December 11th, 2014
Peppermint bark is one of my favorite holiday treats. And now that I am pregnant, it is really one of my favorites – as in… I could eat a whole tray of it in one sitting… favorites.
Peppermint Bark is festive, delicious, and I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it. In a pinch, I like to give the Williams Sonoma variety as a hostess gift, but when I have the time, I love to make it myself. It is one of those holiday desserts that looks beautiful when piled high on a platter, but equally pretty when wrapped in cellophane bags as a party favor. It is such an easy holiday dessert to bring to a dinner party as well. I like to serve it broken up over vanilla bean ice cream, or if you’re really feeling ambitious, peppermint bark s’mores are one of my favorite indulgences — and a total crowd pleaser.
This recipe is incredibly easy. It is so easy in fact, that I even let my husband help me make it. Really the only culinary skill you need is the ability to use a microwave. You should note though, this recipe does take about an hour to make. You need to let the layers cool as you make it, so give yourself some time.
My husband and I worked on this recipe together last weekend, and in the process, made one of my favorite holiday memories – ever. We had spent the whole day running errands, putting up the Christmas tree, and decorating our home for the holidays, so we were both extremely tired, but there was something about the repetitive nature of this recipe — it was almost cathartic. Slowly the stresses of the day melted away, and it wasn’t long before my husband was wearing his Christmas PJs, sipping on scotch, making me a cup of hot cocoa,
licking the spatula, and singing Christmas carols along with Nat King Cole. Just watching him, I couldn’t help but smile and think how lucky I am to have a him as a partner in this life. Not to mention, how lucky this little guy kicking away in my tummy is, to have him as a father. He puts our little family above all else, and no matter how crazy life gets around us, he always helps me to appreciate the moment. I know that memories like this one, where it’s just the two of us, are fleeting; it was so nice to get to savor it.
Sappy tangent aside, this peppermint bark is awesome — for so many reasons. Not only is it festive and delicious, but it makes you slow down and appreciate life. I’ve found that my favorite recipes tend to do that, they help you make memories with the people you love.
Enjoy… and I wish an abundance of happy peppermint bark memories to you!
9×13 baking pan lined in aluminum foil with the shiny side facing up.
16oz of good white chocolate **
12oz of good semi-sweet chocolate **
.5 tsp of peppermint extract
6 candy canes
** A note before you start: For the chocolate — do not use chocolate chips. Especially for the white chocolate. They never seem to melt evenly, so I just use the Ghirardelli bars. The flavor is amazing, and they melt perfectly.
I always start by breaking up the candy canes. Place the candy canes in a small plastic bag and use a mallet to break them into small pieces (as shown).
Then I prep my baking pan. Line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil – shiny side up.
Next you want to chop 8oz (half) of your white chocolate.
Over a double boiler (that is what I used) or in the microwave, gently melt your first layer of white chocolate. White chocolate is incredibly delicate and can burn easily, so if using a microwave, make sure you are melting it in 10-15 second intervals and stirring in between.
Once you have melted your chocolate, remove from the heat, or from the microwave, and add 1/4 tsp of the peppermint extract and stir.
Using a plastic spatula, spread the chocolate evenly into the prepared baking pan and make the first layer. Now, place the pan in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
While you are waiting for the first layer to cool, you can chop up the 12oz of semisweet chocolate.
Now, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in the same manner as the white chocolate. If you are using a microwave, make sure you are melting it in 10-15 second intervals and stirring in between. If using a double boiler, stir continuously. Remove from the heat, and stir in 1/4tsp of peppermint extract.
Using a plastic spatula, spread the semi-sweet chocolate evenly over the white chocolate layer.
Again, place the pan in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
Now you will make the final layer. Chop the remaining 8oz (half) of your white chocolate and melt in the same manner as before. This time, you will not add the peppermint extract.
Spread the final layer of white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate and press the candy cane pieces into the white chocolate. Again, place in the fridge for 20 minutes to finish setting.
Once your bark is cooled, remove (peel carefully) from the tinfoil.
Using a very sharp knife, cut into squares.