Peppermint bark is an easy, festive holiday gift idea for friends, families, or the folks in the office. It can be quite expensive to purchase in stores but is really cost effective (about 1/3 the price) when made at home. Plus, it will impress everyone a whole lot more if you make it yourself right?!? If you are look for a quick and delicious treat for the holidays, give this a try!
INGREDIENTS FOR ONE (LARGE COOKIE SHEET SIZED) BATCH:
- 9 Peppermint Candy Canes
- 1 lb milk or dark chocolate (chips or bars)
- 1 lb white chocolate (chips or bars)
- Non-stick Parchment Paper (if you do not have parchment paper, you can use wax paper and grease it with 1 – 2 Tablespoons of butter)
- Unwrap all the candy canes and place them in a seal-able plastic bag. Beat them with a spoon, bottom of a can, a pan, or a mallet… whatever flat surface you have. Wherever you are doing this, please realize that the sharp edges of the candy canes may puncture the plastic bag. You are going to sprinkle these candycane pieces over the top of your bark; therefore, I recommend pounding them down into pieces small enough that they are easy to chew through but not so small that you cannot tell they were candy canes.
- Line a 15″ x 9′ jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper (or greased wax paper described above).
- Melt your milk or dark chocolate. If you purchased a large block or bar of chocolate, I recommend using a cheese grater or something similar to grate down your chocolate before attempting to melt it. Once you have done so, there are several methods you can use to melt chocolate. You can learn how to melt chocolate in the microwave by reviewing Step #1 of my Chocolate Covered Pretzel tutorial here. For large quantities of chocolate, I believe it is actually easier to melt your chocolate on the stove top. You can use a double boiler such as this one from Pampered Chef: Or, if you do not have a double boiler, find a metal or glass bowl which you can set on top of a sauce pan like this:
When melting chocolate on the stove top, place water in the bottom of the sauce pan. Do not use so much water that it is touching the bottom of the bowl. Heat the water to a simmer (not boiling) to avoid splashing. It is very important when melting chocolate that you do not introduce ANY water to the chocolate. Trust me, chocolate that has “seized” when contacting water is gritty and unusable…ew. Once the water is at a simmer, position your bowl as shown above. Stir your chocolate continuously with a utensil that is NOT made of wood or bamboo as these may hold moisture that will seize up your chocolate. I also recommend keeping a towel near by to wipe away any moisture that builds near your chocolate.
- Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, use oven mitts to lift the bowl away. Dry the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any moisture which could drip into your chocolate when pouring.
- Pour the chocolate into your lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and spread it evenly around the pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the chocolate is cool and has hardened.
- While the milk chocolate sheet is setting in the refrigerator, melt your white chocolate as you did your milk/dark chocolate. Be careful, white chocolate scorches/burns much easier than milk chocolate. Be sure to stir frequently.
- Pour the melted white chocolate over the cooled milk chocolate sheet and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the candy cane pieces over the white chocolate layer while it is still warm to allow the pieces to stick.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes until the chocolate has cooled completely and is firm.
- Turn your hardened bark upside down over a second piece of parchment or other clean surface. Peel away the parchment paper that was lining your cookie sheet and break the bark into pieces. The pieces do not have to be even. You certainly can cut square pieces if you would like, but I love the jagged “bark” affect of breaking the bark up unevenly.