Soft and moist Candy Cane Cookie Bars which are baked in a sheet pan, smeared with melted chocolate, and topped with more crushed candy canes – a new holiday favourite!
Every Christmas I try to find a new recipe with candy canes as one of the main flavours or ingredients. And, to be completely honest, I’m not a big fan of candy canes at all, but when paired with chocolate or cookies, the taste seems to transform into something magically Christmas.
I remember back to when I was a kid, candy canes were a very popular Christmastime treat for us kids. Growing up in a small town, I remember our annual Santa Claus parade, which was very small and unique in comparison to the large, multi-block, sidewalk-lined parades you see in cities today.
Our Santa Claus parade consisted of a few cars or pick-up trucks which were donned with leftover ornaments and tinsel. There may have been a few vehicles with a hand-painted banner tied to it. And, oftentimes, there was an ATV or two in the parade as well.
HERE COMES SANTA!
The best part though, was the last vehicle, which was usually a pick-up truck. Santa would be in the back with a few of his helpers. That truck had a Christmas tree. The driver would have his windows rolled all the way down, and festive Christmas music would be blaring from the cassette or eight-track deck. (I’m aging myself!) And, Santa would toss out those little individually wrapped candy canes to all of us kids.
It was such a fantastic day and such a great treat. I remember it well; all of us kids standing knee-deep in the snow banks that had been piled up on the sides of the road. Newfoundland is most certainly known for lots of snow, so you can bet that by the time the Santa Claus parade was scheduled in mid-December, the snow was piled high and there to stay until at least April!
THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM!
I could talk about those memories forever if I had the time. It’s not like it used to be, is it, Dear Reader? Christmas now is fast and hurried. It’s expensive and we all forget to slow down and enjoy the time with our family and friends. We start Christmas early, because we love it. And, I strive to have all of my Christmas shopping done by the end of November, so that I don’t have any of that last-minute December shopping stress.
Baking – well, that’s not stressful at all. I love it! If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that I bake at least two or three times each week as soon as October rolls around. And, in December, I probably bake even more. Baking is my stress-reliever, and it can be yours too – especially if you candy!
CRUSHED CANDY CANES
Speaking of candy, I’ve come to find that crushing whole candy canes doesn’t work too well for me. I think it’s because I crush them a little too fine. But, you can find crushed candy canes in jars or bags almost everywhere now. Marshalls always has crushed candy canes around the holidays in the range of $4, which does the job really well.
These cookies are quite unique. They are very similar to a chocolate chip cookie; in essence, they are; just deconstructed and reconstructed in a different way. Oh, and of course, with the addition of the crushed candy canes. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have enjoyed baking them!
Candy Cane Cookie Bars
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup candy canes, crushed
- 2 cups mini chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with a hand mixer.
- Add the egg and mix well into the butter mixture.
- Add the flour, salt, vanilla and 1/4 cup of crushed candy canes. Mix well to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I always use a half sheet pan, which is 18″x13″
- Turn the cookie mixture out onto the parchment paper and press with your hands to form a flat, rectangular-shape, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cookie base.
- Return the oven for 90 seconds.
- Remove from oven and smear the chocolate evenly with an offset spatula.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup crushed candy canes.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a pizza cutter, trim along the rough edges (those are for you to munch on right away!) and cut the entire cookie into 32 squares.