There’s a bit of story and history behind these Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Brownies… I first made Peppermint Bark Brownies way back in 2006 in the early days of Cafe Johnsonia. Back then CJ was called Just Recipes. That was a very long time ago in blog years! The idea for the brownies came from my friend, Tania, who brought me dinner after my second baby was born. Along with a delicious soup, she also included the most delicious brownies topped with Andes Mints that had melted together then set back up into a hard topping. I made her recipe several times and we simple could not get enough of them. When December rolled around, I decided to use a homemade peppermint bark instead of the Andes Mints. I took them to party and they were a HUGE hit. And I never stopped making them. They’ve become a staple for the holidays.
Over the years, these brownies have continued to be legendary. Every time we’ve moved to a new place, a new crop of friends and neighbors become recipients and fans when the holidays roll around.
When I became gluten-free several years ago, I started tinkering with my favorite recipes. I perfected my gluten-free brownie recipe and naturally I had to make Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Brownies too.
Christmas is tomorrow and today I’m spending time with my kids baking up a storm. We’ve got (potential) plans for Linzer Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies, Oat Shortbread, and my husband’s favorite, Pfeffernusse. And we may just make another batch of these Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Brownies too.
Peppermint bark, as just about everyone knows, is a candy made from layers of dark and white chocolate topped with crushed candy canes or starlight mints. And it is utterly addictive in all the good ways. In my recipe, I start with a layer of thick, fudgy brownies then top with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips and a sprinkle of “candy cane dust,” as my daughter calls it.
Sometimes I cut them into small squares that are perfect for eating in two bites; other times I make bigger squares. I can’t quite decide which I like better. This year I decided that I really like popping a square into the microwave to melt the chocolate on top. SO GOOD. I can’t believe we’ve never done that before! So they’re great with that hard peppermint bark on top or a melty puddle of sweet minty chocolate.
In any case, these will always, always be one of our favorites. I hope my kids have good memories of their mama making these every year as I have of making these for them.
Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Brownies
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter
- 8 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped (I like Trader Joe’s the best)
- 2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten-free)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (see below)
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour (or other nut blend)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 11 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 11-12 oz. white chocolate chips or chunks (try to use chips with cocoa butter in them)
- 5-6 organic candy canes, crushed (see notes)