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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My classic Candy Cane And Chocolate Peppermint Bark recipe is a holiday must-have! My peppermint bark, made with dark and white chocolate, is flavored with peppermint oil and topped with crunchy, crushed candy canes. Perfect for any chocolate mint fans!
One of the first candies that come to mind when I think of Christmas and the holidays is candy cane! There’s something about the minty freshness of peppermint treats that scream the winter and holiday season.
My Candy Cane And Chocolate Peppermint Bark recipe is an oldie but a goodie. The creamy, rich white and dark chocolate layers pair so well with the cool and crunchy candy canes. You get a great mix of texture and flavor all in one bite.
Gather up just 4 ingredients and a few tools, and you’ll have homemade Peppermint Bark ready to wrap up as holiday favors or as treats to snack on!
Table Of Contents
What Is Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark is a chocolate treat that traditionally consists of peppermint candy pieces spread on white chocolate, which is layered on top of dark chocolate.
Though this is the classic type of Peppermint Bark, you can use any chocolate with peppermint candies. Since this recipe includes candy canes, it’s no wonder it’s very popular during Christmas.
The original inventor of Peppermint Bark was Williams Sonoma’s founder, Chuck Williams, in 1998. Fun fact: December 1st is National Peppermint Bark Day!
Tools You Need
Ingredients You Need To Make Peppermint Bark
- Bittersweet chocolate: Bittersweet chocolate has a deep chocolate flavor without being too sweet. It balances perfectly with the sweet white chocolate and peppermint.
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil will boost the cool and minty peppermint flavor! Do not use peppermint extract.
- White chocolate: Use good quality white chocolate bars rather than baking chips, and be sure to melt gently because it tends to burn. It’s easiest to melt white chocolate in the microwave; white chocolate overheats easily, and it may not become smooth.
- Candy canes: Not only a delicious addition to your bark, but it is also beautiful with white and red colors.
How To Make Peppermint Bark
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Double boil bittersweet chocolate and peppermint oil, stirring frequently until melted.
- Pour bittersweet chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread using an offset spatula into a rectangle.
- Place chocolate in the refrigerator to lightly set.
- Double boil white chocolate and peppermint oil, stirring frequently until melted.
- Let the white chocolate set for a bit, and then pour over the bittersweet chocolate.
- Gently spread white chocolate over bittersweet chocolate, being careful not to swirl layers together.
- Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the surface and gently press into the chocolate to stick.
- Let cool until set and hard. Break into pieces, and enjoy!
How To Crush Candy Canes
Crushing candy canes, in theory, is easy. However, it can quickly become a mess, and you don’t want to deal with that while baking.
A simple yet effective way to crush your candy canes is to use a mortar and pestle or a Ziplock bag with a wooden spoon or a meat tenderizer. If you use a mortar and pestle, cover it with a tea towel to keep pieces from flying out.
How To Double Boil Chocolate
A double boiler, or bain-marie, is a gentler way to melt chocolate. You’re essentially stacking one pot or heatproof bowl on top of a pot filled with water. Heat it to barely a simmer, and the steam from the lower pot will heat the upper pot or bowl, where the chocolate can gradually melt.
The double boil method is also a way to temper chocolate. Tempering chocolate is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize it. This makes the chocolate not melt even after it’s been sitting out for a while.
If you’re in a pinch, you can place your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 20-second intervals. Make sure to stir in between.
Can I Make Peppermint Bark Ahead Of Time?
Yes! Peppermint bark can be made in advance and makes for great holiday gifts! Place them in plastic bags or airtight containers, and they make great additions to gift baskets or simple treats for friends and family.
How To Store Peppermint Bark
If you have leftover Peppermint Bark, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
You can also freeze your bark for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Why are my Peppermint Bark layers separating?
Make sure to give your bark enough time to set. Otherwise, your bark may separate your white chocolate layer from your dark chocolate layer.
You can score the top of the second chocolate layer before setting it so that it’s easier to break later on. If you’re still having trouble, you can score the surface, and pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours to harden.
Why is my white chocolate lumpy?
Melting white chocolate can be a bit tricky to get completely smooth. Be sure to keep it over a gentle heat if you are using a double broiler. If the heat is too high, your white chocolate will clump. Alternatively, melt it in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between.
Why did my chocolate seize?
If your chocolate has turned out grainy or clumpy, your chocolate has seized. This can be the cause of a lot of factors, but most likely, your chocolate has been overheated or cooked for too long.
You want to be sure that your bowl, spoon, and anything that comes in contact with the chocolate is completely dry. Also, be sure to use peppermint oil — NOT peppermint extract. The exact has too much water in it and will cause your chocolate to seize.
In my opinion, the best way to avoid seizing chocolate is to melt it in the microwave. Finely chop your chocolate and heat it in the microwave for 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is completely melted.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Be sure to use peppermint oil and not extract in this recipe. The extract may cause the chocolate to seize and won’t have as strong of a flavor.
- Peppermint oil is 4 times as strong as extract, so much less is needed.
- If you prefer milk or semisweet chocolate, you can use this instead of dark chocolate.
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