi-sweet chocolate has set, repeat the melting process with the white chocolate in the microwave. Carefully spread on-top of the semi-sweet layer and sprinkle the peppermint pieces on top. Return to the freezer to set for 10-12 minutes, or until hardened.
  • After chilling, carefully cut around the edge of the pan with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut all the way through - you are just loosening the chocolate.
  • Slowly invert the pan to a wooden board. Cut into desired size pieces.
  • Store in a wax paper lined container in a cool & dry place.

Notes

Shortbread adapted from the original Ina Garten Shortbread Cookie Recipe
You can roll out the cookie dough as thinly as you like (I like a thicker cookie). Just be aware that the baking times will differ. I like to use this shortbread in several cookie variations and will only use half a batch for these particular cookies, and the other half for traditional cut cookies.