I don’t know about you, but there’s something about candy canes that just put a smile on my face. Whether it’s because of the nostalgia, the sweet peppermint taste, or the fact that my kids are obsessed (or a bit of all three), I just can’t help but be happy whenever I see that red and white pattern hugging a sugar-laden treat.
Ok, so let me step back. You know I don’t eat lots of sugar, so I’d be lying if I said that I actually eat candy canes (or at least a whole one), but yes, I do let my kids have them on occasion. I do, however, love the taste and is why I decided to create this healthier spin on a traditional candy cane. In fact, this is actually like a candy cane and sugar cookie had a baby – so what could be better than that?! It also contains fiber and protein too, so really, it’s the tastiest + healthiest version of these delicious Christmas (and Valentine’s Day) treats that you’ll find – and is sure to be a staple around here year after year!
Yields: 12-16 bars
Healthy Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars
- 1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Flour (or Regular Flour if you prefer)
- ¼ cup Coconut Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ cup Erythritol, Xylitol or sugar of choice
- ¼ cup Coconut Sugar
- ¼ cup Vanilla Protein Powder
- ¼ Flaxseed Meal
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp. Pure Peppermint Extract
- 1/3 cup Milk of choice (I use
- ½ cup Coconut Oil (or plant-based Butter), melted
- 2 Eggs (or Flax Eggs if vegan)
- 1 batch Yogurt Frosting (recipe below)
- 1 Large Candy Cane (broken into tiny bits), optional
Peppermint Yogurt Frosting
- ¼ cup Non-Dairy Yogurt
- ½ cup Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar (I simply blend Erythritol in a spice blender until superfine)
- ¼ Coconut Flour
- ¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
*Pure peppermint and vanilla extracts are available at regular grocery stores; they should say “pure” on the label.
Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 F, grease an 8-inch pan, and set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl (from the GF Flour to the Flaxseed Meal).
- In a separate bowl, whisk the Vanilla, Peppermint, Milk and Oil. You can use a hand-mixer, wisk, or fork here.
- Beat in the Eggs.
- Mix the dry ingredients into wet, then smooth into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- The bars will look underdone when you take them out, which is what you want. Just let them cool for at least 10 minutes before touching.
- Frost with the Peppermint Frosting recipe, below.
- Sprinkle the broken Candy Cane pieces on top.
Peppermint Yogurt Frosting Directions:
- Stir the Powdered Sugar and Coconut Flour in a bowl, removing all lumps.
- Add the Yogurt and Extract, and stir. It will seem very dry at first, but just keep stirring and it will eventually turn into frosting.
- If it looks too thin, add more Powdered Sugar. Too thick? Add more Yogurt. Coconut Sugar or Date Sugar can also be ground if you prefer these over Erythritol (since it often has a cooling sensation that not everybody loves).