Recipe: Peppermint Bark

recipe: peppermint barkA few years ago I was looking for an easy recipe that I could make in bulk to have treats to give at the office around the holidays. I found this recipe for Peppermint Bark on Simply Recipes. It was perfect.

What’s great about the Peppermint Bark, aside from the fact that you can whip up a big batch almost as easily as a small batch, is that it’s easy to package in cute little gift bags and transport to work. There’s no worry about smushing anything or imperfect icing. And most people really enjoy the bark, because it’s delicious!

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Break up the candy canes into little pieces. I find the easiest way to do this is with a food processor on one of the slower settings. Don’t go too fast or too long or you’ll end up with candy cane dust. You could also put your candy canes in a Ziploc and beat the crap out of them with a meat tenderizer, if you’re feeling aggressive.
  2. Melt the chocolate in your preferred manner. I use a double boiler. You might prefer the microwave. It’s the holidays, so do it however makes you happiest!
  3. Once your chocolate is melted, stir the peppermint extract in.
  4. Pour the melted peppermint chocolate on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and smooth it out with a spatula. Once the sheet is covered, sprinkle the candy cane pieces on top of the chocolate and press them in with your hands.
  5. Put the cookie sheets in your freezer until the chocolate is hard–at least five minutes, maybe more depending on how thick it is.
  6. Break the hardened chocolate sheets into chunks. Package for giving. It’s probably a good idea to store this in the fridge so it doesn’t get melty, but I do like it at room temperature for eating.

Tips, Tricks, and Alterations

Package for giving
Suggested packaging for the gift of Peppermint Bark–simple, inexpensive, and festive!

Per Simply Recipes’ request, I rewrote the steps of the recipe in my own words and already added a few of my tips. But here are a couple other notes:

  • There’s no reason you couldn’t riff on this procedure with substitutions. Think almond extract and crushed almonds, no extract and crushed peanuts, coconut flakes, etc.
  • Use small cookie sheets for the final steps–bigger cookie sheets are harder to balance in the freezer (assuming your freezer is a mess like mine).
  • Reluctant to buy peppermint extract because you won’t use it a lot? Put a drop or two in your mug of cocoa, or add some to a chocolate cookie recipe.
  • Sweep or vacuum your kitchen right after you finish making this. You WILL get peppermint dust and debris on the floor, and it is a whole lot easier to clean immediately than after it’s melted and become one with the tile.