Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies

I am so excited to have participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012. Oddly enough, I've never received cookies in the mail before.  I know, crazy!  It feels pretty good.  Now I know how all of you feel. :)  Not only was this a great opportunity to get to know some other cookies makers, it was also a good cause.  A donation to participate in the cookie swap was given to Cookies for Kids' Cancer.  I was also excited to get creative and to make something new.  So I made Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies.
Before go into more detail about what I made, let me show you what I got...

Don't let these simple looking chocolate cookies fool you; they were packed with a tastey surprise...caramel!  How did Amy of CakeStar know that I loved chocolate and caramel??!  These were delish and she even included her recipe. :)

Next, I opened this lovely box to find some super cute Christmas cookies made by the talented Elizabeth of Lizy B Bakes.  I didn't want to eat these!  They were so cute and I was so mad that I didn't think of making them myself. ;)  Genius.

Finally, I fell in love with the peppermint crunch chocolate chip cookies that I received from Anne of Have a Cookie!  I am a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie and the peppermint was a bonus! 
Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to share your yummy treats and talent with me. Muah!
Now to give you the scoop on what I made.  These cookies were so simple to make.  When you whip up a batch, you will seriously call me a cheater for getting out so easy.  I wanted to make some decorated cookies but I just ran out of time AND sleep.  I also wanted to make something Holiday-ish so peppermint bark came to mind and then I thought, why not put it on a yummy shortbread?

I started with the recipe for the shortbread cookies that I fell in love with a few years ago from Joy of  You can find the recipe I used here.  I chose this particular circle cookie so that it would fit nicely in the boxes that you'll see in a minute.
There might be better chocolate to make almond bark with but this is what I had.  Candy melts are easy to find at your local bakery supply, Michael's or Hobby Lobby.
I used light cocoa on half, dark chocolate on the other half and then a bag of white chocolate/vanilla candy on all of them. Put the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and then pop it in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until it is smooth and you are good to start dipping.

For the first layer, I dipped the cookies right into the chocolate and placed them on a cookie sheet to dry/harden. Once the bottom layer was set/dried, the top layer was spread on with the bottom of a spoon.

Because the chocolate dries so quickly, it's important to work fast when you are sprinkling on the peppermint.  I picked up the peppermint sprinkles at my happy place - World Market. 

And voila; finished products!!  My perfectly imperfect, Holiday-ish cookies. They actually kind of taste like peppermint E.L. Fudge cookies.  I wish I had one right now with a huge glass of milk. 

I only had to wait a few minutes for the chocolate to harden before I packaged them.

I picked up these little boxes from Michael's in the baking section.  There are 3 cookies in each section separated by striped parchment paper that I cut into squares (also purchased from World Market).

I didn't want the chocolate to get on the window of the box so I cut a sheet of wax paper to lay on top.

Aren't they pretty??  I am still hoping and praying that they got to their final destinations looking just like this.  Since they were going to different places all over the country, I put each one inside a separate box full of packing peanuts.

I hope that Rene, Megan and Stacey enjoyed these. 

These cookies would also be fun and easy to make with the kiddos. :)

To see more amazing cookie recipes from the cookie swap, click on Part 1 and Part 2 (mine are on part 2) 

Happy Baking!