I know, I know- it’s DECEMBER. “Why on earth is this crazy woman sharing a no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream recipe?” In our house, ice cream is supreme, and mint Oreos are a favorite. This simple frozen treat is one all of my people enjoy, and I hope it becomes one of yours too.
But first, let me just tell you that this has been such a special week. Truly. Last week’s release of my first book, Her Daily Bread, found me on the receiving end of SO. MUCH. LOVE. I was over the moon for all of the encouragement, and so many of the heartfelt texts, emails, and DMs had me in tears. Her Daily Bread is truly an outpouring of my heart, and it means the world to see so many people embracing it as such. We won’t talk about the book on this site forever, but I just couldn’t let the moment pass without saying thank you.
In addition, Christmas is just around the corner! My kids have been out of school for a few days now, and I have enjoyed doing all the fun Christmassy stuff: cookie decorating, movies, crafts, and way too much Pentatonix. My kids love to get in the kitchen with me almost as much as they enjoy eating the fruit of that labor, and, as a result, this no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream has been made twice this month. A favorite in our house, this simple frozen dessert is a go-to when our pantry is overflowing with candy canes and cookies from class parties and gift baskets. If you like peppermint and ice cream, this one will definitely be a winner for you.
I hope the next few days are full of the good stuff: rest, joy, and lots of no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream. Don’t forget to slow down long enough to enjoy every bit of it. Merry Christmas to you all!
If you like this no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream you should try:
This no-Churn Peppermint Cookie Ice Cream is loaded with crushed candy canes and chocolate sandwich cookies and can be made in less than 5 minutes without an ice cream machine!
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes or peppermints
1–1/4 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 12 cookies)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sweetened condensed milk and whipping cream and whip on medium speed until it thickens to a fluffy, cloud-like mixture. Fold in the crushed candy canes and sandwich cookies until well combined. Spread the mixture out into a 9×4″ loaf pan or freezer-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil to protect. Allow to freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight. Enjoy!
It’s here!! HER DAILY BREAD is finally out in the wild, available for your immediate consumption all over the United States. As of today, I am officially a published author, and if you find me with little red marks all over my arms, it’s probably because I’ve been pinching myself ever since I woke up this morning. In a lot of ways, I’m kinda in shock; I’ve waited for this day for a few years now, and even long before that, I was endlessly dreaming of it. I’ve heard people say that writing a book is a lot like having a baby, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: they’re not wrong.
From the bottom of my wide-open (and slightly anxious!) heart, I want to thank you for your support. Wood & Spoon was one of the first leaps of faith I ever dared to take, and it was scary! Since then, there’s been very few days that I haven’t been glad I did. This book, HER DAILY BREAD, is the culmination of all the recipes, social media posts, email blasts, and burned batches of cookies. All that work, the support from this community, and a whole lot of favor has opened more doors than I probably would have dared to dream of a few years ago, and I am just so incredibly grateful.
Thank you for showing up here. Thanks for your encouragement. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and for welcoming me into your kitchens. My hope is if you buy the book (and I hope you will!), that it feeds your heart in special ways. I hope you’re encouraged, filled up with love, and inspired to connect with the people around you in meaningful ways.
Peppermint Brownie Cookies
These peppermint brownie cookies are a recipe from my book. Anything peppermint + chocolate is always a win in our family, and these chewy baked treats are no exception. Here, melted chocolate and cocoa powder lend rich flavor and texture, and peppermint extract adds a subtle pop of flavor that makes these cookies undeniably holiday-ish. I love these cookies for Christmas parties, after-dinner treats, and cookie exchanges, and if you happen to be one of those people who can’t choose between brownies and cookies, these will knock your socks off. Promise.
Enjoy this brand new recipe for peppermint brownie cookies, and don’t forget to check out HER DAILY BREAD. It would make a terrific holiday gift for the special ladies in your life, and there’s still plenty of time to get it before Christmas! Learn more about the book here, and, again, THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. Happy baking and happy reading!
If you like these peppermint brownie cookies, you should try:
These peppermint brownie cookies are chewy, chocolate and peppermint scented cookies with crackly brownie tops and flakes of sea salt!
Total Time:20 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Fleur de Sel, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add a cup of water to the bottom of a small saucepan, and place a medium heat-safe glass bowl, one large enough to sit on top of the saucepan, on top. Add the butter and chocolate chips to the bowl and heat the pan over medium heat, stirring the butter and chocolate regularly to melt gently. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly while you start on the eggs.
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the extracts and the carefully drizzle in about a ¼ cup of the warm chocolate mixture, mixing in right away to prevent the eggs from cooking. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and stir just until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and pinch of salt and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Once uniform throughout, use a medium cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out 1-1/2 tablespoon sized rounds of batter on the prepared cookie sheets. The batter is very loose, so be sure to space out the cookies, at least 3 inches apart. Bake the pans one at a time in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the cookie tops are cracked and the crack lines no longer appear extremely wet. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Repeat this process with the remaining dough until it has all been used. Enjoy once cooled!
Have you been wondering what holiday treat to make? Are you in need of a terrific tasting last minute cookie to share with the out of town crazies, next door neighbors, and hostesses you’ll be interacting with over the next few days? WELL LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE: a list of must-bake cookies and a brand new recipe for white chocolate peppermint cookies. They’re festive, deliciously chewy, and even have an option to be vegan if you’re into that sort of thing. Could this be the prom queen cookie of Christmas 2019? I’ll let you decide, but first, here’s a few old faves.
Okay, have I whet your appetite? Are you ready for the main event? These white chocolate peppermint cookies are chewy with crunchy bits of peppermint throughout. The white chocolate pairs deliciously with the minty candies, and (BONUS!) these cookies can be made 100% vegan. The recipe is a play on my favorite vegan chocolate chunk cookies, so you can expect the same toothy bites and decadent flavors throughout. All of the ingredients can be combined in a single bowl and the entire recipe takes less than 30 minutes from start to end of baking.
If you’d like to keep these white chocolate peppermint cookies vegan, be sure to snag some vegan white chocolate and peppermint candy pieces at the store. In my research, I found that Brach’s brand peppermints were vegan, but if you’re not set on making a vegan cookies, no problem! Just use whichever white chocolate chips/bars and mints/candy canes that you prefer. I tested this recipe with a couple of different varieties and had no problems. Do note that any candy pieces you press on top of the cookies will get tacky and chewy over time if exposed at room temperature for a long time. If you plan to serve them quickly, go ahead and leave some candies on top of your rounds of dough, otherwise just mix them right into the batter.
I hope the next few days are merry and bright in your home. Merry Christmas to you guys and HAPPY BAKING!
These white chocolate peppermint cookies are a festive vegan option for your holiday table!
Total Time:15 minutes
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup (80 gm) coconut oil, firm not liquid
6 tablespoons organic brown sugar
6 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1–1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (180 gm) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegan white chocolate chips
½ cup crushed vegan peppermint candies, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare one or two large baking sheets with a sheet of parchment paper.
Combine the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and set aside for at least five minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, cane sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, beating on medium speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat just to combine. Add the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt and stir just to combine. Add the white chocolate and stir to combine.
Scoop out small balls (I use a medium cookie scoop) of dough and place them two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven about 9 minutes or until the cookies have set around the edges. Quickly remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle the tops of each generously with crushed peppermint candies. Return to the oven for one more minute or until set and allow to cool completely before enjoying.
Coming in hot with the another Christmasy treat! I love mint chocolate things all year round, but there’s nothing quite as festive as the red and white stripe of a winter candy cane. This peppermint white chocolate cheesecake is a festive crowd pleaser that feels fitting for the season and is sure to land you on the nice list of everyone you share it with.
Last week Brett and I traveled to Chicago for a quick 48 hours of food with friends. I visited with my brother and did some big city shopping with my BFF, so it ended up being a really special way to kick off December. We tried out a few new restaurants, had an abundance of delightful cocktails, and even checked off a bucket list meal at Alinea. Truly, a good time was had by all, and I was tickled to squeeze in all the laughter and fellowship we experienced. One of my favorite things I love about traveling during the holidays is all of the festive decor. The gussied-up department stores and tinsel-draped trees speckled about the city really help me to get in spirit of Christmas, so I did my best to take in as much as possible.
Our hotel, The Langham, contributed to the spirit with little welcome gifts of jarred cocoa, homemade marshmallows, and white chocolate peppermint cookies. YUM. I attempted to save all of the treats for Aimee and George, but, LOL, we all know how that effort went. I tucked those little cookies away for myself like any self-respecting mother would do, and I have zero shame about that.
Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake
This peppermint white chocolate cheesecake is one of those things you’ll wish you could hide for yourself. A chocolate cookie crust loaded with Kerrygold butter hosts the white chocolate peppermint filling. The whole cake is done up with speckled of crushed candy canes and peppermint bark. The richness of this cheesecake is offset with the bright minty candy pieces; I love the combination of the textured crust with the fluffy cake. Cheesecake is one of those things that feels fitting for the holidays, and the peppermint white chocolate cheesecake really knocks it out fo the park. Let me tell you how to make it.
To prep this dessert, we start with the crust. Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies come together with a whole lot of Kerrygold butter to make a tender, melt-in-your-mouth crust. Kerrygold is a higher fat butter, so you can expect this crust to have more flavor and extra texture when you use that here. The filling for this white peppermint white chocolate cheesecake starts as most others. Room temperature cream cheese is beat until smooth and creamy. Sugar, eggs, and the liquid ingredients come next, and the final mixture is poured through a sieve to ensure it is perfectly smooth. After baking, the cheesecake is slowly cooled, topped with whipped cream, and decorated with crushed peppermints and bark. Can you say, “Mega Yum”?
A Few Things on Homemade Cheesecake:
There are a few things to keep in mind when making a dessert like this peppermint white chocolate cheesecake. First, it is essential to use room temperature ingredients. The cheesecake will be lumpy and unevenly mixed if you throw in cold items. Using room temperature ingredients ensure that your cheesecake it allowed to cream properly. Pay attention to mixing times as well! An over-whipped cheesecake will develop air pockets that can make it puff and bake weird. Just don’t do it, okay?
Finally, I do recommend following the instructions for the water bath here. Again, the water bath will help to ensure even baking. It would be hugely disappointing to go through alllll the work only to have it flop? Trust the process and keep an eye on your cake while it’s in the oven. The extra steps feel like a lot of work but it’s worth it.
Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post! By now you already know how much and why I adore their products. I especially lean on them when I’m making special treats like this peppermint white chocolate cheesecake. Check out their products at your nearest grocery store or find a retailer here! Get in the holiday spirit with this recipe sometime this week and let me know how you like it. Happy baking!
If you like this peppermint white chocolate cheesecake you should try:
This peppermint white chocolate cheesecake is a delicious make ahead dessert for the holidays and features a chocolate cookie crust!
For the crust:
1–1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 lbs (4 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Whipped cream, if desired
Crushed peppermints or chopped peppermint bark, if desired
To prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide, heavy duty foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
Stir together the dry ingredients until combined. Add the melted butter and stir just until combined. Gently pat out your mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. Set aside while you prep your filling.
To prepare the cheesecake:
Begin boiling some water in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
In a double boiler simmering over water on low heat, gently melt the white chocolate, stirring regularly. Do not let it overheat or it may seize. Remove from heat while you prep the rest of your filling.
Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid Mixer) for 2 minutes to remove all clumps. Do not overbeat, but scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. If many clumps remain, ensure that your cream cheese has softened to room temp.
Add the sugar and beat on medium for an additional 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine an additional 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the extracts and the heavy cream. Stir and scoop one cup of the mixture into the melted white chocolate and stir quickly to barely combine. Add the mixture to the cheesecake batter and stir just until smooth.
Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer (if desired) into a reserved bowl. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Feel free to cover the cheesecake with a sheet of aluminum foil if it appear to be getting too dark. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.
When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and the crushed candies. Serve and enjoy!
I wrap my springform pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is to protect your crust from any water leakage of your springform pan. Many pans will claim to be waterproof but your crust will get soggy and inedible if water leakage happens. Don’t take any chances!
I use a 11″ round cake pan for my water bath but you can use any oven-safe dish that you have. Once of my readers used a roasting pan and that works just fine!
The cooling process seems lengthy and unnecessary, but it helps to prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause structural issues with your cake.
I really want to start this post with a giant “MERRY CHRISTMAS,” but I don’t want to annoy you with my over-zealous festivity right off the bat. Instead, let me appeal to any last minute shoppers who may be looking for the perfect gift for their favorite gal pals, sisters, teachers, and neighbors. These are all items that you can literally have to your door and wrapped before Christmas, so if you’re scrambling for some in-a-pinch gifts, I’ve totally got you covered. As a sidenote, I’d like to say that a lot of these are items on my personal Christmas list, so Brett, if you haven’t gotten me anything, start shopping!
It says “Just Desserts” on it. I’ve never identified so well with a lunchbox.
One More Idea…
Each and every one of those items are things I love and use/want regularly, so shop away. And if you’re shopping for a true foodie, might I recommend another gift idea: a batch of these chocolate peppermint olive oil cookies with an accompanying bottle of Lucini Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil to go with it. Yes, this is the same olive oil I used to make that dreamy lemon olive oil chess pie a few week ago, and it’s the brand I reach for on the daily. Any home baker or cook will love the addition of quality ingredients to their pantry, so check out Lucini products here.
Chocolate Peppermint Olive Oil Cookies
Now let’s talk about these chocolate peppermint olive oil cookies. They’re fudgy, chocolatey, and seriously moist. The bits of peppermint add crunch and flavor, while the olive oil and cocoa powder add depth of flavor and keep them tender. These cookies are beautifully festive, the kind of cookies that your holiday guests with ooh and ahh over as they reach for them over and over again. Plus, I like to think they’re a little less guilty given the lack of butter and the addition of olive oil?
These chocolate peppermint olive oil cookies come together quickly with the whiz of a hand mixer. I’d argue the most difficult part is crushing the actual peppermints or candy canes, although sources tell me you can buy those pre-crushed, so who knows. Once baked these cookies will stay fresh for days, the perfect thing to have on hand when holiday guests arrive.
I hope you’ll give these cookies a try and let me know what you think! I am new to baking cookies with olive oil, but the results I experienced with Lucini were so terrific that I look forward to trying it again and again. Be sure to check them out next time you’re at the store, and thank you for supporting brands that make Wood & Spoon possible! I won’t be seeing y’all until after Christmas, so I hope your next few days are merry, bright, and full of joy and wonder. Merry Christmas, y’all!
This post is sponsored by Lucini Italia. All opinions are my own.
If you like these chocolate peppermint olive oil cookies you should try:
These chocolate peppermint olive oil cookies are rich, fudgy, and moist. The bits of peppermint add a festive color and crunch to every bite!
½ cup (120 gm) olive oil
4 ounces dark (I used 70%) chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
2 large (120 gm) eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1–1/4 cups (175 gm) all-purpose flour
½ cup (40 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (170 gm) white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped peppermint bits, plus more for topping
Combine the olive oil and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and gently heat it, stirring regularly, until the chocolate has melted. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, stirring just until combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and peppermint bits and allow the mixture to cool in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prep two baking sheets with parchment papers. Once the dough has firmed up quite a bit scoop dough roughs (you can use a medium or large cookie scoop, about 1-1/2 or 3 tablespoons worth of dough) onto the parchment paper. Roll the dough balls to smooth in your hands and place 2” apart on the cookie sheet. Bake in the oven about 9-10 minutes or until the edges are set and the tops are no longer gooey. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional peppermint bits immediately.
For extra peppermint flavor you can add ¾ teaspoon of mint or peppermint extract. I prefer the subtle crunch of the actual peppermint bits but if you’re really into peppermint that’s an option here.
Y’all. I am in full throttle Christmas mode over here. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of wrapping paper and Mariah Carey Christmas songs, and I’m so excited about it, I could squeal.
Last week we enjoyed our first (and maybe only) snow of the season. Aimee was unsure about the snow at first, but eventually came around. She made a snowman and ate the snow, and all in all, I’d say she enjoyed her first winter wonderland. George didn’t have a clue what was going on but was less than enthusiastic about snowballs. Is anyone surprised? It seems like the harder I try to get my kids excited about Christmas, the more annoyed they get with me. Case and point:
After a weekend of Santa visits, snow flurries, and mugs of cocoa, we’ve pretty much hit all of the Christmas highlights. Even if the kids aren’t in the holiday spirit, I’m going to be the merriest little elf this side of the North Pole, okay? Basically, hide ya kids and hide ya wife, because we’re making everything Christmassy up in here.
Peppermint Bark Bread
You’ve already heard me go on about how much I love peppermint bark. Chocolate plus anything is a win, but the sweet addition of peppermint bits just makes it absolutely irresistible. In my opinion, everything is better with a little bit of peppermint bark, even if it is as simple as a loaf of bread. Thus I give to you my new favorite holiday breakfast treat, peppermint bark bread.
The recipe for this bread is adapted from my favorite cinnamon swirl bread. The dough is buttery and fluffy and goes splendidly with anything sweet. Here, a chocolate filling and chopped bits of peppermint bark bring the razzle dazzle to my favorite dough to create a holiday bread that is as delicious as it is beautiful. This peppermint bark bread is perfect for snacking, gifting, or grinching all to yourself. You decide.
Check Out the New Toy!
I prepared this peppermint bark bread in my new kitchen BFF, the Wolf Gourmet Oven. Remember the Wolf Gourmet Blender that I used to make the most delicious peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake? Well, in similar fashion, this countertop oven knocked my socks off and I am tickled to jabber on about it today. In the past, we used our counter ovens to make toast or heat small plates of leftovers, but we never utilized it for any substantial work. This Wolf Gourmet oven is not your average bird, though. It is made for heavy duty, legitimate baking, and I was thrilled with the results I had in preparing this bread.
Making the Bread
The dough for this peppermint bark bread starts off like any other with yeast, flour, and sugar. We add an egg and some butter to the loose dough and beat away at it in a stand mixer until the dough becomes stretchy and soft. While I normally proof my doughs on the counter next to a warm oven, I was thrilled to find that my new counter oven had a proof setting! I let the dough rise quickly in the oven and then began to prepare the filling.
Chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder are melted together and then stirred with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar. The whole lot of it gets smeared on the rolled dough and dotted with bits of peppermint bark. Roll the dough into a log, cut it lengthwise into two pieces and twist them over one another, pinching the two ends together to form a wreath. Allow the loaf the rise just slightly while you preheat the oven.
Again, I used the Wolf Gourmet oven to bake this loaf and the results were fab. I found that my peppermint bark bread baked in the counter oven was consistent with loaves I baked in my traditional oven, and I am grateful for a second baking option in my home. This appliance is a terrific addition to my kitchen and I hope you will consider one for your own!
Because Christmas is the time for giving, my friends at Wolf Gourmet want to share one of these beauties with you! For an entry to win, click over to my Facebook page here and give it a like! Afterwards, leave a comment on this page below telling me your favorite holiday baked good. One U.S. winner will be randomly selected on December 19th! Happy baking and love to you all!
If you like this peppermint bark bread, you should check out:
This is a braided holiday bread filled with chocolate and bits of peppermint bark!
Total Time:2 hours 30 minutes
2/3 cup (160 mL) whole milk, lukewarm
¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
2–1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups (260 gm) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, divided
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (40 gm) powdered sugar
4 ounces Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm milk and half of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the milk and allow the yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. The mixture should froth and foam slightly. You can stir it gently to make sure all the yeast has been moistened, but if the yeast does not foam, dump it out and start over. Once the yeast has been activated, stir 1/2 cup of the flour in to the milk mixture. Once combined, add the remaining sugar, 1 egg, and salt, and stir to combine. On low speed, add the remainder of the flour and beat to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Once evenly combined, increase the speed to medium (I use speed number 4 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 4 minutes. The dough will be quite moist and sticky.
Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm spot in the kitchen until it has approximately doubled in size, about 1-1/2-2 hours.
Once the bread has nearly risen, melt the chocolate, butter, and cocoa in a saucepan over low heat. Once smooth, stir in the powdered sugar until well combined. Set aside until the dough is ready. If it firms up beyond a spreadable consistency, gently melt it again.
Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a 12”x18” rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the rectangle, leaving a 1” border around the perimeter of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the peppermint bark bits.
Starting with one of the long ends, roll the dough somewhat tightly into one long tube and pinch the ends of the dough to seal in the filling. Use a sharp knife to slice down the middle of the length of the dough, leaving one inch at the top uncut. You should end with two strands of rolled dough connected by a 1” chunk of dough at the top. This will serve as the starting point for your braid, so you want the dough to remain connected here. Turn the exposed innards of the dough roll to face upwards and then twist the dough, right over left, right over left, until the entire length of dough has been twisted into one long piece. Join the ends of the dough to make a ring, pinching the ends together slightly. Carefully transfer the ring of dough into a lightly greased 10” cast-iron skillet. Cover the skillet with a piece of plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Once the oven is preheated, stir the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush a thin layer of the mixture over the surface of the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and golden brown throughout. Allow to cool slightly prior to cutting and serving. Feel free to dust with powdered sugar once cooled.
In a pinch, you can substitute ¾ cup chocolate spread for the filling.
It’s finally December, and I could not be more thrilled. This time of year holds so much joy and fun, and since having kids, I find myself wanting to make even more of it all. I want my babies to enjoy the sights and sounds and smells that come with this beautiful season; I want to set into motion traditions that will slowly become a part of our evolving family Christmas story.
Sometimes that includes cookies before bedtime or hot cocoa from the Santa mug. Sometimes it means Bing Crosby Christmas songs at breakfast or reading “Twas The Night Before Christmas” four times in one night. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle, gift wrapping and trips to the post office, there’s a bit of magic in there, twinkling with a flicker of wonder and anticipation, and I’m determined to tap into that for my children.
For Aimee, the possibility of Christmas is almost ubelieveable. She’s already started asking questions about Santa (“Where does he live? Why does he bring us presents? Why are the deer in the sky? How does he fly?”), and the magic and wonder-filled innocence of it all is beyond endearing. George, although completely oblivious to Santa or gift exchanges or that sweet babe in a manger, is still captivated. He stands in front of the tree, his face aglow from the lights, and I imagine he’s thinking of 150 ways to dismantle the decorations. He would like nothing more than to pick each bulb from the tree and hurl them into the yard, and as exhausting as it is to live with my own mischievous Elf on the Shelf, I’m tickled to see him enjoying Christmas in his own special way.
To provide my children the proper introduction to the Christmas season, I prepared these peppermint bark brownies in participation with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk’s “Uncookie Exchange.” Holiday baking, while a delicious and necessary component of any Christmas celebration, can often be tiring and complicated. To make things simpler, the Uncookie Exchange campaign has rallied bloggers and bakers to create fuss-free recipes that are sure to make all your days merry and bright. These peppermint bark brownies are my second contribution to the Uncookie Exchange which is filled with a number of other decadent bars and fudge recipes that your holiday guests won’t soon forget.
To make them, we start with the batter. Chocolate and butter are melted and whisked together over a double boiler until smooth. Eggs and a single can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk are added next, followed by a bit of vanilla extract and sugar. Once the wet ingredients are well incorporated, we fold in the dry components- flour, cocoa powder, salt, and leavening. Chocolate chips are the last addition before the batter is spread into a prepared 9″x13″ pan and baked in a preheated oven.
Once the peppermint bark brownies are baked, we melt down some semisweet and white chocolate and spread it in thin layers onto the cooled treats. A sprinkle of crushed candy canes is the finale to the peppermint brownies, and trust me, it’s not an ingredient to miss. These treats are straightforward, can feed a crowd, and are more festive than St. Nick himself. Scout’s honor.
With their rich, fudgy brownie batter and layers of peppermint speckled chocolate, these peppermint bark brownies taste like the holidays and practically beg to be shared. I promise that if you bake one pan there will be no returning to store-bought treats for the remainder of the month of the December. They’re that good. Be sure to check out the other treats involved in the Uncookie Exchange– I know my mouth is watering already.
Happy December y’all! Happy baking and happy holidays.
This post is sponsored by Eagle Brand. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Wood and Spoon possible!
If you like these peppermint bark brownies, you should check out:
1 (14 ounce) can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (100 gm) sugar
1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (20 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (90 gm) mini semisweet chocolate chips
For the peppermint bark topping:
8 ounces (225 gm) semisweet chocolate
12 ounces (340 gm) white chocolate
¼ cup of crushed peppermint candies or candy cane pieces
To make the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with a large piece of foil with 2” overhang on all sides of the pan. Grease lightly with baking spray or oil.
Place a large bowl over a saucepan over medium-low heat with a small amount of simmering water in it. Put the chocolate and butter into the bowl and stir regularly until melted. Remove from heat and set aside briefly. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and eggs. Whisking briskly, add the sweetened condensed milk mixture to the chocolate and butter mixture until well combined. Add the vanilla and sugar, stirring to combine. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and fold to combine. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are well set and a toothpick inserted comes out only with a few moist clumps. Be careful not to overbake. Allow the brownies to cool completely.
For the topping:
Melt the semisweet chocolate in a double boiler, similarly to the chocolate for the brownies. Spread the chocolate in an even, thin layer on the brownies. Place the pan in the fridge to set up while you repeat this process with the white chocolate. Melt it gently over very low heat (white chocolate will seize if it gets too hot!) and then spread evenly over top of the cooled, set semisweet chocolate. Sprinkle the top of the brownies with the peppermint pieces and allow to set completely in the fridge prior to slicing. Enjoy!
Sometimes, we need a surprise up our sleeves. An extra card in our deck, a furry rabbit hiding in our hat- anything to make our audience think we’re all but magical. Friends, I may be short on trick mirrors and trap doors, but this super simple, make-ahead mint brownie ice cream cake is for sure going to be the disappearing act at your next dinner party. It’s that awesome. So let’s get to it!
You probably already know how much I love no-churn ice cream. There’s always a quart or two in my freezer, because the only thing better than homemade treats is one that is only three ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. It makes me feel domestic and awesome, and we all need that sometimes, right? But when I’m looking for a showstopping dessert to share at a gathering of some sort, I want something with a bit more pizzazz, you know? Something that makes everyone lick their plate and exclaim, “SWEET MERCY, WHERE IS THE ANGEL THAT MADE THIS!?”
Mint brownie ice cream cake is the best of both worlds. The cake is delicious to taste and easy on the eyes, but with only three steps, this recipe is also nearly fool proof, with multiple options for simplifying and making ahead. Let me just go ahead and give you the run down.
Step One: Make the Brownies.
If you’re reading this baking blog, it’s safe to assume you’ve made brownies before. I’ve included the recipe for an easy brownie that I use for frozen desserts, but you could totally use a box brownie mix or even (gasp!) store bought ones. I won’t tell. And your taste testers will have no clue. Promise.
Step Two: Make the Ice Cream.
If there is something easier than making no-churn ice cream, I don’t want to know. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream into your mixing bowl and you’re literally already halfway there. For this mint brownie ice cream cake, we split our ingredients in half to make two flavors (because options, duh): a chocolate ice cream and a mint chip ice cream. If you don’t like mint chip ice cream, you can lose that flavor extract and use hazelnut instead. Or how about coconut? Almond? Root beer? Whatever, just use whatever flavor you want, ok? If you’re looking for an ice cream substitute though, I can’t help you, and honestly, we are probably no longer friends. Just kidding. We can still be friends. But don’t push it.
Step Three: Assemble Your Cake.
This is probably the hardest part of preparing this mint brownie ice cream cake. If you’re like me and are a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the looks of your treats, this step will require some attention from you. At this point, you have the option of preparing a chocolate ganache to layer on the inside and garnish the outside of the cake with. You can also crush up some chocolate sandwich cookies if you want an extra layer of crunch in your masterpiece.
Either way, you layer the ice cream with the prepared brownies, and before you can say “Bippity Boppity Boo,” your bag full of ingredients has transformed into this fab mint brownie ice cream cake that will impress the glass slippers off of everyone you know. So in short, if you want to make this cake 100% from scratch, you will prepare your brownies, whip up some ice cream, and layer the two with some homemade ganache and whipped cream. But if you want to take easy street, you simply acquire brownies, make some ice cream, and dump it all into a pan with some store bought fudge sauce and chocolate cookies. Literally, the hardest part of making this mint brownie ice cream cake is waiting patiently for it to freeze up. Literally.
More Month of Chocolate
Our #monthofchocolate extravaganza has been pretty fun these past few weeks. Be sure to look back at the past few blog posts for other chocolaty goodness and recipe inspiration. Somehow two mint chocolate recipes made it into the lineup, which either means I really like mint, or I’m secretly pregnant again (just kidding, Mom, I am not pregnant. Don’t get too excited.) March may have a bit less chocolate in it, but like any self-respecting addict, I won’t be able to stay away for too long. Give this mint brownie ice cream cake a try, and let me know how it goes!
I strongly recommend going ahead and making it this week, wrapping it in foil, and saving it in your freezer for a rainy day. You never know when you might need that fancy trick up your sleeve. Cheers to you and have a terrific Tuesday!
This mint brownie ice cream cake features a mint chip ice cream and a fudgy brownie layer!
For the brownies (see notes for shortcut):
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the ice cream:
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food coloring, if desired
2 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips
For the cake topping:
1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
Either 1–8 ounce container of non-dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip) or
1 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ganache (see notes for shortcut):
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
4 ounces heavy cream
To prepare the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (300 for dark nonstick pans) and spray your light pan with baking spray. This cake can be prepared in an 9” springform pan, or, to prepare a loaf-shaped ice cream cake as I did in my photos, bake the brownie batter in two 9×5″ bread loaf pans. You’ll only use one pan worth of brownies if you opt for the loaf cake, so you can save the rest for later. 🙂
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Bake time is about 45 minutes but will differ depending on the size of pan. Once a toothpick comes out clean, you’re done! Allow the brownies to cool completely before assembling the cake. You can speed up this process by cooling them in the fridge, or by preparing the day before.
To prepare the chocolate ice cream:
Pour half (7 ounces) of the sweetened condensed milk to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat until well combined and no lumps remain. Add one cup of the heavy whipping cream and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the remaining elements.
To prepare the mint chocolate chip ice cream:
Combine the remaining cup of heavy whipping cream, the remaining sweetened condensed milk, and the peppermint extract, and whip until stiff peaks form. Add two drops (more, if needed) of green food coloring towards the end of the whipping process, if desired. Fold in the chocolate or chocolate chips and set aside until ready to assemble the cake.
To prepare the cake topping:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, whip the cream on low speed until it is frothy. Increase speed to high, beating until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and the extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to assemble cake.
To prepare the chocolate ganache:
Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave or on the stovetop until almost bubbling and steaming. Pour directly on top of the chocolate and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for about five minutes. Stir with a whisk or rubber spatula until the chocolate comes together and is a smooth ganache. You can heat briefly in the microwave in 5 second increments if it remains a bit lumpy. If the ganache sets out too long, it will thicken back up, so just reheat in 10-15 second increments as needed.
To assemble the cake:
Line a loaf pan or an 8” springform pan with plastic wrap, leaving several inches worth of wrap extending over the sides. This will make the removal process easier.
If preparing in a loaf pan, spread the mint ice cream evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle chocolate cookie crumbles over top and drizzle in some ganache or fudge sauce. Top with a layer of brownie (see notes). Spread the chocolate ice cream over top and smooth out. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight, if possible.
When ready to frost, remove the cake from the pan to a serving dish. Peel off all of the plastic wrap and cover with whipped cream or topping. Drizzle the ganache over top and allow to freeze for 2-4 hours or until frozen solid, if desired. Alternatively, you can serve immediately, but keep in mind the hot ganache may melt the cake some. Serve frozen and keep covered with plastic wrap and foil to maintain freshness for up to a week.
If you want to prepare the cake in a round springform pan, I recommend layering as follows: brownies, mint ice cream, chocolate cookie crumbles, ganache, chocolate ice cream. Then freeze your cake and frost with whipped cream as desired. Really you can assemble the cake in any manner you like, but the cake is easiest to cut when the brownies are toward the bottom.
Feel free to use boxed brownies or store-bought prepared brownies. I prefer Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie mix when using boxed brownies.
I recommend preparing your brownies in the pan you plan to assemble the cake in so that the brownie is the same size as the cake. However, you can also crumble your prepared brownies into the cake. It won’t make a difference on the final outcome of the cake.
Instead of the chocolate ganache, you can substitute in a store bought hot fudge sauce. Melt slightly in the microwave in 15 second intervals until the sauce is melted but not too hot. Allow to cool slightly before pouring on your cake.
You don’t have to use crumbled chocolate cookies in the cake, but the crunch is not. Alternatively, you could use some mini chocolate chips, Thin Mint Cookies, or even chocolate graham crackers!
Can you just feel the excitement? Surely it’s not just me. At our house, the tree is up and our stockings are hung. I’ve already made an unnecessary amount of Christmas cookies and my kitchen smells like a cinnamon stick/ fir tree hybrid. My Christmas socks are back in rotation, and I’m about one Mariah Carey song away from my husband refusing to ride in the car with me anymore. Surely this holiday cheer isn’t reserved just for me- IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
This time of year always elicits a number of merry memories and feels for me, and as I grow older, I find myself trying to cultivate that same wonder and excitement for my own family. I want my babies to grow up on the sounds and smells and sights that make this time of year so rich. Fires crackling in the fireplace. Christmas lights glowing on street lamps at night. Cookies and milk and Nat King Cole. Candlelight services and that babe in a manger and the jittery excitement that makes sleep impossible on Christmas Eve. This time of year is filled with so many opportunities to love people and make memories, and it’s just one of the million things I can’t wait to share with my children as they grow up.
Growing up, there were always a few Christmas staples that I looked forward to every December, including Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark. I can close my eyes and distinctly remember those trips to the mall to pick up a tin or two to take home and pick at for the next few weeks days. To this day, it’s the go-to gift for my grandfathers each year and it’s a favorite to share as hostess gifts at holiday parties. Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark is iconic, unmatched in quality and taste, and it’s one of those Christmas favorites that I know my kids will grow up on as well.
Ok, so now that you know how much I heart Peppermint Bark, let me tell you how excited I am to be partnering with Williams-Sonoma and TheFeedFeed to bring you today’s recipe. Literally, unless Ina Garten herself knocked on my door and asked me to help her and Taylor Swift make roast chicken and chocolate cake for Jeffery, I could not be more excited. Even as we speak, there’s fireworks and explosions going off in my heart and I can hardly even type because I can’t keep from throwing out some jazz hands. (!!!)
This is a peppermint bark icebox cake. Made with layers of hot cocoa cookies, peppermint and mascarpone whipped cream, and little crumbles of peppermint bark, this icebox cake is a dessert that will make all your days merry and bright. The lightly sweetened cream is rich in flavor and delicate in texture, making it a perfect match for the thin and crispy cocoa cookies. I used hot cocoa mix to produce the wafer thin cookies, and their chocolaty, slightly salty flavor is just to die for in this cake. The star of the show is the peppermint bark, which adds a creamy crunch to every bite and makes this a visually stunning and festive cake.
The cookies for this peppermint bark icebox cake can be made and stored in the freezer up to a couple of weeks in advance. In a pinch, you can substitute store bought chocolate wafers, but don’t underestimate the sweet and salty goodness you’ll miss out on with the homemade version. The cream, which takes only a few minutes to whip together, helps to soften the cookies as it refrigerates over night, so that when you’re finally ready to slice into the cake, the layers are creamy and cake-like, punctuated by the crunchy bits of peppermint bark.
I wouldn’t change a thing in the world about this recipe, unless I could insert a mandatory cup of coffee and background music of the “Christmas Vacation” theme song. This peppermint bark icebox cake is a delicious reminder of why this is the most wonderful time of the year, and I know you won’t regret making it. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Oh, and P.S., when you go pick up your peppermint bark, do yourself a favor and buy and extra tin… or four. Whatever. Do what you gotta do.
All of my gratitude, hugs, high fives, and holiday blessings to Williams-Sonoma and my friends at Feedfeed for inviting me to be apart of the #barkyeah campaign. It’s an honor to promote a product that has played such a delicious role in my Christmas traditions and I’m thrilled to share it with everyone!
*This post is sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and Feedfeed, but as always, all opinions are my own.
This peppermint bark icebox cake features layers of hot chocolate wafer cookies and peppermint mascarpone cream, and is sprinkled with small bits of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark.
Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes
For the cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup hot cocoa mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the icebox cake
16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound of peppermint bark, finely chopped.
To prepare the cookies
Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, and baking powder. Stir on low until well combined.
On a clean surface, pat the dough out into a flat, round disk. Allow to chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a clean surface with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, roll out the dough until 1/8” thick. If the dough feels too sticky, allow to chill a bit more in the fridge or add more cocoa powder to your surface or rolling pin. Cut 2-1/2″ round cookies out of the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place 1-1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to using in the icebox cake.
To prepare the icebox cake
Add the mascarpone cheese, cream, sugar, and extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low for a minute to combine and then slowly increase the speed, whipping just until stiff peaks form.
Prepare an 9″ springform pan by spreading 3 tablespoons of cream on the bottom of the pan. To begin forming your cake, arrange one layer of cookies over top of the cream, breaking the cookies as needed to fill in large gaps. Spread 1/5 of the cream (a heaping 3/4 cup the mixture) evenly over top of the cookies. Sprinkle a small handful (approximately 1/5) of the peppermint bark over top of the cream. Repeat this process 3 more times, stacking layers of cookie, cream, and bark. Add one final layer of cookies and the remaining cream to the top of the cake, smoothing out the top until flat and even. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours, to allow the cookies to soften and the flavors to blend together.
When ready to eat, decorate with any remaining peppermint bark, or even Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Snow. Slice and serve chilled.
For a taller cake, use a smaller (7″-8″) springform pan, lining the sides with a tall sheet of acetate which will serve as extended sides to the pan. You’ll end up making about 6 layers of cake using this method.
In a pinch, store bought chocolate wafers can be used instead of the cookies. You’ll need approximately 18 ounces of wafers.