Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies: Best New Christmas Cookie Recipe This Season!

We’re coming to a close here this holiday cookie season, and I’ve saved the best for last. This cookie recipe is by far my favorite Christmas cookie discovery this year: Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies. This delightful treat comes from the December 2009 issue of Bon Appetit, and I’ve changed it up a little bit using these fabulous Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses.
Have you had the opportunity to try these yet? A white chocolate confection with minty stripes and the very slight crunch of candy canes, these kisses are amazing. They’re so amazing that I ended up buying a second bag that I have sitting in my pantry, which I’m afraid to open for fear that I won’t be able to stop nibbling on them.

Here’s a brief How-To (an easy recipe!):
The shortbread base of the cookie is baked into a 9×13-inch pan lined with parchment. Chocolate is crumbled onto the warm, baked shortbread. It melts and then just gets spread around with a spatula. The original BA recipe calls for crumbled candy canes to be sprinkled on top. I’ve never been a very big fan of the crunch of candy canes in cookies, so I subbed the chopped up oh-so-fabulous candy cane kisses instead. They melt a little on top of the chocolate, but that’s okay.
A small amount of white chocolate is melted and swirled on top. The whole thing is chilled and then lifted out of the pan and onto a flat surface for cutting. Using a large, sharp knife, you can cut the cookie bark into whatever shapes you’d like.
I have absolutely no idea how these taste made with crunched up candy canes, but with the Candy Cane Kisses, these shards of cookie bark are absolutely the best holiday treat I’ve had this year! It could be the Kisses that put them over the top, but they’ve definitely been added to my list of Christmas cookie favorites.  

This recipe can be found HERE.

*The Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses are a specialty flavor that you’ll only find during the holidays. I’ve seen them both at Target and in the holiday candy section of my grocery store. (And, NO… this post is not being sponsored by Hershey’s, though it should be with all of the gushing I’ve done over their holiday-themed Kisses lately.)


  1. postedDec 17, 2009 3:51 AM

    Thanks for sharing, Lori! These would be a hit around here! I love the twist on classic shortbread.

  2. postedDec 17, 2009 3:54 AM

    These look great!! I am addicted to those candy cane kisses too – they have the crunchy things in them!! 🙂

  3. postedDec 17, 2009 4:32 AM

    I have a bag of these sitting on my counter waiting for inspiration. It just hit…hard! Thanks so much!!

  4. postedDec 17, 2009 5:10 AM

    Oh Lori those look fabulous! You are such a creative baker 🙂

  5. postedDec 17, 2009 5:50 AM

    Wow! Those look great! I love that it’s a new twist on an old favorite that I make every year.

  6. postedDec 17, 2009 6:05 AM

    what a great idea to mix the two together!

  7. postedDec 17, 2009 7:31 AM

    These are gorgeous Lori! Love the colors and swirls, plus they sound delicious and easy. Perfect!

  8. postedDec 17, 2009 8:49 AM

    Okay, do not gasp: I love white choc but not peppermint at all (except lip balm). I know, that’s mean, I make bark with it but do not consume any. Guess it is great for the hips

  9. postedDec 17, 2009 8:57 AM

    I bookmarked this one from BA too and I loved the idea of cutting them into triangles and irregular shapes like real “bark” candy. Clever idea to use the kisses!!! I never liked the crunch of the candy canes on top either so I generally use a big red/white decorating sugar. I like your idea even better.

  10. postedDec 17, 2009 9:05 AM

    These look fabulous! I just printed them out… will be making them this weekend for our family cookie exchange! You’ve single handedly rekindled my relationship with peppermint!

  11. postedDec 17, 2009 9:26 AM

    I’ve never tried those kisses. They are pretty!

  12. postedDec 17, 2009 10:13 AM

    I had just come across this recipe earlier today. I love the idea of the kisses vs. the crunchy candy! They look so good!

  13. postedDec 17, 2009 11:00 AM

    Oooh, these are so purty! 🙂

  14. postedDec 17, 2009 2:08 PM

    Now those look awesome. I could definitely eat the whole pan!

  15. postedDec 17, 2009 4:06 PM

    Omg we LOVE those peppermint kissed too! We discovered them this year and are obssesed with them!

    We actually just posted a recipe using them today! Funny!

    We will definitely add these to our Christmas Baking list!

  16. postedDec 17, 2009 5:21 PM
    so Spiffy April

    It looks like so much fun… I’ve never tasted those kisses before.. I wonder if Japan will stock them.. might have to use my expat import to get them… well done you..

  17. postedDec 17, 2009 5:52 PM

    These look both festive and delicious!! I think I would be tempted to use both the candy cane kisses and crushed candy canes!!

  18. postedDec 17, 2009 6:13 PM

    I always make our traditional favorites, and try one new cookie recipe…I think this will be the new addition for us this year. So pretty!

  19. postedDec 17, 2009 6:26 PM

    I made the version in BA with candy canes, but what a great idea to substitute Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses! Brilliant! And your shortbread looks fabulous!

  20. postedDec 17, 2009 6:40 PM

    I love those kisses!

  21. postedDec 18, 2009 4:17 AM

    THE best, for sure!

  22. postedDec 18, 2009 8:00 AM

    Wow, those do look absolutely divine, thanks for sharing!
    I was going to make plain ol shortbread for our Christmas party, but I think this is a much better idea, thank you for sharing!

  23. postedDec 18, 2009 8:05 AM
    Dawn Hutchins

    These are so pretty. I made several versions of chocolate bark for holiday gifts this year and if I’d had those kisses I would have used those. YUM!

  24. postedDec 18, 2009 8:39 AM

    Those look fabulous! I haven’t seen those peppermint kisses before. Hope my grocery store has them. If not, a Target is nearby!

  25. postedDec 18, 2009 8:50 AM

    Oooh, I think I’ve seen those kisses! Will have to look again! The cookies are gorgeous, as always, Lori!

  26. postedDec 18, 2009 9:23 AM

    Those are gorgeous! I wish I had seen them before my last trip to the store. I still have goodies to make for neighbors!

  27. postedDec 18, 2009 9:53 AM
    Sonja @ ActiveFoodie

    I love these! I am not a huge fan of peppermint bark because it is too crunchy for me, however, on top of cookie…I can get down with that! LOVE IT!

  28. postedDec 18, 2009 2:21 PM

    This looks like a must make!!

  29. postedDec 18, 2009 3:10 PM

    I would name them Jackson Pollock cookies!

  30. postedDec 18, 2009 5:25 PM

    These look so festive. I actually bought a couple of boxes of candy canes this year. I have never seen them for sale here. Candy canes are an American thing.I’m glad some made their way across the pond. I am going to make these for Christmas day. Thank you for such a stunning but simple bake 🙂

  31. postedDec 19, 2009 7:18 AM

    Gosh, these look just perfect. I experimented with some peppermint barkish candy/cookies yesterday and, though they tasted good, they didn’t look nearly as nice (thus they did not merit a post on my blog–too bad!). Love your blog, as always!

  32. postedDec 19, 2009 9:11 AM

    Yum! This looks delicious.

  33. postedDec 19, 2009 9:01 PM

    Thanks for the review! They look phenomenal. I just picked up a copy of December’s BA so I am definitely going to try these – probably w/the candy canes so we’ll see how it goes!

  34. postedDec 20, 2009 5:19 PM

    Thanks so much for the recipe! They were a gorgeous and delicious addition to my cookie platter. Definitely a keeper!!

  35. postedDec 21, 2009 6:48 AM

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I have been racking my brain on how to use the candy cane kisses. I made these last night, the kisses were almost impossible to find 🙁 But what I did instead of drizzling white chocolate on top, I swirled the slightly melting kisses in with the chocolate and that worked out perfect. These were great! They are replacing my peppermint bark from now on.

  36. postedDec 21, 2009 1:26 PM

    these cookies are fantastic – both delicious and a gorgeous addition on any dessert tray. the best part: using store-bought sugar cookie dough gave me that much more time for last-minute christmas shopping/wrapping! thanks so much for the recipe – they were a huge family hit, and i’ll definitely be making them again and again!

  37. postedDec 21, 2009 3:55 PM

    I made these this weekend and was surprised when I checked them at 24 minutes and found them to be already overdone (sadness.) I know my oven is right-on temperature wise so next time, will check between 18-20 minutes. I was just wondering if anyone else found that they cooked faster than the recipe suggests? I’m not giving up though and will be making them again for sure. Thanks for sharing – love your website!

    • postedDec 21, 2009 5:20 PM

      Jeanelle- Hmmm- that’s interesting that it baked up faster than expected. Just double checked the Bon Appetit recipe that I adapted from & it definitely says 30 minutes. I find that ovens can be very different in terms of the temperature that they “actually” are. Yours might run a little hotter perhaps?

  38. postedNov 29, 2011 10:09 AM

    These look amazing Lori. Can’t wait to make them for myself.

  39. postedDec 14, 2013 11:05 AM

    OMG – made one batch yesterday morning, and then quickly made 2 more batches. They are AWESOME! I have about 20 Christmas cookie recipes, and I believe this is def top 3, if not TOP 1. Thanks for the incredible recipe. Off to make more on day 2! Can’t wait to give them as gifts to co-workers.

  40. postedDec 14, 2013 11:06 AM

    Two more comments – yes, mine baked in 23 – 25 minutes. And I added another 1/4 of chocolate chips to the shortbread base.

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