Cheese & Chocolate

What is it about winter weather that makes me crave cheese and chocolate? After our good old stand-by healthy dinner last night of salmon, cous cous and asparagus (Morgane’s and my fave), tonight we are having fettuccine with gorgonzola, sage, and heavy cream. Without apology, I might add. And for dessert, freshly-made chocolate peppermint bars. Oh yeah. I practiced second series Ashtanga today, so that will hopefully help my metabolism process all this. Yum, yum and yum. Here’s the peppermint bar recipe, they are quite easy and I’m pleased with how they turned out: 

Chocolate Peppermint Bar Cookies
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted, softened butter
  • 3/4 packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (I use 2 at high altitude)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed peppermint hard candies (I use a meat mallet on a large candycane)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 375. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil, allowing a few inches of foil to hang over the edges. Coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, approx 3 minutes. Beat in egg(s). Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and candy. Spread dough evenly in pan and bake until puffed and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, then lifting with foil, transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars and lift off foil with a spatula.