Rich, chocolatey cookies overflowing with pieces of sweet, crunchy peppermint bark, topped with crushed candy canes–a chocolate and peppermint lover’s dream! On a whim, I decided to buy a bag of peppermint bark baking bits at TJ’s. I knew it probably wasn’t the greatest idea. I took it out of my basket more than once, but I just kept imagining all of the wonderful things I could bake with it! I LOVE peppermint bark. Every year, it’s pretty much the biggest act of willpower to stop myself from buying a bag of the Ghiradelli peppermint bark, and eating the whole thing in one sitting. Buying the bag to eat a few in “moderation” isn’t even an option. I figured at least these ones were chopped into reallllly tiny pieces. Plus, when I bake, I give things away. If I try to give away the store bought candy I just purchased, I feel a little silly. So I bought this bag of baking chips, and I was trying to decide what to do with it. Then I looked at the back of the bag, and there was a recipe. A recipe that called for use of the entire bag. Perfect. No bark left over means no pieces getting shoveled down my mouth by the handful. It’s a win-win situation. Especially when the cookies turn out ridiculous-stop-everything-I’ve-found-the-solution-for-all-the-world’s-problems-amazing. These cookies are soft, chewy and filled with delicious chocolate flavor, complemented by the bright refreshingly sweet peppermint, and topped with crunchy candy canes for some extra texture. To me, the secret to a perfect cookie comes in the texture combinations. A slight crunch on the outside with an extra soft, almost dough-like inside. And you know how I KNOW they were a success? I brought them to a showcase where a bunch of kiddos happily gobbled them down without any clue that they were eating health(ier) cookies. Kids are the best testers because they are ridiculously honest, and happy, chocolatey faces tell all. **Note: All photos on this post were taken by my husband. I made these last year before I was exclusively taking the photos for my site. I could make them again (they are so good), but his photos are gorgeous, so I decided to keep them. 🙂
Rich, chocolatey cookies overflowing with pieces of sweet, crunchy peppermint bark, topped with crushed candy canes--a chocolate and peppermint lover's dream!
- 1 and 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or gluten-free baking blend*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
- 1/2 cup light cream cheese
- 1 and 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 bag Trader Joe's peppermint bark baking bits
- 1 candy cane, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a large bow, beat together cream cheese and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated, then beat in extracts. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in baking bits.
- Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet. Press a pinch of crushed candy cane into the top of each dough ball. Bake for 10-14 minutes until set. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container for about 1 week.
*Recipe tested with white whole wheat flour, but I've subbed my gf blend in very similar recipes and it has worked great. You may need to reduce baking time, so check cookies around 7-8 minutes.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says
I discovered those peppermint bark bits from TJs last year and oh my. Quite tasty. Can’t wait to make these cookies. Chocolate and peppermint are two of my favorite things!
Right??? Those TJ’s folks are so smart. Always creating things I absolutely can’t pass up!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama says
peppermint and chocolate is as perfect as PB and chocolate. Yum!
Agreed! I love it year round, but this time of year I go a little crazy with it! 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
“A slight crunch on the outside with an extra soft, almost dough-like inside.” <– I swoon. That's exactly what I look for in a cookie. These look fabulous, Ari, and I'm super intrigued that the recipe calls for the use of cream cheese. Gah! If only it could be Christmas time all year long.
This is why we love the same cookies. Sometimes I use light cream cheese in place of butter–it doesn’t cut out nearly as many calories as some other options, but it helps a little, and gives the cookies a richer consistency. And yes, I could sing Christmas carols and eat peppermint and chocolate 365 days a year!
Linz @ Itz Linz says
YUM! how festive and pretty, too! 🙂
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says
I need to find time to bake this season… can I just place an order, please? 🙂
What we should have done is organized a FitFluential cookie swap! Next year…?
sally @ sallys baking addiction says
LOVE the white whole wheat flour, Ari. I bake with it all the time!
And these cookies. My god. TJ’s peppermint bark is my weakness!
Me too! Before my husband discovered he was gluten intolerant, it was literally the only flour I would buy! I knew you would be as much of a peppermint bark lover as I am–we share the chocolate + peppermint obsession! 🙂
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats says
Um yum. That is all I have to say.
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says
Love these cookies! They’re so festive and perfect for the holidays! Pinned. Have a good rest of the week!
I’m in love with the chocolate peppermint treats that come around during holiday season, and I wish more people made them year round! For a second I thought you had a new blog (seeing flashes) until I read that your husband took the photos. They looks great! And yes to kids being the best testers – especially for “healthier” baked goods!
Haha that’s funny…when I started the blog I knew NOTHING about photography, and Steve was getting really into it, so he started taking my food photos, but then I got antsy and needed to take control back (shocking, right?), so I had him teach me, and I did a lot of research, and now I’m very finicky about doing my own, but he really is great at it too!
Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says
These look so tasty!! I’m actually not a big peppermint fan on its own, but I love it this way with chocolate!
I feel you–it can easily become overwhelming, but with chocolate (or white chocolate), it just seems like the perfect combo!
So hard to resist seasonal baking ingredients! Cookies look delish!
Right??? It’s like they can see right into my brain and know exactly what I will impulse buy! 😉
Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says
Pretty, perfect cookies for the holidays! I love this time of the year, when there is always a good excuse to make all sorts of cookies!
Cookies are my baked good of choice, so I make a lot year round, but I do especially love all the swaps and themed cookies this time of year. Any excuse for a cookie pretty much makes me happy. 😉
Jamie @ couchtoironwoman says
I could eat the Ghiradelli peppermint bark in one sitting too!! Love peppermint bark!
Right??? Soooo dangerous!
Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says
I love cookies like these that are so festive looking for the holidays! I’ve never used whole wheat flour in cookies. Does it change the texture of the cookie?
Well…yes. A little. Regular whole wheat flour will make them super dense. White whole wheat flour will make them a little more dense, but I never use white flours, so I honestly couldn’t tell you anymore, but when I first started, the answer was yes. My recommendation is to buy some white whole wheat flour, and start subbing for half of your all purpose, then gradually work yourself up to ditching the all purpose. If you make the switch gradually you really won’t notice a difference, but I’d be lying if I said the first time they tasted EXACTLY the same, ya know? I do notice a difference in how satisfied I feel after though when I use whole grain ingredients!