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!

123 Comments

  1. I have been wanting to make peppermint bark for years, but haven’t done it yet. Peppermint and chocolate are just so amazing together! Your bark is so pretty – also, I’m amazed at how perfect your squares of bark are! I’m sure mine would be random jagged pieces of chocolate that wouldn’t look nearly as pretty! 🙂

    1. my secret? allow the bark to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes and then slice with a very, very sharp knife. i have that in the recipe in case you make it and need a tip!

  2. Back in college my roommate and I used the backside of a baking sheet to melt Wilton’s candy melts over because parchment paper was not a thing most college kids had on hand. That was my first experience with peppermint bark and I loved it…I think I’ll like this version much more 🙂

  3. I love simple barks! This would be gorgeous on a platter alongside my dark chocolate pomegranate bark, can’t wait to make it!

  4. My mom used to make peppermint bark and it was the type of thing that I remember going back for one more piece, one more little hunk, one more nibble. Yours reminds me of hers and I know it must taste awesome. And thanks for sharing mint – I am breaking in the season next weekend with it 🙂 Pinned of course and wish I could taste it!

  5. My fave – I love how simple this is!! And I love that it’s getting all Christmas-sy everywhere & these bars scream Christmas 🙂 Pinned!

  6. Wow, this looks heavenly!! Perfect for the Christmas season. Could you use milk chocolate for the middle layer instead of dark? I don’t like dark chocolate too much and was wondering if it would work the same with milk!

  7. Bark counts as a recipe! One of my favorites, really. It’s just way too addictive. And it goes in cute tins. And it’s so much fun to break it apart into pieces! Therapeutic!

  8. I don’t think I knew you were a swimmer! I was a diver…are those combined where you live too? Here it’s always swimming and diving together, but when I told people I was a diver, everyone always asked me what stroke I did, and I was like “DIVER!!!!” 😉 This peppermint bark is so beautiful, and that’s great that it’s so easy to put together! I need some easy recipes…I have a stress fracture in my heel and am on crutches for the foreseeable future 🙁

    1. yes, we combined swimming and diving as well. i’m so sorry to hear about your stress fracture Caley. I hope you can get some rest over the thanksgiving holiday!

  9. Is it me, or does the recipe say to melt all the white chocolate, use half and put it aside, and then it says to melt the white chocolate for the top layer. A litle confused.

  10. Oh my gosh this looks amazing. I always love to have peppermint bark for the holidays- but homemade will be even better! Thanks for the holiday recipe! 🙂

  11. I made the “Christmas crack” last year for my family. It was my first time making it and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it came together! And it is important to melt your chocolate the correct way. I remember way too many times I was scrubbing the bottom of a bowl because of burnt melted chocolate. It’s never a fun time. haha!

  12. I’ve never tried homemade peppermint bark – but it looks totally delicious. And so festive! I’m pretty much tired of Thanksgiving recipes by now, so bring on the Christmas food! Gorgeous photos, as always!

  13. Sally!! I was laughing when I saw this…I posted the exact same thing (in fudge form) this morning! Twins! Obviously, we have great taste 😉 Looks delicious, and I LOVE how easy it is to make!

  14. I’ve made a 2-layer chocolate peppermint bark a couple time before, and my problem has been that the 2 layers separate, particularly when I break or cut it into pieces. I’ll have to give your version a try to see if that happens or not.

  15. I have tried a similar recipe through the King Arthur website, and every time I have tried to cut it, the bark separates. I used the chocolates from their website. Any suggestions as to why this would happen? I have been making the bark with one kind of chocolate as these mistakes are costly.

    1. I always experience some separation on the edges of the bark as I cut/break it, however the oil helps the layers stick for most of it.

  16. My mom is really old school and doesn’t believe in microwaves (don’t even ask…). I don’t have a real double boiler so i would be making one from a small pot with a metal bowl on top. Do I still have to add the oil this way, or only if I find myself close to a microwave…and learn how to use one?

    Can’t wait to make this, sans my microwave issues. 🙂

  17. I made a tropical bark over the weekend (Summer Christmas here!) and it was delicious! I am sure my family are going to love this peppermint version too….if I share that is 🙂

  18. I feel connected with you! I am a swimmer too and yes the practices in the morning are not the best thing in the world….but worth it!! I am really excited to make this peppermint bark. Love how simple it looks to make.

  19. I LOOOOOOOVVVEEEEE peppermint bark! Would LOOOOVVVVEEEE to make this for my holiday goody bags…just not sure it would make it past the “taste test” stage!! These look GLORIOUS!!!

    Thanks for the chocolate explanation too – I never knew that about chocolate chips…makes total sense!

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