The Simple Things

Retro chocolate peppermint bars


This flavour reminds me of when my sister and I used to do baking when we were little and were obsessed with the chocolate-peppermint combinatio­n. They’re a mint-choc version of millionair­e’s shortbread.

Makes about 24 bars

for the shortbread base 300g plain flour 100g sugar 200g soft butter, in cubes For the peppermint filling: 100g butter, softened 400g icing sugar 2tbsp milk 2tsp peppermint essence for the chocolate topping 200g dark chocolate (or 150g milk chocolate and 50g dark) 10g butter You will need: Swiss roll tin 20x30cm or 33x23cm

1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F). First, make the shortbread base. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the cubed butter. Bring the mixture together with your hands – or use a hand-held electric beater or food processor, if you like – even if it is a little crumbly. Press evenly into the Swiss roll tin and bake for 20–25 mins until golden all over. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely.

2 While it’s cooling, make the peppermint butter filling. Cream the butter well, then add the icing sugar, milk and peppermint essence, using a hand-held electric beater or food processor.

3 When the shortbread base has cooled completely, spread the peppermint butter filling over it, using a palette knife regularly dipped in boiling water to help you. Place the tin in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

4 Meanwhile, put the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the water boils, take off the heat and set aside until the chocolate has melted, then leave to cool a little.

5 When the peppermint butter filling has cooled and set, take it out of the fridge and spread the cooled chocolate over the top. Allow to set, then cut into bars.

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