On the fourth day of Christmas, there was peppermint + chocolate, a match made in the North Pole. When I say I love chocolate and peppermint together, that means that I can easily eat an entire tin of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark by myself. That’s $40 well spent, my friend. Now, I’m pretty sure at one point you’d have never been able to convince me that there was anything better than that combination. Once Bon Appetit added shortbread to the equation, however, I was hooked. I say the word “shortbread” the way Garfield says “lasagna.”
This easy-as-all-get-out bar cookie has a tender, buttery, classic shortbread base under a bittersweet chocolate layer and is sprinkled with shards of candy canes. Yes, please. The original recipe has a finish of melted white chocolate, but I omitted it to let the bittersweet chocolate shine in all its chocolatey glory.
My two favorite moments in making this decadent treat are 1) getting out all my aggression by smashing the candy canes by hand and 2) smoothing the melted chocolate all over the shortbread. One of the things that makes this recipe so easy (and part of the reason I skip the white chocolate) is that there’s no melting chocolate step. Chocolate can be fickle, and if you’re dealing with high quality (read: expensive) chocolate, the last thing you want to do is burn it or have it seize. The latter can be fixed; the former is bound for the garbage. So instead of painstakingly melting chocolate in a double boiler or being a loose cannon and melting it in the microwave (I’ll let you guess which one is my method), you just sprinkle the chocolate over the shortbread immediately after it comes out of the oven, pop it back in for a minute, and then out comes glossy, melted chocolate you need only to spread over the cookie base. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top and chill until set, and you’ve got yourself an easy Christmas cookie to bring to a party, give as gifts, or (who are we kidding) eat on the couch while watching Elf.
Go on, you know you want to make these.