Tag Archives: donation

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

I wouldn’t call myself a coffee drinker but this cold weather has me running to Starbucks pretty regularly these days.  On a recent trip to the world’s most famous coffee chain I discovered their Peppermint Mocha and I have to say, it is one dangerous drink!  There is just something about the marriage of chocolate and mint that is magical.  And thanks to Starbucks, I can’t get the flavor combination out of my head.

But instead of indulging myself in a 300 calorie drink every afternoon, I decided to recreate my new favorite beverage into a cookie.  Cause when it comes to calories, cookies don’t count…right?

No, but seriously…I have had cookies on my mind lately, because I participated in the Great Food Blogger’s Cookie Swap this year (thanks to a suggestion by my sister-in-law).  So my task was to send out a dozen cookies to three food bloggers, secret-santa style.  In return, three different food bloggers sent me a dozen of their cookies.  The result?  Pure deliciousness…and a whole lot of cookies :)


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 Ghirardelli Milk Peppermint Bark Bars, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Using a fine mesh strainer, sift cocoa right over the bowl with the flour mixture.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Slowly add flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in 2 cups of the peppermint bark.

Using a medium cookie scoop, drop onto prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle each cookie with remaining peppermint bark.

Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Cookies will be soft in the middle.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe slightly adapted from Barbara Bakes

The original recipe calls for a combination of white chocolate chips and Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.  Unfortunately, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find the Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips anywhere!  So I had to improvise a little.  But I LOVE how the cookies turned out.  The addition of the milk chocolate in the peppermint bark delivers even more chocolately goodness to these already ooey-gooey cookies.  And let’s be honest, there is no such thing as too much chocolate :)

This cookie is the perfect holiday treat.  For starters, the peppermint bark makes this an obvious festive choice for homemade gifts for friends, co-workers and neighbors.  But another bonus is that the recipe yields 3 dozen!  Which means, there is more than enough cookies to go around whether you are sharing them at home, at a party or a food blogger cookie swap.  Or, if you really want to score this Christmas, whip up a batch for Santa and his reindeer.  These cookies are guaranteed to seal the deal on your holiday wish list.

Digging that awesomly orange spatula?  It’s the “Good Cookie” Spatula from OXO and it was a free gift for my donation to Cookies for Cancer through the Cookie Swap.  Pick up one for yourself, your friends and family members and help raise funds for pediatric cancer research.  

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Snow Day at the Zoo

There is nothing like a little snow to put you in the holiday spirit.  But this snow day wasn’t your typical blizzard.  Our snow day consisted of Snow Leopards, and Lemurs, and palm trees!  Oh, my!

This morning we got up bright and early to attend the Snow Leopard Festival at our local zoo.  The event was put on to raise money for and bring awareness to the critically endangered Snow Leopards.  Forty tons of snow was trucked in and placed in various animal cages throughout the zoo.  There was also patches of snow that were formed for kids and families to play in and explore.  They even had two sledding hills that were constructed by zoo staff.

Proceeds from the event went to benefit the Snow Leopard Trust.  This organization has worked for over 20 years to help protect Snow Leopards and their habitat.  Due to lack of food and poaching efforts, there is said to be only 3,500 to 6,500 Snow Leopards existing in the wild.

Our zoo has two Snow Leopards in captivity.  It was amazing to see them up close.  They are some of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen.

This year, in honor of the holiday season, each dollar donated to the Snow Leopard Trust, up to $60,000, will be matched.  So, if you are having trouble deciding on gift ideas for your friends and loved ones, why don’t you consider a contribution to the Snow Leopard Trust.  Your support will help protect this endangered species and improve the lives of impoverished families who share their habitat.

Donating is fast and easy.  Simply click this link and make a donation online.   Or you can mail your donation to Snow Leopard Trust, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Suite 325, Seattle, WA, 98103, USA.

Another way to benefit the Snow Leopard Trust is to purchase one of their items from their gift shop.  With everything from Handbags and Accessories, to Toys and Ornaments, you are sure to find the perfect gift for the one you love.  Plus, your gift has an incredible story behind it, which makes it special and unique.  And the best part…shipping is free for domestic orders over $50.

Finally, for everyone who has always wanted a Snow Leopard to call their own (I mean, who hasn’t?), the Snow Leopard Trust offers Snow Leopard Adoptions.  Ok, so maybe you can’t take one home with you (not sure your neighbors would be pleased anyways…), but you can follow one of the wild Snow Leopards in their natural habitat.  Your adoption package includes a personalized certificate, snow leopard toy, pictures, fact sheets and more.  And with up to 20% for the holiday season, it’s a bargain!

I have always been an animal lover.  To know that these amazing creatures are at risk of extinction makes me sad.  Today, after seeing the Snow Leopards in person and hearing their story, I was moved to action.  I hope you will consider doing your part to make a difference as well.

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