Friday, December 9, 2016

Crispy Peppermint Bars

You can’t have a holiday season without mint, and this year I made two different mint creations. The first recipe is for these crispy peppermint bars. Mint comes in a lot of varieties for baking, and this recipe uses crushed peppermint candies, or crushed candy canes. I’ve never had much luck crushing them myself, as it seems like I get large chunks and powder, but no nice, even chunks. I bought crushed peppermints, and mine weren’t very pepperminty, which was very strange. At least they looked good.

The original recipe called for a chocolate coffee hazelnut spread. I looked at quite a few stores and it was nowhere to be found. I was thinking that I could use regular chocolate hazelnut spread and add some espresso powder, but in the end I figured it was such a small amount that I left out the espresso. There are a lot of other flavors in these cookies, so I figured that it wouldn’t be missed. 

I have to admit that these cookies are a lot different than I envisioned them to be. The cookie itself is very crispy. Yes, I know that’s in the title but I was thinking that it was like a cookie with crispy rice cereal mixed in. The texture of the bars is very similar to a crunchy granola bar. I could taste the hazelnut, but not the chocolate from the spread. The topping hardened up almost immediately, so you should top with the peppermint candies right away. While these were different than expected, they are very interesting. They are somewhat fragile and crumbly, so not the best choice if they have to travel much.

Crispy Peppermint Bars
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oats
3/4 cup crispy rice cereal
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Crushed peppermint candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10” x 15” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium until smooth. Add the chocolate hazelnut spread and mix on medium until combined. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda, stirring on low until combined. Stir in the oats and crispy rice cereal. Press the dough into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. The crust may feel soft, but it will firm up as it cools. Cool completely on a wire rack. 

Once cool, melt the white chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwavable bowl. Spread the melted chocolate on top of the cooled crust and then sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Allow the chocolate to set before cutting into bars. 

Recipe from Shugary Sweets

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