peppermint cream meltaway bars
recipe by vanillasugarblog.com
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 ts cornstarch
¾ ts sea salt
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
3 TB powdered sugar
giant pinch of sea salt
handful (or two) of the Andes Peppermint Crunch chips in the filling
(plus we will use more of the peppermint crunch chips for topping the cream cheese
you might need some mint extract, if you want a minter filling, optional
icing (1 cup of powdered sugar, mixed with splash or two of heavy cream, and dash of mint extract)
Andes Peppermint Crunch chips
The middle filling is gentle on the mint.
I didn't want a heavy mint taste in these bars, so I didn't add any mint extract.
If you do a quick taste-test of the cookie dough and want a little bit of mint in there, then feel free to add some.
Or add it to the cream cheese filling.
I made the top of the bars have a nice "crumble crunch" to it.
If you flatten the dough pieces as opposed to circle chunks, the flattened pieces will crisp up nicely.
I only used about ¾ of the bag of the peppermint crunch chips.
I made just a little bit of minty icing over the top in order for the sprinkling of chips to stick and stay on the bars.
And since baking hindsight is 20/20, I could have added a bit of red or even green food coloring to the icing for a nice festive touch.
Also, I love my icing to be very thick, so I only added a splash of heavy cream to the powdered sugar, but if you want to thin it out just add more cream.
Using a mixer or by hand (my method) mix butter and powdered sugar until creamy and no lumps.
Add in the flour, cornstarch and salt. I used my hands to mix until just combined; no need to over work the dough, we want it to be light and airy, not tough.
This will be a dry dough, that’s ok, just place it on plastic wrap, mold into a large ball or disk and wrap very well and tight.
Place in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, turn out the dough onto parchment paper; separate it into two piles: 2/3 And 1/3.
The 2/3 is the bottom layer and the 1/3 will be the crumble topping.
Turn the larger dough onto a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Using your hands spread the dough out evenly into the pan.
If dough is too cold, let it rest a bit and come to try. If your kitchen runs cold this might take a while.
While you’re waiting, make the filling.
for the filling:
Mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, powdered sugar and handful (or two) of chips in a bowl.
Taste-test it and see if you want more mint, if so, add in a dash of mint extract.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Your dough should be nicely and evenly placed out into the baking pan, making sure to get all the corners.
Add on the cream cheese filling. Do not spread the filling to the edges!
Next take the peppermint crunch chips and add a layer on top of the filling. How much?
Maybe a ½ cup or more; just use your judgment.
Then taking the remaining 1/3 of the dough, place medium size, flattened dough crumbles on the top.
No need to push these down into the dough. Just crumble them on like you would a crumb cake.
The flatter the crumb the better chance it has for crisping up.
Bake about 43 – 55 minutes. My oven runs horrid and not so hot, so make sure to check these at the 43-minute mark.
Look for golden brown edges and lightly golden brown crumbs on top.
While the bars are baking make the icing by combining the powdered sugar with the dash of mint extract, and heavy cream.
If you want to add in food coloring please do so while mixing.
When bars have cooled completely, drizzle the icing on top and then top with more of the peppermint crunch chips.
Depending on how you slice them you should get 20 large bars OR 25-30 smaller bars?
Make sure to keep them covered in airtight containers.
They should have a shelf life of 3 days.