By Holland Koehler, Contributing Editor
This recipe blends together two of my favorite holiday treats: thin mint cookies and peppermint bark. Growing up, my mother worked in the elementary school, so around holiday time, she would come home with gifts and treats every afternoon. I remember scanning the pile for peppermint bark and hiding it all for myself. There’s just something so gratifying about the creamy white chocolate juxtaposed against the crunchy, and chewy texture of the peppermint pieces that just say Christmas!
These peppermint bark cookies will be a hit at your next holiday party and the fact they are gluten-free and made with vegan white chocolate!
For the cookies
1 cup packed blanched almond flour
1/4 cup packed cocoa powder
1 Tsp. Peppermint Extract
1/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp Water
For the Vegan White Chocolate
1 1/2 Cup Melted Cacao Butter
3/4 cup + 6 Tbsp Raw Cashews
1 1/2 vanilla beans
9 Tbsp (to taste) Powdered Sugar
Crushed peppermint candy for garnish
To Make the Chocolate Wafers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl or in a food processor combine all of the ingredients. Stir (or process) until the dough comes together.
Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper 1/8 inch thick. Using a small circular cookie or biscuit cutter cut the dough.
Place the circles of dough onto a large cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick baking pad. Re-roll out the dough and continue until it has all be cut into circles.
Place all of the cookies onto the one large sheet. They will fit, and can be placed closely together as they will not spread.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool 30 minutes. They will become firm and crisp as they cool.
To Make the Vegan White Chocolate
Melt the cacao butter. Pour into a measuring cup to make sure you have exactly 1 1/2 cups of the melted “butter”.
Stir into the hot melted oil the raw cashews. Set aside for 1 hour for the cashews to soften in the melted butter.
Cut one vanilla bean in half and using a pointy knife skim out the insides of the beans. Add the fresh vanilla to the cashew/melted cacao butter mix.
Pour mixture into a small food processor. Add sugar of choice. Process until extremely smooth and transfer to a small bowl.
Once the wafers have cooled and the chocolate is mixed, its time to dip the cookies.
Place a sheet of parchment onto a large cookie tray. One at a time dunk the cookie all the way into the white chocolate so that it completely covers the top surface. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate allowing the excess to drip off. Keep the cookie horizontal so that the top layer of chocolate stays on. After a moment of allowing the chocolate to drip off, run the bottom side of the cookie across the bowl to swipe off any extra chocolate. (This will help prevent the chocolate from pooling on the edges of the cookie when it hardens).
Place the drip free cookie onto the sheet of parchment. Continue with the rest of the batch. Place the tray of coated cookies into the freezer for 15-20 minutes until firm.
Once chilled and firm, repeat the process dunking the cookies into the white chocolate a second time. This time when you place them back on the cookie tray. Sprinkle each cookie with crushed peppermint candy. Place them back into the freezer. Once hard they are ready to eat.
Store these cookies in the freezer – they taste best when chilled. The white chocolate will not melt at room temperature.