On the 5th Day of Sugar my true love gave to me Peppermint Cookie Bars and can I just say these bars are definitely Christmas-y. Peppermint is definitely a holiday flavor, don’t you think? But I love peppermint anytime of the year. Oh my heck, these bars are so, so good. Buttery and chewy with a hint of peppermint and then they are topped with a thick layer of a cream cheese peppermint frosting and finally sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy. You will love them.
Now I know we there are some out there who are not huge fans of peppermint and could take it or leave it, but the peppermint in these is not overpowering so you should give them a try. These are the perfect cookie to make for a cookie exchange, you’ll be the star of the show.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. half-n-half or milk
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup crushed soft peppermint candies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add extracts and mix well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Bake until golden brown and firm on top, about 25-30 mins. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For frosting: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk and extracts and beat until smooth.
Spread over cooled cookies and then sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.
These will bake up high in the pan and then fall as they cool. Don't panic, that's ok. Cook them until the edges start to turn golden brown. They may still look undercooked in the center, but as they cool they will firm up.
The frosting layer on these is fairly thick. I cut down the frosting amount from the original recipe because I think it would have made way too much. If you don't like a thick layer of frosting, feel free to save some of it for another use or just make half the amount listed.
Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from Taste of the South Southern Christmas, Dec. 2015