We love peppermint in our home. We like to drink peppermint tea, especially Iced Tea. We enjoy peppermint candy canes, peppermint truffles and mints and peppermint dairy creamer (this is our new favorite). The creamer mixed with your coffee first thing in the morning is like having a jubilee chorus singing "hallelujah"... it's that tasty. LOL
Over the last week I have played around with a few peppermint, easy and kid friendly recipes for the holidays.
I recently had peppermint bark and was immediately in love. Why had it taken me so long to find this yummy candy. I was having a moment and decided to make my own. Super easy and what a fun gift for the neighbors.
Our next yummy treat is a Peppermint Pretzel Bite. I first had these at a cute hotdog haus in a neighboring town. I originally had them the pretzel dipped in cinnamon and sugar. I thought I had taken a bite out of a piece of french toast, it was really good. This was my original plan when I set out to make these last week. As I was preparing the ingredients, I found the baggie of left over crushed candy canes…an IDEA popped into my head. I could dip them into the candy cane and have a pretty treat. It worked and they are so more-ish.
Finally, a cookie was to be made. I saw these cute pink cookies dipped in white chocolate with peppermint sprinkles on them. They sounded good, but they also looked so pretty! I set out to make these and discovered that I did not have some of the ingredients and had to improvise. I was so happy with the result that I will share them with you too. Cranberry Pomegranate Shortbread cookies are the perfect blend of sweet and tart….with a snap of peppermint sugar crystals…so good and yummy!
Recipe: Peppermint Bark
1 cup of dark chocolate chips
2 cups of white chocolate chips or Baker cubes (2 boxes)
Have a cookies sheet, lined with parchment paper, ready. Crush your candy canes by placing 4 in a baggie and using a rolling pin, roll back and forth using your body weight. You should be able to get very fine or chunky pieces, this is up to you. I chose to have chunky pieces
Melt your chocolates in two different bowls. You can microwave the chips in 30 second intervals, stirring each time OR use a bowl onto of a sauce pan with boiling water. The water only needs to be an inch and the chocolate should be stirred until melted. Do not over cook or you will ruin your candy.
Spread the chocolate layer to a thin layer and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until hard.
Melt the white chocolate using the same method above. Carefully pour the white chocolate over the dark chocolate trying not to melt and swirl the two together.
Sprinkle your candy cane pieces over the white chocolate and gently using your palms, push the pieces into the white chocolate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until hard.
Remove from fridge and let the chocolate set for an hour. The candy should peel away from the parchment paper and broken into bite size pieces.
Recipe: Peppermint Pretzel Bites
1 Bag of Snyder's square pretzels
3 cubes of Baker's white chocolate or 1/2 cup of chips
4 candy canes
cinnamon and sugar mix (option)
Select a shallow bowl to melt your candy in so that when you dip your pretzels, you hands do not get messy. Melt white chocolate by using the microwave method or stovetop.
Crush the candy canes using the baggie and rolling pin method.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Dip a pretzel in to the white chocolate, half way, and then dip pretzel into cinnamon and sugar OR the crushed candy cane.
Place the pretzel on the cookie sheet and place in fridge when full. Remove after 15 minutes. These can be stored in a baggie.
Recipe: Cranberry Pomegranate Shortbread Cookies w/ peppermint sprinkles
Original recipe can be found here by Better Homes and Garden. I changed the ingredients, but the technique used in the original recipe is the same for both.
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced finely
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup of fresh pomegranate juice
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in cranberries and pomegranate juice. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.