Peppermint Divinity Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
So good! These Peppermint Divinity Bars feature a buttery vanilla cookie base and a soft peppermint divinity topping sprinkled with peppermint candies. This is definitely a holiday cookie that you’ll love.

This is a recipe where you want to start preparing the Divinity Topping as the cookie base is baking. The goal is to have the Divinity Topping completed when the pan comes out of the oven or shortly after so the topping can be spread on a still hot cookie base.
Recipe type: Dessert, Bar Cookies
Serves: About 3 Dozen Bars
Ingredients
Cookie Dough Base:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Divinity Topping:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • ¾ cup crushed hard peppermint candies, divided (takes about 35-40 candies)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pan with butter or vegetable shortening (to hold the paper in place,) then line with parchment paper allowing extra paper to overhang the edges to make easy removal after baking. Use a pastry brush to brush a thin coating of softened butter or shortening over bottom and sides of the parchment paper.
Tip: Crush the peppermint candies before you start preparing the recipe. If the candies are individually wrapped, remove all the wrappings and place candies in a resealable heavy-duty plastic bag. I think it is easiest to place the closed bag on the floor or hard surface and use a hammer to break up the candies.
Cookie Dough Base:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed about 30 seconds to soften. Add sugar and beat until well mixed and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beat until well mixed, the dough will be fairly stiff.)
  3. Press the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan, smooth with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven.
  5. Meanwhile, while the cookie is baking, prepare Divinity Topping
Divinity Topping:
  1. In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the salt and beat until soft peaks form. Set aside. Tip: Use a stand mixer; a hand mixer is not likely to have enough power for the heavy texture of the candy.
  2. In a medium-size heavy-bottomed pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan tightly with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow condensation to form and run down the inside of the pan to help wash away stray sugar crystals.
  3. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 250 degrees F, a hard ball stage, using a candy or instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup.
  4. Meanwhile, as the temperature of the syrup reaches about 230 degrees F, continue beating the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Stop the mixer, remove the whisk attachment and attach the paddle.
  5. When the sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees F, Immediately remove pan from the heat. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches about 240 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 250 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the syrup reaches 250 degrees to prevent it from going over 250 degrees.
  6. Immediately start pouring the hot sugar mixture, in a thin steady stream, into the beaten egg whites, while beating with the electric mixer at medium speed. This will cause the egg whites to double in volume. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it.
  7. Slowly add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Increase the speed to high and continue beating at high speed until the candy cools, becomes almost stiff but still glossy, about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup of the crushed peppermint candies and beat just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  8. Working quickly, spread the mixture over the top of the still warm cookie base, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies over the top. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool completely, 2 to 4 hours, before cutting into bars.
  9. When cookie is cool, use the parchment overhang to lift cookie from the pan, and cut into 2-inch bars. Tip: My favorite tool to cut bars is a stainless steel dough scraper; simply push the dough scraper straight down into the cookie for straight cuts. Or use a pizza cutter or small kitchen knife to cut the cookie into squares.
Adapted From: Southern Living Magazine, December 2013
  1. Peppermint Divinity Bars
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 13x9x2 inch oblong pan Pan Prep: Parchment Lined and greased Oven Temp: 375° Yield: 3 Dozen Bars Storage: Airtight Container, Room temperature layered between wax or parchment paper

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips

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Recipe by thebakingpan.com at http://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cookie/peppermint-divinity-bars/