It’s beginning to look a lot like peppermint. Nothing says Christmas like candy canes, The Grinch, and these paleo peppermint cheesecake brownie bottom bars. A gluten free, dairy free dessert that will wow everyone this holiday season.
Nothing has made me more proud as a parent, than witnessing my son become 110% obsessed with the best Christmas movie of all time, The Grinch. I’m all about limiting screen time, but when he started asking for The Grinch, over (and over, and over), I couldn’t say no. You see, The Grinch is my favorite, the ying to my Christmas yang, a movie I could watch every day for hours on end, because it brings such nostalgia.
So I’ll deal with the meltdowns when I say no to Thomas the Train, I’ll negotiate Daniel Tiger, and I’ll flat out delete episodes of Bob the Builder until the cows come home, but when it’s Santa season, The Grinch is on all.the.time. Bring it.
Peppermint is another OCD element of Christmas I can’t live without. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, gimme all the Christmas flavors. Gingerbread? Yep (check out these soft & chewy paleo gingerbread cookies and this grain free gingerbread porridge). Peppermint? Double yep with these paleo peppermint cheesecake brownie bottom bars. Oh and these peppermint almond joy quinoa balls too.
Hey, the holidays are for desserts, and even us paleo-enthusiasts can throw it down with rich and decadent treats! The ‘cheesecake’ topping is so dangerously lick-able, it’s actually shocking it even made it on top of these grainless brownies. One little taste and you’ll have to hold yourself back from eating it straight from the blender.
Nooooow let’s just be totally honest (because Santa is watching and I want to stay on the nice list). The crushed candy canes, are NOT paleo. GASP! I know. Call the police. But it’s just so dang pretty, and the little bits of crushed peppermint adds the perfect little crunch. However, if you’re 110% committed to keeping this paleo, there’s a solution – instead of using crushed candy canes, you can add a teeny tiny drop of peppermint essential oil to the cheesecake batter. But add with caution, as peppermint oil can yield an overwhelming taste of peppermint and may overtake the ‘cheesecake’ flavor.
These paleo peppermint cheesecake brownie bottom bars will impress and delight for your next holiday party or family get-together. They’re pretty, they’re decadent, and they taste shockingly like the ‘real deal’ cheesecake.
Tis might just go down as one of my favorite holiday desserts, along with my absolute favorite holiday cookie recipe (from my granny) – these paleo maple walnut cookies.
Paleo Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Bottom Bars
- Yield: 16 bars
- 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons crushed candy canes or peppermints
- Soak the raw cashews in water overnight
- Drain the cashews and pour into a blender. Add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Blend until creamy then fold in 2 tablespoons of the crushed peppermint candies. Set aside
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine dry ingredients for the brownies
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil, then add the dry ingredients and beat until well-combined
- Pour the brownie batter into a greased 8×8 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is set
- Place pan on a cooling rack. Add the blended cashew mixture to the brownies once fully cooled and spread evenly
- Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours
- Add the additional tablespoon (or more) of crushed candy canes or peppermint to top the bars