Thursday, December 13, 2012
12 Weeks of Christmas Treats-Peppermint Crunch Bars
Here we are at the last week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats 2012 hosted by Brenda over at Meal Planning Magic. It is sort of sad to see this end, but I appreciate all the great recipe ideas that have been shared.
This will be the last cookie made with the Holiday Cookie Mix posted here, but I will post more recipes here next Thursday and on Saturday sweets until Christmas.
Peppermint is the quintessential Christmas time flavor, so this one is for the peppermint lover. These pretty pink bars have a cookie base, a white candy-like middle and a topping of cookie dough and crushed peppermint candy.
A package of 30 mini candy cane is the perfect amount for this recipe. I prefer them to the regular size candy canes as the mini ones are easier to crush. I leave them in their little packages and crush them with my metal meat mallet (it just takes two or three whacks), then cut the packages open and pour the candy into a measuring cup. This makes for easy clean-up.
The topping will shrink somewhat and there will be some seepage of the middle layer to the top around the edges, but I haven’t yet figured out how to prevent that. These cookies are unique and delicious and still very much worth making.
To control ingredients and save money, I usually make my own Sweetened Condensed Milk. So far, I have not had any failures when using it in recipes. It is necessary to plan ahead when making the milk, so I keep a couple of cans of commercial sweetened condensed milk in the pantry as I have a tendency to bake on the spur of the moment.
The recipe came from Best of Country Cookies, 1999 and was submitted by Martha Kerr from Abilene, Texas. I adapted it for use with the Holiday Cookie Mix.
Peppermint Crunch Bars
3 1/2 c. Holiday Cookie Mix, divided
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (or make your own)
1 pkg. (11 oz.) vanilla or white chocolate chips
1/2 t. peppermint extract
2/3 c. crushed peppermint candy
Measure 2 c. of the cookie mix into a foil-line 9x13-inch pan. Press out into a even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile place condensed milk and vanilla or white chocolate chips in a micro-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute, remove from microwave and stir well. Microwave 1 more minute. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Stir in extract. Spread over baked crust. Combine 1 1/2 c. cookie mix and crushed peppermint candy and sprinkle over the top. Return to oven and bake 18 to 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes about 36 bars.
Be sure to check out the links to find great recipes to help you with your holiday cooking.