Maria is a master gardener and master of public health. She & her husband, known online as The Gardener & The Cook, live in coastal Alabama.
Bo and I love our peppermint bark, and always make sure to have some at our house every year throughout the holidays. Years ago, we bought it either at Williams-Sonoma, or the bags of little squares by Ghirardelli at the grocery store — and both brands are delicious. Then one year, on the night before Christmas Eve, we had run out of the supply we bought, and we decided to try making our own. It was easy and fun — so much so, we never bought it again. We now make enough to share it with friends and relatives.
- 1 (12 oz / 340 gm) bag dark chocolate chips
- 1 (12 oz / 340 gm) bag white chocolate chips
- 1 (9 oz / 255 gm) bag crushed peppermint
- Line a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
- Pour the melted dark chocolate onto the parchment paper.
- Chill until the chocolate is firm, but not hard.
- Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler.
- Pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Spread it quickly, as it will soften the dark chocolate layer underneath.
- While the white chocolate is still soft, sprinkle the crushed peppermint over it, and press it in a bit.
- Chill until hardened.
- After it has hardened, break into small pieces.
Some Tips for You
- How to spread the chocolate: I use an extra-wide cookie spatula to spread the chocolate until it is a thin, smooth layer. Don’t expect it to reach a completely even thickness.
- Don’t let the dark chocolate chill too long: Be sure to take the dark chocolate out of the fridge a few minutes before the white chocolate is completely melted. We learned the hard way that, if the dark chocolate is too cold, it causes the white chocolate to begin cooling immediately. Then it cannot be spread smoothly or completely. That resulted in a chocolate mess — lesson learned.
- Where to find crushed peppermint: Initially, we bought a large peppermint stick. It was about 12 inches long, and one inch in diameter. While the dark chocolate chilled, we put the large peppermint stick into a zip-close bag, and crushed it with the flat side of a meat cleaver. A hammer will do just as well. That is a good way to take out any frustrations you may have, and it's kind of fun. We can't find those large peppermint sticks anymore, but a couple of years ago, we found this little reusable jar of crushed peppermint, shown below. Using it saved us time from crushing, then cleaning the mess of those little pieces of peppermint that, somehow, go everywhere.
- When to add the crushed peppermint: While the white chocolate is still warm and soft, begin sprinkling crushed peppermint over the white chocolate, and patting it in place so it won't fall off when the chocolate has hardened.
For the 2021 holiday season, the jars were smaller and not cute — just ordinary jars with a screw on lid. They also cost more. So we found a different source of peppermint: the package contains more peppermint, and costs less than the little jars. The only downside is that it’s a single-use plastic bag that could not be re-closed.
So, what did we do? We had saved one of those cute little jars, so we poured the extra peppermint into it for next time.
Another Idea for Next Year
Yep! By the time we had finished making this candy last year, we had already thought of another change we want to make next time we make this recipe. Bo suggested stirring the crushed peppermint into the melted white chocolate, and spreading both over the dark chocolate at once.
The reason? If the tiny pieces of peppermint are embedded in the top layer of chocolate, they shouldn’t break loose, and fall off when you take a bite.
Sounds like a great idea to me. Maybe we won't wait a year to try it….
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