Some things in life are just too easy. Peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels. Getting your mom to help you late-night bake. Baking delicious holiday-themed shortbread. Making your co-workers happy with food. Okay, some things are just too easy for me, I guess. Things that are not too easy? Writing on your blog. But even though I haven’t written in awhile, this recipe is definitely not outdated. Do you like delicious things? I thought so. Keep reading.
During holiday time I needed the perfect present for my co-workers, and it only took me seconds to decide on a mini bag of treats for each of them. I was a little over-ambitious at first, hoping to include homemade truffles, fudge and caramel popcorn. Maybe next year, guys. I ended up making chocolate bark with an Oreo topping, peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels and, of course, peppermint dark chocolate shortbread. No, I am not a Keebler Elf as my boss hypothesized. But it did take awhile to make all of this. The easiest part? The shortbread of course.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread
Adapted from Tea and Limpets
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
About 3 crushed peppermint candy canes
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate **
**The key to this shortbread is using really good quality chocolate. I recommend buying the large bars from Trader Joe’s or investing in some Ghirardelli chips.
1. Cream together butter and sugar
2. Add in vanilla and egg until fully mixed.
3. Mix in flour until incorporated.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cookie dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
5. Leave the oven on and immediately spread the chocolate chunks on top. Put back in the oven until a few minutes until just melted.
6. Remove from oven and spread chocolate with spatula. Top right away with broken candy cane pieces.
7. Allow to thoroughly cool. Then, use a pizza cutter to break into pieces. Note: this delicious shortbread tastes better refrigerated.
You can top them with sea salt, nuts, other candy…just about anything. Needless to say it was a huge success. So much so that I made them again as a holiday gift for a friend (hey, hungry, hungry hipster). I also had to prepare an item for our potluck at work. And I tried my very best to outdo everyone else. It ended up pretty well I think from the responses I got.
Pumpkin and chocolate swirl cheesecake bars with Oreo crust. Really, really good. Really good. Thanks Martha.
And so, I dedicate this post to the one and only Charlene Schuman, the real Keebler Elf, without whom I probably would have been able to make all this but wouldn’t have had a kitchen to bake it in. Or ingredients. Or baking tools. It’s a long list – basically she’s pretty cool.