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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Recipe: Easy Vegan Peppermint Bark Cookies (Gluten Free!)

Easy Vegan Peppermint Bark Cookies Recipe - gluten free, vegan, white chocolate, healthy christmas recipes, christmas cookie recipes, gluten free holiday desserts

Peppermint Bark is always a favourite at our house at Christmas time. 

It's easy to make, perfect for gifting and delicious to eat - but this year I wanted to add a little twist to it. 

Jesse and I are both cookie monsters year round - but especially so at Christmas time. So, earlier in the year when we were deciding what Christmas cookies to make this year, I suggested a peppermint bark cookie and the ideas started rolling. 

Easy Vegan Peppermint Bark Cookies Recipe - gluten free, vegan, white chocolate, healthy christmas recipes, christmas cookie recipes, gluten free holiday desserts

We thought about shortbread, using peppermint bark instead of chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, making a white chocolate cookie dough - the ideas kept coming and I kept experimenting.... but the best recipe of all ended up being the simplest one.

This Peppermint Bark Cookie Recipe is tweaked from our The Best Vegan Cookies Recipe, but you can also use any chocolate cookie recipe you like (or simply use this recipe as inspiration and dip any store bought chocolate cookie in melted white chocolate and sprinkle on some crushed candy canes!). 

It's simple to make and even if you're like us and not vegan, you'll love this recipe. It's perfect for the whole family and will totally become a new fave. But if the vegan idea doesn't take your fancy, don't worry! I've added a non-vegan option below too. 

So let me share the recipe with you! >> 

Easy Vegan Peppermint Bark Cookies Recipe - gluten free, vegan, white chocolate, healthy christmas recipes, christmas cookie recipes, gluten free holiday desserts

Easy Vegan Peppermint Bark Cookies
makes 24 cookies that are gluten free, vegan (or not!) and so delicious!

For the Cookies: 
1 1/2 tbsp (10g) ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp boiling water (don't want vegan? Use 1 egg)
1/2 cup (100g) vegan butter* or butter (if you're not vegan/dairy free!)
3/4 cup (150g) coconut sugar or brown sugar 
2 tbsp (30g) almond butter**
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
2 tbsp (15g) cornstarch/cornflour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
Pinch of salt

For the Topping:
225g white chocolate melts or white chocolate chips*** (you can also use milk chocolate if you prefer)
3 candy canes, crushed 

Cheat's Version: Your favourite chocolate cookies (homemade or store bought) + white chocolate + candy canes
  • Preheat your oven to 180C/355F
  • Line 4 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. 
  • In a mixer, cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the edges between beating to ensure everything is incorporated. 
  • Add in your flax egg, nut butter and vanilla and mix until combined. 
  • Add in your dry ingredients, except for your chocolate and candy canes, and mix until everything is incorporated.
  • Take heaped tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.
  • Place your dough ball onto the tray and lightly flatten, repeating with your remaining dough leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie and the edges of your pan (they spread quite a lot!). Continue until all of your dough is used up. 
  • Bake your cookies for 7-8 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the middles are set.
  • Allow to cool before removing from the tray.
  • Melt your white chocolate in a shallow bowl (this makes it easier to dip your cookies), being careful not to burn the chocolate. You can do this in a microwave in 15 second increments, or in a double boiler (place a heatproof bowl on top of a small saucepan with 1 inch of water in the bottom, making sure the bowl does not touch the water and heating the pan over a medium-low heat). 
  • Dip your cookies into your melted white chocolate and place back onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle over your crushed candy canes and repeat until all of your cookies are coated. 
  • These cookies can be kept in the fridge or at room temp, depending on the temperature. I find in an Australian summer, they're better in the fridge so the chocolate doesn't melt. 
  • These cookies can also be frozen both before baking (simply freeze the flattened dough balls to defrost and bake later) or after baking (even after you've coated them with chocolate and candy canes!).
*If you're using a vegan butter alternative, don't use a low fat one as you'll end up with a different texture.
**I've also used peanut butter and cashew butter and both worked perfectly! For a nut free version you could use sunflower seed butter.
***225g = one packet. You don't really need to measure these, just melt a little more than a cup of white chocolate chips or melts in a shallow bowl so it's easy to dip your cookies. 

But tell me, 
What Christmas recipes are you making this year? 

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