I’ve been craving all things peppermint bark lately. This time, it’s the star of the show in these chocolate peppermint bark cookies. There are a few ‘secrets’ to getting that perfect chocolate cookie base. You know the kind- soft, slightly chewy with a brownie-like consistency. I started with some softened cream cheese and butter for an ultra creamy batter. Then you’ll add in a box of dry chocolate pudding mix for substance, and surprise- a box of fudge brownie mix. Not only does this boost up the flavors, but it makes this recipe super fast to throw together. Perfect for those last minute holiday gifts! Add in a splash or two of peppermint extract, and a whole bunch of chopped Ghirardelli peppermint bark (that’s where the bark comes into the recipe). You’ll also add in some semi sweet and white chocolate chips, and chopped up peppermint candy pieces if you want these cookies to look extra festive. Last tip- be sure and err on the side of under-baking the cookies to achieve that fudgy brownie texture. Enjoy!
Start by whisking together the dry chocolate pudding mix and flour.
Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Make sure both ingredients are at room temp- let them sit out an hour or so while you’re chopping up (and snacking on) the peppermint bark and candy pieces. Also, this is a holiday cookie. We aren’t going for ‘low-cal’ here, so use the full fat cream cheese. Beat in an egg and a splash of peppermint extract.
Mix in your pudding-flour mixture, and then the brownie mix. The dough will be EXTREMELY thick, but this is intended. Just keep mixing until a dough forms.
Fold in all those yummy candy pieces. I like to use a mixture of Ghirardelli peppermint bark bar, semi sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and then press a few hard peppermint candies on top.
The key to soft, chewy, brownie-like cookies to to slightly under-bake. Check them at 13 minutes to make sure the edges are set, then let them cool on the hot sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
These make the BEST holiday gifts!