Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bars – a perfectly balanced sugar cookie dough combines with rich dark chocolate and warm notes of peppermint, bringing the holidays to your taste buds in just one bite! If you’ve been looking for a way to enhance your traditional chocolate chip cookie bar recipe, this is it! 

If you’re a fan of chocolate and peppermint too, you’re going to love these other holiday recipes; Peppermint Surprise Crinkle CookiesChocolate Peppermint Brownie Cake, Peppermint Bark, and Christmas Tree Peppermint Bark.

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chocolate peppermint cookie bar on a plate with a bowl of chocolate chips next to it

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means one thing: Christmas baking! One of my favorite cookie bar mixes this year is this dark chocolate chip peppermint cookie bar recipe. The crushed peppermint candy combined with the dark chocolate chips adds a festive flavor and look. 

Not to mention, these dark chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make for a holiday party or as a gift. It’s simple to whip up at home with ingredients you likely have on hand already. The best part? You can customize it with your favorite flavors – I’ve included peppermint candy because it’s perfect for this time of year!

They are soft and chewy, with a slight crunch from the peppermint. They’re the perfect treat to follow a big Christmas feast.

You can’t ever go wrong with chocolate and peppermint!

cut chocolate peppermint cookie bars

Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars

  • Holiday Gift: These chocolate peppermint cookie bars are excellent send-away gifts if you have family and friends over for the holidays. Place your cookies in a box and adorn it with ribbon for a sweet and elegant gift for your loved ones.
  • Festive Taste: These chocolate cookie bars with crushed peppermints taste like Christmas. They are one of those foods that instantly transport you to the Christmas season. These cookies feature chocolate to bring you happiness and peppermint to get you in the mood for a party.
  • Easy-to-Prepare: These Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars may sound intimidating, but they are actually rather simple to create. My recipe includes a list of all the ingredients as well as an easy-to-follow baking technique. My chocolate peppermint cookie bar recipe will undoubtedly impress your loved ones.

photo collage of how to make chocolate chip cookie bars

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Ingredients You Need To Make This Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bar Recipe

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

  • Pantry staples: all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, granulated sugar, brown sugar
  • Flavoring: vanilla extract and peppermint extract
  • eggs
  • dark chocolate chips
  • crushed peppermint candy – I use the bags of crushed peppermint candy. The grocery store usually sells them during the holidays by the chocolate chips, or you can get them on Amazon.

How to Make Dark Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bars

ONE: Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars from the pan when cool. Set aside.

TWO: Make the cookie dough by creaming the butter and sugars and add the other wet ingredients (per the full recipe below), then the dry ingredients.

THREE: Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and bake,

FOUR: Once cool, lift the parchment out of the pan using the overhang, place it on a cutting board, and slice into squares or bars.

peppermint cookie bars with a glass of milk

Storage

Store your chocolate peppermint cookie bars on the counter in an airtight container for up to a week. Place them in a spot away from direct sunlight. If you reside in a hot and humid climate, you should keep your cookie bars in the refrigerator.

Tips

Middle Rack: For best results, bake your cookie bars sheet in the middle oven rack.

Soft Butter: Do not substitute the butter for margarine. This recipe is best with real butter. Additionally, make sure you allow the butter to come to room temperature before using it. Room temp butter is still cool to the touch, yet your finger should be able to make an indent in the butter without sinking.

Crushed Candy: I get the bags of crushed peppermint candy, which are usually found near the chocolate chips or holiday baking section in the grocery store, or find them on Amazon.

Cutting the bars: To get perfectly cut cookie squares, chill the pan cookie bars before cutting them. Cold chocolate peppermint cookie bars will cut more cleanly than bars that have been left at room temperature.

chocolate peppermint cookie bars with bite missing

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar FAQs

How do you know when cookie bars are done?

Your cookie bars are ready when you insert a toothpick into the middle of the pan, and the toothpick only pulls out with a few moist crumbs on it. You don’t want to overcook your cookie bar, or it won’t be soft and chewy. If you pull the toothpick out and it is covered in batter, it will need more time.

Can I make the cookie bar dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can store the cookie bar dough in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just make sure you cover it with plastic wrap. When you are ready to bake, allow the cookie dough to reach room temperature and then begin baking. 

Should I refrigerate the cookie bar dough?

In this recipe, the cookie dough does not need to be refrigerated prior to baking. But, chilling cookie dough is almost always a good idea. It gives the flavors time to mingle before baking. Chilling cookie dough also allows the fats to become solid yielding thicker cookies.

platter of chocolate peppermint cookies

How do you cut bar cookies cleanly?

To cut the perfect cookie bars, start by lining your pan with parchment paper (leaving an overhang). This will allow you to easily remove the uncut bars from the pan once they have completely cooled. 

Chill the pan of cookie bars before cutting them. Cold chocolate peppermint cookie bars will cut more cleanly than bars that have been left at room temperature.

Remove the chilled uncut bars from the pan and place them on a cutting board. Run your knife under hot water, then carefully wipe it dry. Use a ruler and a warm knife to cut into 12-20 servings. If you want clean edges on all of your cookie bars, you will want to trim the edges that were against the side of the pan. NOTE: you may need to wipe off the knife between cuts, and reheat with more hot water as needed.

How many cookie bars can I get from a 9×13 pan?

For 12 servings: Cut the short side into three equal parts, then the long side into four equal parts (you may want to use a ruler as a guide). This will yield fairly large chocolate chip cookie bars!
For 15 servings: Cut the short side into three equal parts, then the long side into five equal parts (you may want to use a ruler as a guide). This will yield a standard-size serving.
For 20 servings: Cut the short side into four equal parts and the long side into five equal parts (you may want to use a ruler as a guide). Use this when you need to get the most servings from your 9×13 pan.

peppermint cookie bars with chocolate chips on a counter

What kind of chocolate chips should I use? 

That’s up to you! Go with milk chocolate, semi-sweet, white chocolate, or stick with dark chocolate. Whatever your preference is will work just fine in these cookie bars.

How do you crush candy canes? 

I like crushing my peppermint candies in a Ziploc bag with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, but you can also use your rolling pin or even a hammer and then smash away! Whatever method you use, make sure to take your time and be careful not to crush the candy into powder. You want pieces that are about the size of pop rocks – visible yet small enough to chew with no discomfort.

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chocolate peppermint cookie bars close up

Don’t Forget To Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Peppermint Cookie Bars Turned Out!

platter of chocolate peppermint cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bars

Yield: 9x13 pan (12-15 servings)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIE BARS bring the holidays to your taste buds in just one bite for a chocolate chip cookie bar lover’s dream!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag dark chocolate chips*
  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy**
  • optional: a few extra chocolate chips and candy to place on top of bars before baking

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars from the pan when cool. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a large bowl and an electric mixer on medium-high, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until fully, about 1 minute. Beat in extracts and eggs until blended.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix together until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy until evenly distributed in the dough, using clean hands to work the dough may be easiest.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat it into an even layer. Press a few chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy onto the top of the dough (this is optional, but makes the bars look extra yummy).
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until very lightly browned on the edges.
  7. Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Once cool, lift the parchment out of the pan using the overhang, place on a cutting board, and slice into squares or bars.

Notes

* you can substitute dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet if you prefer. 1 (10 ounce bag) or 1 ¾ cups.

**I buy the bags of crushed peppermint candy, usually found near the chocolate chips or holiday baking section. If you can't find them, you can use candy canes by putting them in a zip-top bag and crushing them with a rolling pin or heavy can-goods.

TIP: be sure to use parchment paper to line your pan, NOT wax paper. Since we are leaving an overhang, the wax paper can catch fire when exposed to heat.

  • PRO-Tip: Cold bars cut more cleanly than room temperature bars.

Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to one week.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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chocolate chip cookie bars stacked on a red platter