Peppermint Bark is easy to make if you know just a few tricks. It’s perfect for holiday gift-giving!
I still remember the first time I tried Peppermint Bark. It was one of those head-slapping moments when you think “How did this never occur to me?!”
It was so simple yet was such a wonderful treat. The crunchy peppermint candy adds a nice texture that makes this chocolate holiday dessert worth making year in and year out.
The first few times I tried making my own went off without a hitch. Then one year, it flopped. The layers didn’t stick together and I ended up with a thin layer of white peppermint chocolate bark that, for me, was much too sweet (I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate).
I was able to save it by melting it all and swirling it together, thankfully! But I’ve learned a few tips and tricks since then, so read on!
Why does peppermint bark separate?
I discovered that the reason my bark separated is because I’d found some chocolate for a great price and thought I’d try it. Turns out that the white chocolate had palm oil in it which doesn’t bond well with the dark chocolate.
Since then, I’ve always made sure to buy the best chocolate I can find, and I always check the labels. Chocolate wafters from reputable brands will also work and are easier to melt.
Scroll down for a comparison chart of recommended chocolate products to use.
Another reason your peppermint bark might separate is if the first layer is completely hardened by the time you add the next layer. So be sure that the dark chocolate is slightly set but still slightly warm and tacky when you pour on the next layer.
How to make peppermint bark?
It is SO easy to make!! That’s one of the biggest reasons I make it every year. I can churn out all the homemade gifts I need for teachers and friends in less time than it would take me to make one batch of cookies!
To make the bark, you’ll simply melt the dark chocolate, then spread it into a rectangle over parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate and spread it over the dark. Immediately sprinkle on your candy canes or peppermint candies and, voilá!
Your homemade gifts just need to harden completely, then you can break it up and pop it into pretty bags or tins.
Or just eat it yourself. Believe me, I’ve done that, too! :)
How to store peppermint bark?
I usually store mine at room temperature, mostly because ours never lasts longer than a day or two. You can also store it in the fridge for up to three weeks though! I’ll do that if I make it in advance and can’t deliver my goodies right away.
What are some variations of Peppermint Bark?
Now we’re getting to the fun part! Here are some ways you can switch things up. I’ll sometimes make a few variations at once, then mix them up so everyone gets a few different kinds in their homemade gift.
- Make three layers! Start with white, then do your dark chocolate and another white on the top. It’s not much extra work and it looks extra special.
- Add sprinkles! There are so many cute Christmas sprinkles out there that you can make your bark look very different. I’ve used these many times and, this year, I’m trying these for something really unique (and for the Frozen fans out there)! (Those are affiliate links, fyi)
- Switch up your chocolate. Try milk or semi-sweet instead of the dark. Then mix and match, unless you know what someone’s favorite is.
- You can add other Christmas candies, too. M&M’s are a popular choice, and you could even try flat chocolate Christmas trees! Just be sure to break the bark around them so each piece has a whole tree.
Recommended Chocolate Products for Making Peppermint Bark
- 12 oz high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 16 oz high-quality white chocolate
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
- Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a large cookie sheet.
- Place the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue in 30-second increments just until most of the chocolate is melted (stir each time), then continue stirring until it's melted and smooth.
- Pour the chocolate onto the cookie sheet, then spread it into approximately an 11x14 rectangle using a spatula or the back of a large spoon. Set it in the refrigerator while you melt the white chocolate.
- Follow the same process with the white chocolate as you did for the dark. Once it's melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
- Remove the dark chocolate from the refrigerator. Pour the white chocolate over the dark, spreading it out to cover the dark chocolate completely. Immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.
- Allow the peppermint bark to harden/cool completely at room temperature for a couple of hours, or place it in the refrigerator to speed things up.
- Remove the bark from the parchment paper and break it into pieces. (I like to use the paper as a barrier between the bark and my hands so none of the chocolate melts, but bare hands will work just fine, too.)
Don't let the dark chocolate layer harden completely in the fridge or the layers may not stick together completely.
Make sure to use high-quality white chocolate that doesn't contain palm oil or another similar ingredient. This can also affect whether it sticks together!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 417 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 47mg Carbohydrates: 54g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 45g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
More Christmas dessert recipes:
- Mini Cheesecakes with Chocolate-Stuffed Raspberries
- Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
- Coconut Rum Balls
- Chocolate Truffles
- Easy Chocolate Fudge
- Easy Christmas Cookies with Holiday Pretzels
Last update on 2020-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API