Peppermint bark is a quintessential part of the winter holiday season. Though it inspires thoughts of icy cool days, rosy flushed cheeks, and inhaling the frosty chill of the air, it also brings to mind the counterpart of the coldness…coming inside after a chilly day outside, sitting down by the toasty fire, sipping on hot chocolate with loved ones…this is what Christmas is all about for me. Seeing the warmth in the coldness. Embracing life and love amidst the chaos of this world. What better way to remember that dichotomy than with the reds and whites of peppermint bark?
Peppermint bark is so easy to make at home, yet so impressive. You don’t have to go to Williams-Sonoma to get some. Make your own!
-24 oz. of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
-24 oz. of white chocolate chips
-peppermint candy (the amount of candy you use will depend on your personal preference for pepperminty-ness).
-tbsp of canola oil
-ziplock bag and rolling pin (for crushing the peppermint candy)
1. Remove the wrappers from the peppermint candy. Place in a heavy-duty ziplock bag and close. Crush the peppermint candy by rolling over the bag with a rolling pin. (This can get messy, and you may need to use several ziplock bags, as the bags may tear during the process.) Separate the big, chunky pieces from the powdery crumbs and reserve both. Set aside.
2. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Melt the milk chocolate over a double boiler (or a metal bowl that sets atop a small saucepan). I like to use a mix of whatever leftover chocolate I have on hand.
To do this, bring the water to a boil in the base of the double boiler, then reduce to medium-high heat. Place the bowl atop the sauce pan. Add in the chocolate and constantly stir to avoid burning the chocolate.
4. Add in a splash of peppermint extract, to taste. I use about a tsp. Then add in half of the peppermint crumbs, only (not the chunks). Stir to blend.
4. Remove the chocolate from the heat and quickly drizzle over the parchment-lined cookie sheet evenly. The chocolate will harden fast, so it’s important to move quickly. Spread the chocolate with a spatula or butter knife until smooth.
5. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to harden.
6. Now melt the white chocolate in the same manner as the milk chocolate, except add a tbsp of canola oil to it first. This will allow the white chocolate to thin out a bit, as it has a tendency to become thick as you stir over the double boiler. When thoroughly melted and the rest of the peppermint crumbs and some extract have been added, remove the cookie sheet from the fridge and quickly spread the white chocolate mixture over the top of the milk chocolate mixture. Again, work quickly so as not to melt the milk chocolate underneath the white chocolate. You may end up with a muddy, swirly mess (it’s okay; it will still taste good, just not look as pretty.). Now add the big, chunky candy pieces to the top. Chill in the fridge for at least thirty minutes to harden.
7. Remove from the fridge and break up the bark. You can either slice with a sharp knife, or break with your hands. There you have it! Delicious, minty, home-made peppermint bark to share!