A super simple no-bake Christmas recipe, this Homemade Peppermint Bark is a classic and always a welcome treat during the holidays. Read on to find out our tips to get the perfect peppermint flavor and how to prevent peppermint bark layers from separating.
Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe
Alright, for those of you who do not know what Peppermint Bark is – basically, it is a two-layered chocolate candy with a delightful peppermint chocolate flavor that was made famous by Williams-Sonoma, who sells tins of their peppermint bark from $28 to $60! $60 for 2 lbs of chocolate – that’s how good this stuff is!
However, paying $60 for something that will literally take me 10 minutes and $5 of ingredients to whip up would make me crazy, so I had to perfect my own peppermint bark recipe.
One key ingredient to this peppermint bark that sets it apart from other copycat peppermint bark recipes is that it uses peppermint oil/peppermint flavoring instead of peppermint extract.
Using peppermint extract with chocolate involves a couple extra steps (as, if you are not careful, it can cause the chocolate to seize and also it’s very hard to evenly distribute the water-based extract in chocolate) – so do yourself a favor and grab some food-grade peppermint oil.
If you need to use peppermint extract, you will want to melt a teaspoon of shortening in the microwave until it is liquified and then stir your peppermint extract into that first, and then stir the whole thing into your melted chocolate.
How long will peppermint bark keep? Store the peppermint bark in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature (away from temperature changes and direct sunlight) and it will keep for several months.
Can you freeze peppermint bark? Yes, but keep in mind that moisture is chocolate’s enemy. You will want to have a triple layer of protection – first wrapping the peppermint bark in waxed paper, then wrapping plastic wrap, and then placing the whole thing into an airtight container (or gallon ziplock bag). When you defrost it, let it come to room temperature before unwrapping to avoid condensation.
Peppermint bark is delicious on it’s own but you can also use it in your holiday baking, like in these fun recipes:
- Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
- Peppermint Bark Brownies
- Top our Peppermint Bark Cupcakes with a piece of homemade peppermint bark
If you’re looking for more holiday treats, check out our Classic Christmas Cookies ebook, where we have gathered 40 of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes – from Peanut Butter Buckeyes to Easy Shortbread, Cream Cheese Mints to Toffee Biscuits!
These cookies all share a few things in common:
- They are easy enough for the kids to help make
- They require no special ingredients requiring visits to 5 different grocery stores
- They are Christmas classics that everyone will be excited to see at the Cookie Exchange
- And they are delicious!
To make your holiday baking even easier, we’ve included several tips to ensure the best results so you can just focus on having fun with your kids and trust that these cookies will turn out perfectly, every time.
Grab your copy of our Classic Christmas Cookies ebook:
(When you click the button above a new window will open that will take you to Paypal to securely process payment.)
Peppermint Bark Ingredients
- 1 pound of white chocolate, chopped
- 1 pound of dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 box of peppermint candy canes (11-12oz)
- Few drops peppermint oil
If using peppermint extract:
- 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon shortening (divided)
Tip: the biggest factor in how delicious your peppermint bark will be is the quality of chocolate that you use. This is the time to splurge on a couple bags of Ghiradelli, Guittard, etc, chocolate chips.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Rubber Spatula – do not use a wooden spoon as it retains odor and moisture which can ruin the chocolate
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Offset spatula
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin or mallet
What is a double boiler? It’s basically a small pan inside of another pan. You place water in the bottom pan and when that boils, it heats up the smaller (above) pan. You can “rig” your own by placing a glass or metal bowl overtop of a pan of boiling water, as well.
How to Make Peppermint Bark
Place the peppermint candies or canes in a plastic bag and break them up using a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. Set aside.
Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Melt your dark chocolate using your chosen method (microwave or stovetop – both described below) and mix in your peppermint flavoring.
(If using peppermint oil, you can add a couple drops directly to the chocolate. If using peppermint extract, melt a teaspoon of shortening in the microwave until it is liquified – about 15 seconds – and then stir your peppermint extract into that first. Add half of the shortening mixture to the dark chocolate.)
Pour the melted chocolate onto your prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly using your offset spatula. Set aside.
Repeat this process for your white chocolate (adding the remaining half of the shortening mixture if using peppermint extract). Remove from heat and add 1/2 of your crushed peppermint pieces.
Pour about half of the white chocolate mixture onto the dark chocolate and swirl gently with your offset spatula to help the chocolates “grip” each other. (This prevents the layers from separating when solid.) Pour on the second half of the mixture and use your offset spatula to smooth it out before sprinkling on the remaining half of the crushed candies.
Place the peppermint bark in a safe spot in your kitchen (at room temperature) and allow to set for a few hours. Avoid the temptation to refrigerate your bark to move this process along as this can cause the chocolate to sweat and crack.
Allow the peppermint bark to harden completely before breaking into pieces. Wrap or package as desired.
Two Methods of Melting Chocolate for Peppermint Bark:
To Melt Chocolate in Microwave: Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave on low in increments of 25 seconds. Stir between each heating to prevent burning and to gauge how melted the chocolate is (sometimes it will appear unmelted but upon stirring it will melt completely). If your chocolate gets clumpy and paste-like, it has been overheated and needs to be thrown out.
To Melt Chocolate on Stovetop: Using either a double boiler or a glass or metal bowl set overtop of a pot of boiling water, place your chocolate in the dry bowl or upper compartment of the double boiler and stir frequently. Be careful when using this method to not allow any water to get into the chocolate as that will cause it to “seize” and will have to be thrown out.
Grab your free printable for our homemade peppermint bark recipe:
If using peppermint extract:
This no-bake Peppermint Bark recipe is a delicious homemade gift for the holidays and an easy dessert to have on hand for last-minute entertaining.