PEPPERMINT SHORTBREAD FINGERS
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure foil is tucked into corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging top of pan on all sides.
2. Combine flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press into an even layer on bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden, about 18 minutes.
3. Remove pan to a wire rack. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let stand 2 minutes. Use a small metal spatula to spread into an even layer over crust. Sprinkle with chopped peppermint candies. Let stand 30 minutes.
4. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of pan, lift out bar and place on a cutting board. Cut into 24 fingers. Let stand until chocolate is completely set, about 2 hours.
Fingers will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
Makes 24 fingers.