Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars (Day 5 of 12 Cookies of Christmas)

Day 5!

If you’ve been around here a bit before, you probably already know that I’m a full time retail slave. For the past 10 years I’ve worked in retail, the first 7 spent playing all day in a toy store, and the last 3 shelving books in a bookstore. 10 years. 10 holiday shopping seasons. 10 years of picking out gifts for other people’s family members while making barely enough money to buy presents for my own. So why do I continue to do it? Because I enjoy it. For the most part. But for those times that I just want to scream and throw myself over our second floor railing at work, I make cookies instead.

These cookies are perfect for relieving holiday stress. Mostly because you get to break things. The recipe calls for both crushed up buttery after-dinner mints and crushed peppermints or candy canes. So when you’re feeling a bit of holiday rage, just throw some mints in a zip-top bag, wrap it in a kitchen towel, find something heavy, and start smashing away! Circled the parking lot for 20 minutes only to have someone steal the spot you were waiting on? SMACK! That last item on your list is sold out everywhere? BANG! Get yelled at for not figuring out the book someone wants when they know neither the title, nor author, or even what it’s about, just that it was on Oprah a couple months ago. WHACK! I’m telling you. Great stress relief. And if that’s not enough… you get to eat cookies when you’re done.

We had something similar to these in our café around the holidays last year, and they were DELICIOUS! I’d go down almost every day on my break to grab another. When the holidays were over and they’d moved on to the next seasonal treat, I was determined to make my own. How hard could it be? It was really just a sugar cookie in bar form with some mints mixed in and topped with a peppermint frosting. Well it took me a whole year to get around to it, but I finally did it! They’re not exact replicas of the café bars, but they’re still pretty darn tasty. Sugary sweet with a cool peppermint kick, they’re the perfect pick me up after a stressful day.

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
Makes 32 bars

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup crushed or chopped after-dinner butter mints

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, if desired
½ cup crushed peppermints or candy canes

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a large 11X17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line with parchment paper and grease paper as well; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in vanilla. Add in flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in butter mints.
4. Spread batter evenly onto prepared baking sheet, smoothing top. Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
5. While cookie is cooling, make frosting; in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peppermint extract and salt. Add confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, beating until well combined. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired.
6. Spread frosting over cooled cookie, sprinkle with crushed peppermints, then cut into bars.

Looking for more cookie ideas? Keep checking back for more of the 12 Cookies of Christmas!

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Lora said...

So pretty and pink and pepperminty. Love 'em.

Smitten Sugar said...

So pretty! Who wouldnt love get to whack things! Love it!

oneordinaryday said...

These sound delightful.

Unknown said...

these look amazing! I love peppermint!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Oh my, these are delicious sounding! Can't wait to give this recipe a try:) (Love the pink!)

Classical Appetites said...

I just wrote a review of these for a dessert website! I can't wait to make them. I love all things peppermint!

The Pink Elephant said...

Did you have any problems getting the dinner mints to crush nicely?

Unknown said...

Do you have to refrigerate? I would love to send these to family out of state.

Teresa said...

those look soooooo good!!

Jessica said...

Can you specify what dinner mints you used for the cookie part? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

These were so delicious! I couldn't stop eating them once I started. The mints were really fun to crack. I couldn't find buttermints in the store, so I substituted them with sweet stripes-they look like peppermints but melt in your mouth like the buttermints. Can't wait to make this again!

Unknown said...

Crushing the after dinner butter mints was somewhat a challange, best way I found was put them in a gallon ziplock on the floor and use a heavy rolling pin;using your body weight to roll crush them, I blew a hole in my plastic blender container trying to break them up#NotGood :-)

Unknown said...

Looks amazing - Can't wait to give these a try

Anonymous said...

DO you think a cream cheese frosting would be good on these?

Anonymous said...

I added about 3/4 cup of sugar and instead of dinner mints (didn't have time to go buy any) used peppermints crushed into a fine powder and added that to the dough. Mmmmmm.... But I am sure that if I used the dinner mints that would have been divine, too. I was also thinking that maybe crushed pieces of Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses would be good in the dough, too. Thank you for this great recipe!!!

Unknown said...

I am reposting this recipe to my blog http://kitchenwithjen.blogspot.ca!! I am completely in love with this recipe! I will be adapting it for year round use because it is so simple, and stayes soft and delicious for weeks! Am looking forward to Valentines Day so I can make a cinnamon heart adaptation of this! Thanks :D

Carey said...

I made these for Christmas this year, and they were A.MA.ZING. Thanks for posting it. =)

Anonymous said...

Made these and they came out perfect! Thanks you soo much! :D #happymommy #happykids

Anonymous said...

Last year, I put these on cookie trays for a charity bake sale. This year, they made the cut again - I made 10 pans of these beauties. Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy them here!

Danae said...

@Anon - I'm so glad to hear it! I'm loving all the love on these!

Kristen said...

Just put these in the oven. The cookie bar "dough" was very dry to the point where I was patting down the dough rather than smoothing it out. I've triple checked the recipe and used the correct quantities. I hope these turn out OK.

boss421a said...

I made these tonight and other than over baking them, they turned out yummy. Just as a preference though, I think next time I'll use cream cheese frosting instead.

Esther said...

my favorite flavor

papas freezeria said...

Well, actually my favorite flavor is peppermint, never heard of this one before:) and i'm happy to try it first time :) thank you very much for the recipe!

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