Sugar cookies, baked goods, and seasonal sweets are a few of my favorite things about the holidays. Although there are many things I love about winter and the holidays, I’d’ have to say there are two things that I love to do most this time of year. The first is to just sit in front of our family’s fireplace (not ours sadly, we have none!), cuddle with my man or my pups, sip a big cup of hot chocolate or spiced cider, and just relax. The second? Making peppermint bark.
Now, before I go on taking all the credit for this recipe, I must first ‘site my source’ and admit this recipe evolved from my best friend‘s recipe. I wouldn’t know my way around peppermint bark if it weren’t for her!
THE BEST HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT BARK RECIPE
- 2 16oz bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 16oz bags of white chocolate chips
- 5-8 candy canes (crushed)
- a small pot
- rubber spatula
- tin foil
- large baking sheet
- green, red and white nonpareils
STEP 1 – prep a baking sheet by covering it in tin foil
STEP 2 – pour a half-bag of the semi-sweet chocolate chips into a sauce pot, and turn the temp as low as your stove goes. I have a gas stove, so I put it on a flame you can barely see. With a rubber spatula, stir until a third of the chocolate chips are melted. Make sure to stir frequently, the chocolate melts fast and can also burn really quickly. Next, add the remaining chips from the bag into the pot.
STEP 3 – as soon as all the chocolate chips are melted, remove the pot from the stove and pour the melted chocolate over the tin foil, and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Make sure to keep the chocolate layer as thin as possible, roughly 1/8″ thick. It will be very difficult to break the bark at the end of the process if the chocolate layers are too thick.
STEP 4 – place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 2 hours
STEP 5 – unwrap your candy canes and throw them into a Ziploc freezer bag for crushing. This is the fun part! And the only time my man runs into the kitchen to help me. He likes to take a hammer and crush the candy canes one by one. Your method of crushing is your choice! I like having a variety of large and small crushed pieces of candy cane.
STEP 6 – repeat step 2 with the white chocolate chips. Once the chips are almost all melted, toss about half of the candy canes into the melted white chocolate.
STEP 7 – remove the baking sheet from the fridge, and pour the melted white chocolate over the semi-sweet chocolate layer. Be really quick to smooth out the white chocolate layer, otherwise the semi-sweet layer will begin melting and your bark will start to marbleize
STEP 8 – after the white chocolate has been spread over the semi-sweet layer, liberally sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes on top, then sprinkle the nonpareils on top of that!
STEP 9 – place the baking sheet back in the fridge for another 2 hours
STEP 10 – remove the bark from the fridge once the bark is completely solid, remove the tin foil from the back of the bark, turn the entire piece of bark upside down and start breaking!
This recipe yields about one full tin of bark. I like giving tins of bark away as Christmas gifts, or bring to parties as a sweet nibbler. Peppermint bark is a hit, and you can’t go wrong! You can also toss a handful of bark into a small goodie bag for a personalized gift. Yum!