Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Peppermint bark is such a traditional and quintessential Christmas treat. It’s also ridiculously easy to prepare in just a few minutes!
Ready for the grand instructions? Ok, here you go:
Melt chocolate. Pour onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill until firm.
That’s it! Told you it was easy.
If you want to get fancy and temper your chocolate, check out this tutorial from David Lebovitz. Tempering will make your chocolate look glossy and have a nice snap! when you break it apart or bite into it.
Peppermint bark is fantastic with either white or dark chocolate. Choose your favorite, or make batches of both!
Either way you go, use a chocolate that you enjoy eating. It’s the main ingredient, after all!
Want to get really crazy? Try layering the white chocolate and dark chocolate!
If you decide to layer, double check that your white chocolate is made with cocoa butter. If it’s made with palm oil or another kind of fat, it has a tendency to separate from the dark chocolate layer once the chocolate has set.
It also helps if you add the top layer while the bottom layer isn’t totally cold and set when you pour on the top layer.
Simple melted chocolate topped with crushed candy canes is wonderful, of course, but I also like to add a splash of peppermint extract to the melted chocolate before pouring it out. The extra kick of peppermint flavor really makes this treat feel special for the holidays.
Once hardened, just lift the bark off the baking sheet and crack it into pieces with your hands.
If you’d like a more uniform look, do this: Wait for the chocolate to just barely start to harden (it will hold your fingerprint if you press down, but won’t make your finger wet). Use a paring knife or a chef’s knife to gently score the top of the bark into uniform squares or rectangles. Let the chocolate finish cooling completely, then break it apart along the score lines.
Peppermint bark will keep for weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. This makes it a great gift idea around the holidays — make a big batch at the beginning of December and grab what you need for easy gifts for teachers, neighbors, and friends.
On the odd chance that you actually get tired of eating peppermint bark straight from the cookie tin, try chopping it up into pieces and make these Peppermint Bark Cookies or sprinkle them over a batch of brownies!
1 Prepare a tray for the bark: Line a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat or with wax paper and set aside.
2 Break up peppermint candy into little pieces. Break up the candy canes with your hands first, then transfer them to a zip-top bag. Put that zip-top bag in a second zip top bag (the first one tends to tear when you start crushing the candies).
Place the bag on a cutting board and pound the candy canes with a kitchen mallet, meat tenderizer, or a hammer. You want chunky pieces for sprinkling over the chocolate, about the size of peas or slightly larger; don't crush them into too fine a powder.
Transfer the crushed candy canes to a bowl.
3 Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir occasionally with a heat-proof spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.
Alternatively, melt the chocolate in 30 second bursts in the microwave. Stop microwaving when you see just a few small lumps of chocolate remaining. Stir until those lumps have melted completely.
4 Stir the peppermint extract into the chocolate.
5 Spread out the chocolate: Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread it out as thin or as thick as you like using a spatula (an offset spatula works especially well for this.)
6 Sprinkle with candy canes: Sprinkle the peppermint candy chunks on to the chocolate and gently press them in with yours hands.
7 Freeze until hardened: Place in the freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.
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I have been making this Easy Peppermint Bark recipe for many decades. And every year at Christmas, I inevitably will get the request to make it for a certain family member or two.
And I can totally understand why! White chocolate melted with crushed peppermint candies and peppermint extract that is made into individual candy pieces.
It makes for a refreshing blend of flavors with the mint and chocolate combination.
And just like our Peanut Butter Fudge recipe, there are only a few ingredients required. So when I get the request to make it, I jump at the chance!
However, this recipe is a little different than other peppermint bark recipes. Instead of having a layer of brown melted chocolate at the bottom of the candy, we use only white chocolate for this recipe.
Most peppermint bark recipes has both a milk chocolate and white chocolate layers. We eliminate the bottom layer to make this truly an easy to make recipe!
The purpose is two-fold. First, it is sometimes difficult to get the two different types of chocolate to adhere to each other.
Therefore, you risk the chance of the layers coming apart during the cutting process or while eating them.
Second, there are so many chocolate cookies and candies made around the holidays. And although that is not necessarily a bad thing, I find it refreshing and visually appealing to add the contrasting, white chocolate to a cookie tray assortment.
This recipe calls for only white chocolate baking chips, peppermint hard candy and peppermint extract.
In addition, there is enough to do around Christmas time, so eliminating one step in a recipe can be a good thing.
There are a few things that make the Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark absolutely addicting: 1) High-quality Guittard chocolate. Guittard actually makes a special blend of dark chocolate just for the Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark and it is truly sublime. 2) Just the right amount of peppermint. So many peppermint barks are completely overkill when it comes to the peppermint oil combined with the chocolate, but we found that the Williams Sonoma bark has the perfect slight hint of mint. 3) Larger pieces of peppermint scattered randomly on the top layer of the bark, rather than coating the entire surface of the peppermint bark. It adds great texture and flavor, but again doesn’t completely take away from our favorite part of the bark– the chocolate.
We trialed this recipe several times to perfect it, but finally nailed an identical bark that will cost significantly less and taste just as delicious. Most importantly you’ll need high-quality couverture chocolate (made with cocoa butter) for both the white and dark chocolate for this recipe. Make sure to avoid compound chocolate (typically made with vegetable oil), which won’t yield near as delicious of a result and requires completely different instructions for melting. You will need to temper your chocolate for this recipe, but thanks to our friends at Orson Gygi, they’ve made it incredibly easy for you to successfully temper chocolate, even if you’re a newbie.
Great recipe! I followed some reviewer suggestions and used 4 TBS of cream - chocolate filling is perfect, soft and chewy but firm enough to cut. Tip: use a sous vide to melt the chocolate ! It saves so much time, cleanup and holds the white chocolate at the right temp while preparing the ganache filling.
I’ve been making this for quite sometime now and is always a huge hit. If you follow this recipe verbatim you will be fine. It’s when you venture away from the recipe you will have problems.
End result as I make it is very good I make it every year. However, I'm not totally sold on the directions as written - especially for people who don't work with chocolate or candy much. For one, it seems odd to me that they specify 110 degrees when melting the chocolate. Since they're refrigerating it to set and store, they don't instruct you to temper it, but why specifically tell you to take it OUT of temper? There's no reason to take the temp, just go until it just melts and you're fine. (In response to a previous comment, if it clumps, it could be because moisture got in, or it could be that you burned it. As soon as it's smooth you're good, don't keep heating it.) For another, the instructions that have the chocolate by weight in the ingredients but then the instructions in post-melted volume is a little annoying. Makes it much harder to gauge if you're trying to scale the recipe or alter the process at all. Personally, I temper the white chocolate. Just make sure you work very quickly to pat those peppermints on or it will set up before you get them to stick! If you find the ganache layer too soft, try cutting back just a little bit on the cream to make a firmer ganache. Given the sweetness of white chocolate and candy, I think you definitely want to go with a very dark chocolate - 70% at minimum I usually use 72% but have also used 85%.
I wanted to make this recipe go further than 36 pieces (I have many families to gift!) so I didn't do three layers, I stuck with two. My error was that I had liked the idea of the dark chocolate layer on the bottom, white on top. I think because there was cream added to the dark chocolate, it never solidified as much as the white chocolate did. I'm sure this consistency would've made a great middle layer of chewiness!
Made several times. Works best when I follow the recipe exactly and fight my urge to "make it my own." This recipe is genius. If your white chocolate clumps and won't spread, it has "seized" because moisture has gotten in while melting. Perhaps the bowl or spoon was not completely dry or steam from the double boiler managed its way into the chocolate. Sometimes a touch of oil or cream will resolve this. Other times, you have to bust out the back up bag. I try to ALWAYS have a back up. ) Hope this helps someone!
This recipe is always a big hit with my family and friends during Christmas! I follow the recipe all the way to the end, except for I substitute Peppermint Puffs-which are softer- instead of the harder peppermint candy.
I made this today with my daughters ages 8 &11 for teacher's gifts. The girls loved crushing the peppermint sticks and melting the chocolate (use a ziploc) and crush. The results looked professional, and I didn't have a candy thermometer FYI. However, the bark tasted saccharine sweet--the white chocolate overpowered everything. I think this may have been because I bought Nestle brand white chocolate and not Lindt or Baker's brand. That is all that was available at the store. I read the ingredients after I finished the bark and it contained sugar and palm kernel oils NO cocoa butter like Bakers, Lindt or Ghiardelli. I was upset because the label said premium white chocolate. I was in a hurry and should have read the label at the store.So DO NOT buy Nestle's white chocolate. I would also recommend putting 1/2 the peppermint pieces on the first layer as they all fall off at the end. I would just drizzle white chocolate next time on the last layer using less and I would use 2 tsps of peppermint extract. It was not pepperminty enough. Overall, just okay tasting it didn't hold a candle to Williams Sonoma brand, but at least the girls saw how it is made and we had fun. Try it, but heed my advice about the white chocolate.
This is always a hit over the holidays. I used candy canes instead and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (the latter is an alcohol solution). I've never reduced the cream but also find it's important to spread the bittersweet chocolate mixture as quickly as possible. Only criticism is that the final three-layered slab is fairly thick, and I prefer thinner, larger pieces of bark to thick chunks. You can actually go pretty thin with the first layer (and not worry about it being too flimsy) as it's going to be bulked up with the additional layers.
Followed recipe exactly. Easy and delicious, but the dark chocolate gets soft quickly at room temp. Is that because of the cream? Comments or opinions?
Based on other reviews, I omitted the cream - haven't seen a problem with the chocolate becoming mushy at room temperature. I changed the proportions of the recipe somewhat based on what I had: 1 11 ounce bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips made my bottom layer and 1 12 ounce bag of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips (with only 3/4 tsp of fresh peppermint extract) made the top layer. I did NOT follow with a second layer of white. In retrospect, I think the crushed candy canes look prettier on a white background - so my next batch will use the 3 layers. Not inexpensive to make, but personal and very tasty!
Loved it! The peppermint was perfect for the holiday season. It was a little messy to eat, but other than that it was perfect!
I really love making this as holiday gifts for friends and family members and it is in my opinion very easy to make. I usually used crushed candy canes instead of the red and white striped peppermint candies though.
Brilliant Christmas gift. Recipe is a bit time consuming, but worth the wait. Definately let the layers cool between application,otherwise you will end up with a white / brown swirl.
Superb - a little soft at room temp, but yummy. Made almost exactly as is, except used a tad more white chocolate and a quite a bit less chopped peppermint on the top layer.
Very easy to make and perfect piled into Christmas tins for last minute gifts for people you didn't know you wanted to give a gift to. Had a little trouble with white chocolate seizing, but smoothed it out again with addition of a little cream.
First time using this recipe and it turned out perfectly. I melted the chocolate in a double boiler on low heat to avoid any possible lumps.Make sure you stir every couple of minutes during melting process and it will be smooth and shiny. I work at Williams-Sonoma, so used a jar of their crushed peppermint candy, which makes everything so much easier. We sell peppermint bark, but I wanted to experience making it. glad I did because it is so fresh. Used half pint clamp jars tied with red ribbon. so pretty! I know my friends and family will be impressed. Thanks.
We thought it was fabulous: I made it as called for, but I did use good quality chocolate chips because I find they melt more evenly - and you have to truly keep the heat low or it will clump.
Followed recipe and had excellent results. Used ghiradelli white and callebaut bittersweet. Use small peppermint candies- unwrapping all those candy canes was really tedious. Would not use the cusinart to crush the candy again. It produces a lot of powder and I prefer the look of the sharper edge crushing gives the peppermint. I cut the finished bark into small trapezoidal shapes with the sides angled in the same direction. Very tasty and not too sweet. Will give as gifts.
If you are having trouble with the white chocolate, check out this link on tips for the seed method of chocolate tempering. - http://candy.about.com/od/candybasics/ht/temperchoc.htm
An excellent recipe for Christmas gifts. I roughly doubled the recipe and used a 12 x 17 baking pan and it came out beautifully. Although I must admit I cheated with the tempering the white chocolate with a Christmas gift from last year - a chocolate tempering machine.
I just re-made this tonight after thoroughly reviewing other's posts. My white chocolate melted wonderfully - unlike last time. All I did was not use the premium white chocolate and heeded the manufacter's instructions. No 4 level heat - high on microwave (for the white only). I found that the dark chocolate melted nicely at the 4 level on the microwave. Chilled the chocolate layer for about 30 minutes, then poured the white over it and sprinkled the candy canes on top and pressed in like the previous poster stated. Also, putting the candy canes in a mini-processor was much easier. Just zap a few times and keep your eye on consistency. Less is more - IMHO - I mean less chopping! You do want some candy cane chunks afterall. MUCH easier than bashing w/a rolling pin. My batch w/the mint chocolate morsels from Trader Joes had a better flavor - I must say. If you can find them, seek them out in lieu of the peppermint extract.. But no one would ever know the difference! I took my 1st try "white/dark swirl" batch to a party the other night - GONE! No one knew it was supposed to be perfectly dark and white layered! Delish - no doubt!
I've made this every year to rave reviews! My only change is to use candy canes instead of the round candies. The execution is a little tricky. In some cases, I've had challenges with the white chocolate getting "pasty" (temp too high?) or not enough dark chocolate layer to cover the first. This year I used real peppermint extract and didn't adjust the quantity (really minty!). But it doesn't seem to matter to my testers!
I think I am noticing a trend in the reviews: those that did not follow the recipe exactly had less than desirable results. In my case, I did everything by the recipe and had no problems at all. Keep in mind that chocolate is a very temperamental thing. If you skip a step then your chocolate is likely to react negatively. It did take a bit longer for the bittersweet layer to set. But I never had to put anything in my freezer overnight to force it to set. I also didn't have any issues with the bark at room temperature (after the setting process was complete). This bark is a little thinner than bark I have tried in the past, but I think it is great the way it is. This one is going to become a tradition in my household!
i make this every year for friends, family and teachers, the list grows and grows. i use CALBAUT bittersweet and white chocolate. i don't use cream. i break the bark up and use the christmas containers that come out every year and wrap it with personallized ribbon from william sonoma. it's always a big hit and budget friendly!
I just made this according to one of the poster's advice. No cream - microwaved the chocolates. I found mint chocolate chips at Trader Joes. I used those w/no cream and no peppermint extract. The only problem I had was w/the white chocolate. It never got to a consistancy so it would pour. Was clumpy and there was no way it would spread. Didn't want to scald the chocolate so ended up making them more like chocolate swirls w/the peppermint candy bits on top. Refrigerated for about an hour and so before breaking up. Tastes wonderful and so far am not having a problem w/them melting at room temp. Would prefer that the white chocolate worked so i could have that pure white chocolate look but I don't think anyone would even notice that it was not intended to look that way. Would love some advice on how to melt the white chocolate correctly. :) BTW - I used Nestle's premium white chocolate.
Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 6 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate with 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil. Microwave at 75-percent power in 30 second bursts, stirring in between bursts, until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes total. Stir in the remaining 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and the 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a second microwave-safe bowl, combine 6 ounces of the white chocolate with 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil. Microwave at 75-percent power in 30 second bursts, stirring in between bursts, until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes total. Stir in the remaining 2 ounces of white chocolate and the remaining 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired, and stir a few times until the white chocolate is streaked with red.
Scrape the warm bittersweet chocolate into the prepared pan and quickly smooth into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Pour in the white chocolate and use a small knife to swirl the two chocolates until just combined. Sprinkle the peppermint candies over the bark and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Use the parchment overhang to lift the bark out of the pan. Break the bark into irregular pieces and serve.
Jennifer’s peppermint bark recipe is not only delicious, but it’s also extra pretty. She uses bright white candy melts instead of the more typical cream-colored candy. I love this pure, snowy white color so much more!
Peppermint bark is so very easy to make. I use the double-boiler method to gently melt the candy melts, and then add peppermint flavor to the melts. You can also use a microwave for melting, but I caution to go very slowly with the melting, so the candies don’t scorch.
It’s easy to find a volunteer in our house to pound some candy canes into little bits. When the kitchen mallet comes out, everyone wants the opportunity to pound and let out some aggression! (If you don’t have a mallet, a rolling pin or another hard object will do.)
Once the candy canes are broken up, I reserve a handful, and then fold the rest into the melted white candy melts. And then I spread the mixture into an even layer.
The final touch is to sprinkle the reserved candy cane bits over the top, for an extra pretty showing of that peppermint candy.
I like to set the pan in the refrigerator or freezer for awhile to chill the peppermint bark completely. Then I break the pan-sized piece of candy into individual-sized pieces.
This is always my favorite part, snapping that big slab into smaller portions. It’s kinda like making my own edible jigsaw puzzle!
This peppermint bark candy is perfectly pepperminty, and absolutely stunning in its pure white coloring that’s studded with flecks of red. It’s always a beautiful addition to our Christmas treats platters each and every year. And I do mean EVERY year. Our daughters wouldn’t have it any other way!
This sweet treat is great for gifting. Some other food gifting ideas I have for you would be:
UPDATE: From time to time I like to revisit older recipes and update the photography, make the instructions a little more clear, or even tweak the recipe a bit. This is one of those recipes. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten varying results using the previous method so I’ve opted to change things up a bit so y’all end up with a better, more consistent product. The recipe’s a bit different, but I promise, it’s better. Back to your regularly scheduled programming….
My parents always made Christmas special, always. I remember one Christmas in particular when I was old enough to start doubting the existence of the ol’ fat man in the red suit. I had it all planned out. Right before I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I put a note on the Christmas tree that challenged Santa to use his magic. I knew full well that the request would be hard to fill without magic, being that he had such late notice and that all the stores would be closed (this is back when stores actually closed for Christmas). My note asked Santa for a tube of chap stick in a black tube. I know, how crazy. But that’s what my creative little mind came up with. On Christmas morning, I raced down the hall to see if my wish had been granted. Dumping out my stocking, I didn’t find the chap stick. But when I glanced over to the tree, there in the exact place I left the note, was a tube of chap stick in a black tube. I was enthralled.
A few weeks ago, I celebrated by 29th birthday. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love on Facebook, but one message got my attention. It simply read: “Happy Birthday man! Today, I was listening to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I’m sorry that I told you Santa wasn’t real. I hope you forgive me.” I sat there and stared at that message for what seemed like an eternity. I replied back and told her that I had forgiven her, of course, but I’ve thought about that message every day since then. The thing is, I never stopped believing in Santa. Sure, maybe he’s not that jovial, rosy-cheeked fella we see in Coca-Cola ads, but Santa is just as real as love, faith, and innocence. We can’t see any of those things, but we all know they exist. Christmas is such a magical time of year. The magic may not be the same for each and every person, but we should all work hard to find a little Christmas magic. In the crazy hustle and bustle of every day life, I urge you to slow down a little and enjoy your friends and family this year. Unfortunately, this year I’ve been reminded about how quickly those opportunities can be taken from us. Stop and smell the cookies, the fresh evergreen trees and the peppermint.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt Light or Dark Cocoa Candy Melts Candy according to package instructions. Stir in 2 tablespoons Peppermint Crunch.
Spread into the bottom of a nonstick 13 in. x 9 in. pan or into a roughly 13 in. x 9 in. rectangle on a larger nonstick cookie pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 5-10 minutes.
In another medium microwave-safe bowl, melt white or bright white candy melts according to package instructions. Stir in 2 tablespoons peppermint crunch.
Spread into an even layer on top of the cocoa layer and immediately sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon peppermint crunch. Refrigerate until firm, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove bark from pan and break into pieces to serve.
Microwave chocolate chips in large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.
Spread on large foil-lined baking sheet to 1/4-inch thickness. Add food color, drop by drop, over mixture. Using a wooden skewer, swirl color through chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candies, pressing lightly into chocolate with spatula.
Refrigerate about 10 minutes or until firm. Break into irregular pieces to serve. Store in covered container at cool room temperature or in refrigerator up to 5 days.
Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes.
Keywords: peppermint bark, homemade peppermint bark
We love recipes with peppermint and especially around the holidays. They are so yummy and easy to make.
Chocolate bark is so easy to make for a holiday treat. It is perfect for gift giving and perfect for the holiday season.
You can use either peppermint candy or crushed candy canes in this simple recipe. This recipe is also easy to change to enjoy for other seasons or occasions.
We actually like to enjoy this year round and have a blast making chocolate bark for various holidays. It is a simple bark recipe and one that you will really love.
We use the microwave because it is so easy to melt the semi sweet chocolate or chocolate chips but you can use a double boiler if you prefer instead of putting the chocolate in the microwave.
If you have trouble getting the bark out, use an offset spatula. You can also use a rolling pin to help break the bark if necessary.