This time of year, I enjoy handing out small gifts to people who have made an impact on our lives – teachers, childcare volunteers, friends, neighbors, even postal carriers. But obviously we don’t have the money to buy each and every one of them an extravagant gift. I think that giving a small treat is a simple yet meaningful way to say “Merry Christmas, I appreciate you!”
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hefty. I received compensation for this post and these products. All opinions are my own.
These cookie bars are sooo delicious. And it can be our little secret, but they are actually pretty good for you! This recipe doesn’t contain any refined sugar, and it uses whole wheat flour, so it’s much better for you than your average cookie recipe! And the peppermint gives it a refreshing “Christmasy” surprise. :) There’s a good amount of butter, but I’m of the opinion that butter isn’t really bad for you. Even if you disagree, pretend you don’t for the sake of this recipe… it’s that good.
These cookie bars, combined with the Hefty Treat Toppers free printable make giving small gifts to everyone in your life simple and delicious. :) Three different versions, because a girl’s gotta have options.
Start by gathering all your ingredients:
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. peppermint extract (If you’re not a big fan of peppermint, substitute vanilla instead!)
- 8 oz. dark chocolate chips
Mix all your dry ingredients together. Then add the softened butter, honey, applesauce, eggs, and peppermint extract. Mix together.
Now add your dark chocolate chips and spread the mixture into a deep baking dish. I would recommend stoneware or even a cast iron skillet if you have one. If not, make sure you grease the baking pan well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine cooked perfectly at about 38 minutes.
Let your cookie bars cool before cutting into them – this is the tough part!
Then sample the fabulous peppermint dark chocolate combo. These cookie bars are perfectly moist and the peppermint flavor isn’t overwhelming.
Now grab yourself some Hefty Slider bags so that you can package these up for your friends and neighbors. Hefty created these super adorable Treat Toppers that you print out right at home. A day when I don’t have to take my four boys out shopping with me is a good day.
Simply print them out, fold, punch a couple of holes, and staple them to your Hefty slider bags. This is a great activity for the kids to help with. I love that these slider bags are super easy for them to use – they can always get them closed and don’t need to ask for help, at least this one time during the day. Mom for the win!
Add some festive ribbon and you’ve got the perfect last minute gift for that childcare volunteer you forgot to get something for… not that I’d know anything about that. ;)
Just don’t forget to save some for yourself, because you.need.these.in.your.life. Trust me.
Hefty has all kinds of great ideas to help make your holidays simpler, including ornaments and crafts you and your kids can make together during the cold winter days where you’re all stuck inside all the live long day.. and tips and products to make holidays easier. Because who doesn’t like easier?
Happy baking, friends!