Christmas Cookie Bars

UPDATE: These were an unmitigated disaster in 2016. I mixed up 3 or 4 batches of cookie dough and none of them baked up properly. When I made a normal layer in the sheet pans, the dough bubbled out over the edges and made a horrid mess on the bottom of the oven. So, I had to turn the oven off, let it cool, scrape up the burnt-on mess, and try again. Finally, got a pan or two cooked. They were massively overdone as the dough just wasn’t baking – it was becoming lava not cookies. When I turned those pans out, there were massive amounts of oil oozing out. YUCK! One last shot, I tried shaping the cookies into little balls and baking individual cookies – same result. I ended up throwing all that into the trash can and flinging up my arms in defeat. No Christmas Cookies for 2016. After further reflection (and a tequila or two), I figured out that the grocery store must have FROZEN THE BUTTER at some point in the storage. Past experience with making cookies and candies at the holidays has taught me that for MOST holiday baking and making, frozen butter separates during cooking and makes a huge mess. — I’m now thinking of taking another shot at these for Valentine’s Day (using butter flavored Crisco sticks instead of butter) or turning the large amount of crushed peppermint and white chocolate chips into peppermint fudge for Valentine’s Day. I don’t really want to keep all this stuff in limbo for a year.

This is an adaptation of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. I’ll add more notes as they come back to my Swiss cheese memory (didn’t bake cookies in 2015, first year in about 20 that I didn’t bake cookies). I’ll also add photos when I bake.

Recipe – 3 batches fill 2 sheet pans (need to add size)

1/2 c butter

3/4 c white sugar

1 egg, large

1 tsp vanilla bean paste, favorite brand = Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste

1/2 tsp (maybe less?) peppermint extract, favorite brand = Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour, favorite brand = King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

12 oz bag of white chocolate chips

8 oz crushed peppermint

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line sheet pans with non-stick aluminum foil.
  2. Cream together butter & sugar. Stir in egg, vanilla paste, and peppermint extract. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt – then stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in chocolate and peppermint. Spread evenly in sheet pans.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (may have to change this) in preheated oven until lightly browned, cool, cut using pizza cutter. Store in airtight containers.
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