Peppermint Bark

Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes. 

Peppermint Bark Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com --it's SO simple to make at home!

I know, I know. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But with only 5 days left until the foodie holiday of the year, it’s absolutely time to share this peppermint bark recipe with you.

Back in high school, thanksgiving breaks were time for swim team potlucks. I swam all four years (I do NOT miss the early practices) and I loved being apart of the team. One night during the long thanksgiving break, we’d all get together for a potluck and bring some kind of dish. Someone from the team always, and I mean ALWAYS brought a tin of peppermint bark. I’d have a few pieces before grabbing my dinner. I’ve had a major crush on peppermint bark for years and it’s about time I make it at home.

Sooo just in case you’re looking to make something peppermint-y next weekend…

Peppermint bark is SO EASY to make at home! And tastes better, too. Makes a wonderful homemade DIY Christmas gift too!

I feel sort of silly sharing this recipe with you. It’s hardly a recipe at all.

This is one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever thrown together. Which is incredibly dangerous because not much work is between me, you, and this extremely festive peppermint bark. Just warning you now.

You’ll need a few ingredients including white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, candy canes or peppermint hard candies, and peppermint extract. Since there are so few ingredients, it’s important use quality ingredients. Chocolate chips and white chocolate baking morsels do not live up to the real thing! Each contain stabilizers, preventing them from melting completely silky smooth. That’s why chocolate chips don’t melt into a pool of chocolate in your chocolate chip cookies. Not only that, you’ll taste the difference between high quality chocolate and a $3 bag of chocolate chips. I recommend Ghirardelli, Lindt, or Baker’s brand chocolate when making bark of any variety.

Peppermint Bark Ingredients

Chop up the chocolate separately, melt them separately, and layer them on top of one another. Make sure you let the layers cool  in between layering or else you’ll wind up swirling the two chocolates together. There are three layers of chocolate; a top and bottom layer of white chocolate and a middle layer of semi-sweet. Feel free to switch them around and sandwich the white chocolate in between two semi-sweet layers.

Top with crushed candy canes. A lot of recipes for peppermint bark that I stumbled upon call for sifting the crushed candy canes to rid any of the candy cane powder. I don’t do that; I really didn’t want to dirty my sifter with candy cane bits.

After it sets, break the peppermint bark into pieces, make a complete mess, taste test, taste test again. DONE. I no longer have a hungry swim team to share this stuff with, so I passed our leftovers to my friend Molly and her fiancé the other night. She said her family gobbled it up! Not surprised.

Peppermint bark is SO EASY to make at home! And tastes better, too. Makes a wonderful homemade DIY Christmas gift too!

It’s not that tricky, I promise. I am just extremely thorough chatty in explaining how to melt chocolate properly.

Peppermint Bark Video Tutorial

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Peppermint Bark

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 mintues
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: about 1 and 1/2 pounds
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes.


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (339g) high quality white chocolate, broken into pieces and divided*
  • 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable, coconut, or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • 3 regular size candy canes, crushed

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Set aside. 
  2. You can temper the chocolate or melt the chocolate without tempering. That is up to you. I melt the chocolate for this bark recipe. If tempering the chocolate, make sure the layers are never refrigerated. Allow them to set at room temperature. There are two ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The double boiler is easier, but the microwave is a little more convenient for most people, so my directions are for a microwave. If you have a double boiler, you probably know how to use it! So, the KEY to melting chocolate in the microwave is to do it in small bursts and stir frequently. Chocolate overheats so fast, so easily. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of oil with 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour melted white chocolate into the prepared baking pan, spreading with an offset spatula into a thin smooth layer. Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers could separate. 
  3. Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil into a small heatproof bowl (or the double boiler) and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Once melted, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer. Spread into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set.
  4. Place the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small heatproof bowl and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.) Sprinkle with crushed candy canes– to crush, I usually do it in a food processor or stick the candy canes in a sealed ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until crushed.
  5. Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break into pieces as large or as small as you want. Alternatively, you can cut squares. To do so, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10-15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife and cut.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Store bark in the refrigerator. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The bark can be left at room temperature for a few days in colder months, but it gets a little soft.
  2. Chocolate: See my notes in the post about which brands I prefer and why subbing chocolate chips isn’t a good idea. High quality chocolate is best.

Keywords: peppermint bark, homemade peppermint bark

Peppermint bark is SO EASY to make at home! And tastes better, too. Makes a wonderful homemade DIY Christmas gift too!

Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes!
Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes!

126 Comments

  1. Sally, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe…..I can’t afford the Willams-Sonoma Peppermint bark bug this is promising to be as tasty. I tasted the white chocolate left in pan, Yummo. I’ve never used peppermint extract before when making this using my own concoction. I

  2. I absolutely love Peppermint Bark!!!
    I tasted it for the first time Christmas 2015!!!!! Do you have a DIABETIC version of this delightful candy?

  3. Hi Sally,
    How do you crush your peppermint candy canes.  I find that they are very difficult to get med sized pieces, not crumbs and not too big.  I tried putting into a plastic bag and using my rolling pin.  Didn’t like that.

  4. Please help!

    Do you have any idea why my bark. Melts almost instantly? The candy cane is sticky too. 🙁

    Perhaps old?

    Were my layers to thin?

    I used quality chocolate. 

    1. I’m making this for family for Christmas and got candy bags to put a couple pieces in each. Do you know about how much 1 batch it? Like are the measurements good for 1 pan of chocolate? And just wanted to say I love your recipes they are so cute and fun!♥️

  5. Peppermint bark- what is the peppermint extract and oil for?  I’m guessing the oil is for the pan.  But do we add extract to both chocolates?

      1. I live in a weird little place where its hard to find things and have looked for peppermint oil everywhere with no luck! Does it make much of a difference? Maybe i can add extra crushed candy canes on top?

    1. I don’t recommend chocolate chips for bark. You’ll notice the taste difference and they do not melt down to the paper consistency like pure chocolate does. If you try it, you’d still need the oil yes.

  6. Hi Sally!  Can I use peppermint syrup instead of the extract?  I have it on hand and was looking for a recipe to use it up with. Thank you!

  7. Hi! I made some of this last night and the flavor is good, but the texture is off – almost gritty, particularly the middle dark chocolate layer. I used high quality chocolate, so I’m not sure what happened. I did notice that the texture of the chocolate changed a bit as I was stirring in the peppermint extract – could that be the issue? Thanks, I love your site! Merry Christmas!

  8. In the summertime I buy mini M & M’s, it’s always a big hit at bar b que’s. I make several batches of peppermint bark for Christmas, buying peppermint candy in bulk is cheaper then candy canes. 🙂

  9. What do you think about making this with the Ghiradelli White and Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers? I know they aren’t quite true chocolate but they melt so easily! Thanks.

    1. Recipes call for high quality white chocolate but that’s not really the issue. You need to make sure your white chocolate has chocolate in it and NOT palm or coconut oil or any other type of oil. The majority of white chocolate (including the Ghiardeli I bought) does not contain chocolate. I ordered some online and it did not separate. I hope that helps.

    1. I put my crushed peppermint in my top white layer. I love the texture of it. Peppermint Bark is a luxury I can only allow myself to have 3 or 4 pieces of once a month. I found out 2 years ago that I have a slight peppermint allergy.arg! So I do a batch with peppermint mixed in and a batch with the peppermint flavoring and almost no peppermint. I prefer the full peppermint but will settle for the lesser peppermint version. BUT I insist on Ghirardelli chocolate. Yummy!!

  10. This looks like a delicious treat for Christmas! I have made chocolate bark before. I used milk chocolate and dark chocolate and layered them, then made “reindeer” using pretzels for antlers, a red Smartie for the noses, and halved mini marshmallows and black licorice for the eyes. They were so cute and easy! We also did snowmen using mini marshmallows and red licorice for scarves.

    1. You can try, though I strongly recommend using peppermint extract. If using creme de menthe, you’ll need 3x the amount for the same flavor in each layer.

  11. If I want to give them as a gift. how do you suggest we wrap them and how long will they hold (will they hold?) before they melt?

    1. Hi Anna! Unless this bark is sitting in the direct sunlight, it won’t melt. You can stack some pieces together and place in individual treat bags (such as cellophane bags) and tie the top with a festive ribbon. Craft stores will have plenty of fun options.

  12. I was wondering if I would be able to use a small sheet/cookie pan to make these, instead of the square 9×9/8×8? I’ve made the Boo Bark and the mint chocolate swirl and used the small sheet, and they were fine. Didn’t know if it would make the layers too thin.
    Thanks for all your great recipes and tips.

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