Yep. I said it ~ The Best Peppermint Bark recipe ever is right here. Your search is over. Trust me on this one. I really did my homework!
This is a layered bark recipe that sandwiches richly delicious semi-sweet chocolate between luscious layers of peppermint and white chocolate. It’s very likely the same stuff that fuels Santa’s elves through Christmas Eve…but that’s just a rumor.
Also, I have Joel’s super HUGE family’s Christmas gathering coming up this weekend and I needed to bring something new to the party. Something gluten free, wheat free & nut free for the various allergies that several family members have (just select ingredients by manufacturers that state “gluten free” or “nut free” and you’re good to go!). This is perfect!
There is absolutely nothing difficult about melting chocolate and crushing candy canes.
Except trying to stop yourself from licking bowls clean from one step to the next.
You’ll need really good white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, some vegetable oil (unless you are totally awesome at tempering chocolate by hand – which I am not), peppermint extract (which I had on hand, but peppermint oil could really take this to the next level) and peppermints.
I went with mini candy canes because they are much easier to crush than the larger ones, and heck, they were on sale at Costco. Open about 25 of these little cuties and
throw them in a bag.
Oops! Disregard the bag, folks. I’ll share my trial and error here with you – after reading many a recipe that stated to use a rolling pin, a mallet (and even a hammer!) to crush these in a large ziploc bag, I tried that and failed.
The candy punctured the ziploc and after 5 minutes of whacking there were still larger pieces that I couldn’t get to break down and a pepperminty-snowy mess all over the counter top.
Go ahead and rig up this make shift double boiler with a heat proof bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1/2 to 1 inch of simmering water to melt down your chocolate without scorching it.
Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the melting chocolate. That will give the chocolate the tempered shinny look and feel and will help it snap when you break and bite into it.
Quickly pour out and spread the melted 1st layer of white chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (enough to slightly hang over the pan for easy removal). Use your spatula to get it all the way to the edges.
Collect your beautifully crushed candy canes into the bowl of a sifter and sift the finer candy cane “powder” onto the first layer of chocolate.
Peppermint snow! You could use this to top your whipped cream topped hot chocolate, or add to any peppermint flavored Christmas cookie, if you wanted!
Pop this 1st layer into the fridge or freezer for about 20 minutes to set.
Same as before with the make-shift double boiler, but we’re adding a sneaky little boost of peppermint to this layer. Pure peppermint extract, or oil, if you can find it. My store only carried the extract and I didn’t have time to dig around for a store that carried the oil. Although, I will say, the oil would have been my preference.
Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil to this layer of melting chocolate as well.
Some of the peppermint snow might be lifting into the semi-sweet layer if it didn’t totally stick to the white chocolate layer, but that’s ok!
Why ribbons? Because it spreads the chocolate wealth across the pan and you won’t have to take a glob from the center and try to quickly spread it across an entire cookie sheet.
Why the completely chilled and set white layer? Because you’ll end up with a swirl of chocolates if you’re not patient enough.
So, following my logic here, the next step is to let the semi-sweet layer set completely. I’m thinking another 2o minutes in the freezer outta do it.
Last layer ~ which I failed to photograph (oops!): back to the double boiler with the remaining white chocolate and another teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Spread the melted white chocolate over the chilled and set semi-sweet chocolate layer (again, in ribbons, then spread) and quickly add the larger candy cane pieces to the top. I use the back of a larger spatula to gently tap the candy cane pieces into the white chocolate to help them really dig in and stick.
Another 20 minutes in the freezer and it should be set! Carefully pull it away from the foil and break it into bite-sized pieces of bark.
How gorgeous is that?
Wrap some up in cellophane, fill a mason jar or a snack sized ziploc baggie and you’ve a sweetly delicious homemade Christmas gift to share.
Bring some to the office party, leave some out for Santa, but don’t, I repeat, DON’T leave yourself alone in a room with these. You just might eat them all!
With warm peppuh–mint kisses to you all ~ Merry Christmas! ~ Let the Christmas baking begin!
(Please rate this recipe when you leave a comment! Accepting constructive criticism as well as ranting rave reviews!! Thanks!)
- 24 oz + 12 oz high quality white chocolate (make sure it has cocoa butter in it)
- 1lb high quality semi-sweet, milk or dark chocolate (your preference)
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (or ¼ - ½ teaspoon peppermint oil)
- 25 mini candy canes, or 30 small peppermint candy discs
- Crush the peppermint candy and set aside - you should have a finer powder as well as smaller pieces
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil so it hangs over the edges slightly (this will help you easily remove the bark from the cookie sheet later)
- Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water. Melt 24 oz white chocolate with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. When it's smooth and completely melted, pour into the foil lined cookie sheet and spread to the edges of the pan.
- Use a sifter to top this layer with the candy cane powder - the sifter will keep the pieces out, but allow the powder to fall.
- Place the sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.
- Once set, remove from the freezer and begin to melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water.
- Add peppermint oil or extract and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and stir until smooth and completely melted. Pour this in ribbons over the set layer of white chocolate and peppermint powder. Use a spatula to spread it evenly to the edges.
- Place the sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.
- Once set, remove from the freezer and melt the last 12 oz of white chocolate with a teaspoon of vegetable oil in the same heatproof bowl you used for the first batch of white chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate in ribbons across the semi-sweet layer and use a spatula to spread it to the edges.
- Top with crushed candy cane pieces and use the back of a clean spatula to gently press the candy pieces into the chocolate.
- Freeze for another 20 minutes or until set. Remove from freezer and gently peel back the foil.
- Break into pieces and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Makes 3 lbs of bark and keeps about 2-3 weeks.