Peppermint Bark

ChristmasCandyChocolatePeppermint

Peppermint Bark is so festive and so EASY! This recipe uses both peppermint extract and crushed candy canes to make it an extra-special holiday treat. It makes a great holiday gift for teachers, neighbors, and friends!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Peppermint bark is such a traditional and quintessential Christmas treat. It’s also ridiculously easy to prepare in just a few minutes!

How to Make Peppermint Bark

Ready for the grand instructions? Ok, here you go:

Melt chocolate. Pour onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill until firm.

That’s it! Told you it was easy.

If you want to get fancy and temper your chocolate, check out this tutorial from David Lebovitz. Tempering will make your chocolate look glossy and have a nice snap! when you break it apart or bite into it.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

White or Dark Chocolate?

Peppermint bark is fantastic with either white or dark chocolate. Choose your favorite, or make batches of both!

Either way you go, use a chocolate that you enjoy eating. It’s the main ingredient, after all!

Want to get really crazy? Try layering the white chocolate and dark chocolate!

If you decide to layer, double check that your white chocolate is made with cocoa butter. If it’s made with palm oil or another kind of fat, it has a tendency to separate from the dark chocolate layer once the chocolate has set.

It also helps if you add the top layer while the bottom layer isn’t totally cold and set when you pour on the top layer.

The Secret Ingredient

Simple melted chocolate topped with crushed candy canes is wonderful, of course, but I also like to add a splash of peppermint extract to the melted chocolate before pouring it out. The extra kick of peppermint flavor really makes this treat feel special for the holidays.

Soft and Easy Peppermint Bark

How to Break Your Bark Into Pieces

Once hardened, just lift the bark off the baking sheet and crack it into pieces with your hands.

If you’d like a more uniform look, do this: Wait for the chocolate to just barely start to harden (it will hold your fingerprint if you press down, but won’t make your finger wet). Use a paring knife or a chef’s knife to gently score the top of the bark into uniform squares or rectangles. Let the chocolate finish cooling completely, then break it apart along the score lines.

How to Store Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark will keep for weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. This makes it a great gift idea around the holidays — make a big batch at the beginning of December and grab what you need for easy gifts for teachers, neighbors, and friends.

On the odd chance that you actually get tired of eating peppermint bark straight from the cookie tin, try chopping it up into pieces and make these Peppermint Bark Cookies or sprinkle them over a batch of brownies!

Looking for More Holiday Treats?

Updated December 23, 2018 : Peppermint bark is simple, but a surprising number of questions can come up. We added a lot more detail on how to crush the candy canes, melt the chocolate, and make your best batch of peppermint bark ever. Enjoy!

Peppermint Bark Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 regular sized candy canes, or about 15 mini candy canes
  • 12 ounces white chocolate or dark chocolate (chips, wafers, or chopped up chocolate bars)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Method

1 Prepare a tray for the bark: Line a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat or with wax paper and set aside.

2 Break up peppermint candy into little pieces. Break up the candy canes with your hands first, then transfer them to a zip-top bag. Put that zip-top bag in a second zip top bag (the first one tends to tear when you start crushing the candies).

Place the bag on a cutting board and pound the candy canes with a kitchen mallet, meat tenderizer, or a hammer. You want chunky pieces for sprinkling over the chocolate, about the size of peas or slightly larger; don't crush them into too fine a powder.

Transfer the crushed candy canes to a bowl.

3 Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir occasionally with a heat-proof spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.

Alternatively, melt the chocolate in 30 second bursts in the microwave. Stop microwaving when you see just a few small lumps of chocolate remaining. Stir until those lumps have melted completely.

4 Stir the peppermint extract into the chocolate.

5 Spread out the chocolate: Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread it out as thin or as thick as you like using a spatula (an offset spatula works especially well for this.)

6 Sprinkle with candy canes: Sprinkle the peppermint candy chunks on to the chocolate and gently press them in with yours hands.

7 Freeze until hardened: Place in the freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.

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Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the managing editor for Simply Recipes, as well as a food writer and homebrewing expert. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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50 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Kathryn Maertens

    Hi Grant! Thanks for the recipe! I tried it last night only I used mint extract instead of peppermint (don’t know if they’re the same). I had the hardest time getting my white chocolate morsels melted…I managed to get it soft then rolled with a rolling pin…it worked…they tasted good but any tips on the chocolate? I used Nestle

  • Suzanne Prael

    I bought a big bag of crushed peppermint candy online last year, and it’s fabulous for holiday baking, to sprinkle in hot chocolate, etc! It’s so convenient!
    The Peppermint Bark Recipe uses 5 regular size candy canes, crushed. Since my peppermint is already crushed, do you know approximately how much 5 crushed candy canes come to in cup(s)? Did I word that correctly!??

  • bob

    I love this recipe so much!

  • Gabby

    I just tried this recipe and I think that I love it. It is so easy to make and I love peppermint!!!!!!

  • JC

    I always buy peppermint oil (available at any cooking store) rather than the extract you can get in the grocery stores. I’ve never had a problem with the chocolate seizing up.

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