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) bags of dark chocolate chips
- 1 12-oz (340 gm) bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 9-oz (255 gm) bag of crushed peppermint
- Line a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
- Pour it the parchment paper.
- Chill until the chocolate is firm, but not hard.
- Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler.
- Pour it 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 hard.
- Break into small pieces.
We're Always Open to Trying New Things in Our Kitchen
Last year we changed the process we use to make this delicious candy. First, I'll share the older way, then the new way. Both work fine, but Bo thought of a method he wanted to try, so we did. Of course, we’ve already planned another thing to try next time.
Lessons Learned Along the Way
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.
A Lesson Learned the Hard Way
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.
Initially, we bought a large peppermint stick. While the dark chocolate chilled, we put the peppermint stick into a zip-close bag, and crushed it with the flat side of a meat cleaver. 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. Using it saved us time for both crushing and cleaning the mess of those little pieces of peppermint that, somehow, go everywhere.
Adding the White Chocolate Layer
Immediately, 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 hardened.
A New and Better Way to Do the Peppermint
When the large sticks were no longer available, we began using this pre-crushed peppermint that came in these cute little jars, shown in the next photo.
We Found a Better Way to Do the Peppermint
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 cost 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….
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 MariaMontgomery