Peppermint Bark

 Chocolate Peppermint Bark is an easy delicious sweet treat you can make any time of the year.

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Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Bark in bags
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{this recipe was originally shared in February 2009 and has been updated in 2016}

Peppermint Bark

Don’t you just love super easy recipes? This chocolate peppermint bark is so simple, you can hardly call it a recipe.

I’ve made this peppermint bark treat at Christmas time, but it also makes a wonderful treat for Valentines Day as well!! It’s SO simple to make it’s always a huge hit with family and friends. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

How to Make Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark it the perfect last-minute treat because it’s so quick and simple!

You just chop and melt semi-sweet chocolate, spread it in a pan and set aside. Then chop and melt white chocolate and carefully spread over the semi-sweet chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and you’re done!

The secret here is to use good quality chocolates like Lindt, Ghirardelli, Guittard or Bakers. The better the chocolate the richer the flavors will be, so if you can let yourself splurge a little when it comes to this recipe. You won’t regret it!

*some people have had a problem with the layers separating, to avoid this you could slightly swirl the white layer into the chocolate layer using a butter knife, then top with crushed candy canes.  

Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Bark with mug

How to Melt Chocolate

How do you melt chocolate?  You have a couple options for this, microwave or stovetop.  Also, make sure the chocolate is chopped into uniform pieces to ensure even melting. Never try to melt large bars or blocks of chocolate that have not been chopped.

Melting Chocolate in Microwave: Place the pieces in a large heatproof bowl and microwave on low in increments of 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir between each increment. When melting a lot of chocolate you’ll want to be sure to stir well at each stop so the ones on the bottom get melted, not burnt. Chocolate will seize up (get clumpy and turn into a hard paste) if you overheat it.

Melting Chocolate on Stovetop: You will need a double boiler when melting chocolate on the stovetop. Place a glass bowl at least an inch above a  pot of simmering water so that the steam melts the chocolate. Stir frequently and make sure none of the water below or the condensation from the steam reaches the chocolate. 

Homemade Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Bark in tin

All Of Your Peppermint Bark Questions Answered

What is Peppermint Bark? It’s a delicious holiday treat made of two types of chocolate with peppermint candy pieces, such as candy canes.  It is especially popular around during the Christmas season. 

Williams-Sonoma is famous for theirs. And for good reason, it’s delicious, but peppermint bark is so easy to make that once you do, you’ll never want to pay for it again.

When do you add the peppermint flavoring? Food-grade Peppermint oil can be added directly to melted chocolate. Peppermint extract, on the other hand, will take an extra step, because melted chocolate doesn’t mix readily with tiny amounts of liquids. So, don’t add peppermint extract or any other liquid to the melted chocolate, as this may cause the chocolate to suddenly harden. (A few drops of peppermint oil, on the other hand, can be added.) 

If you want to use peppermint extract, you will want to melt a little shortening in the microwave (this should only take a few seconds for a teaspoon). Add peppermint extract to melted shortening and stir well, then stir into melted chocolate.

How long will peppermint bark keep? The bark should keep in an airtight container in a cool or room temperature dark place for several months.  Keep it out of temperature changes and direct sunlight.

Can you freeze peppermint bark? Yes! Start by wrapping it in waxed paper, then a tight layer of plastic wrap and then into an airtight container.

You want to keep out as much moisture as possible. It should keep several months in the freezer this way. When ready to defrost, leave it in the wrapping until it is room temperature to help cut down on the condensation.  

peppermint bark in tin with candy canes

Secrets for Perfect Peppermint Bark

Don’t forget the peppermint flavoring: YES!! The peppermint flavoring is a key ingredient, just as is the chocolate. You can use either peppermint oil or peppermint extract. 

Just note, peppermint oil (food-grade) is concentrated, and you will need much less than peppermint extract. In the case of this recipe, you would probably only need 1/8 teaspoon or less of peppermint oil, whereas you will need 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

Grab your rubber spatula: Do not use a wooden spoon to stir chocolate; it retains odor and moisture which will ruin the chocolate. For best results, use a rubber spatula.

Let the bark set: Allow peppermint bark to harden completely at room temperature before cutting/breaking into pieces.  Depending on the temperature in your house, this will take a few hours.

If you’re in a hurry you can chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes or until set. Just don’t leave it in the refrigerator too long uncovered or it will become too cold and will sweat or even crack when brought into room temperature.

Peppermint bark is ridiculously easy to make. Use cookie cutters for Christmas Tree Peppermint Bark and you have an indulgent luxurious looking treat that’s great for gifting! Get directions and recipe at TidyMom.net

Give the Gift of Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark makes a cute gift when packaged. I put mine in cellophane bags, with a ribbon tied around it. You could also put them in a cute tin, box or even an antique cup & saucer.

If you really want to make an extra cute gift this season, use tree shaped cookie cutters for Christmas Tree Peppermint Bark. Then in no time you’ll have an indulgent luxurious looking treat that’s great for gifting!

click over to see my video on how to make Christmas Tree Peppermint Bark 

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Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Bark photo collage

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Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Yield: about 1.5 pounds
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Holiday Chocolate Peppermint Bark is easy, delicious and makes a great holiday gift. Easy recipe for Christmas, Valentines Day, or any day of the year.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 box of peppermint candy canes (11-12oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract* (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon shortening (divided)

Instructions

  1. Break up peppermint candy canes in a plastic bag, setting aside 1/4 of the pieces.
  2. Line a sheet pan with wax paper and set aside.
  3. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in microwave or on stovetop using a double boiler until all pieces are smooth.
  4. Once chocolate is melted, place 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for a few seconds until melted. Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir well. Then add peppermint shortening to melted chocolate and stir well. 
  5. Pour onto the prepared sheet pan and spread evenly. Set aside (do not refrigerate) while you follow the same steps for melting the white chocolate, and prepare peppermint shortening with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of shortening and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
  6. Add peppermint shortening into melted white chocolate, stir then and 3/4 of the crushed peppermint pieces.
  7. Spread the white chocolate gently over the dark chocolate layer using a spatula and spread to the edge of the pan.
  8. Immediately sprinkle the top with the remaining peppermint pieces.
  9. Allow peppermint bark to harden completely at room temperature before cutting/breaking into pieces. This will take several hours at room temperature. If you're in a hurry, you can place the pan of bark in the refrigerator for no longer than 20 minutes to harden. Once set, break bark apart into bite size pieces and serve or package into gifts.

Notes

  • *you can use about 1/8 teaspoon (divided) peppermint oil, instead of extract. (oil is concentrated so you will need much less). Just place a drop of peppermint oil into each chocolate as soon as chocolate is melted. If you use oil, you can skip the step with the shortening, because oil can be added directly to melted chocolate.
  • Bark will keep in airtight container room temperature or in refrigerator for a few months.Keep out of direct sun or temperature changes.

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