Peppermint Divinity Bars
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
More From Southern Living
Total: 2 Hours, 10 Minutes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/4 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- Parchment paper
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup crushed hard peppermint candies, divided
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together first 3 ingredients.
- 2. Split vanilla bean; scrape seeds into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Add butter and 1 cup sugar; beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Add flour mixture; beat until blended.
- 3. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease parchment paper. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- 4. Meanwhile, stir together corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and remaining 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 250° (7 to 8 minutes).
- 5. While syrup cooks, beat egg whites at medium speed, using whisk attachment, until foamy.
- 6. When syrup reaches 250°, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. While mixer is running, gradually add hot syrup to egg whites. Increase speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. (Mixture should still be warm.) Add vanilla and peppermint extracts, and beat at medium speed just until combined. Fold in 1/2 cup peppermint candies.
- 7. Working quickly, spread mixture on warm cookie base, using a butter knife or offset spatula. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup crushed peppermints, and cool.
- 8. Lift mixture from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles; cut into 32 bars.
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