Have you ever been wandering the mall at this time of year and popped into a Williams Sonoma store? They often give out samples of their Peppermint Bark. Delicious stuff, and at $22 a pound it should be. But you can make it at home for much less. I found a copy cat recipe at this site.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 lb. white chocolate chips (I used 12 oz. Nestle chips)
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes
Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour the chocolate chips in the pan and set them in the oven at 250 degrees for 5 minutes or until they’re almost melted. Use a spatula to smooth out the chips over the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until the chocolate is hardened.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in the peppermint extract. Pour the white chocolate over the dark and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Refrigerate until firm. Peel off the foil and cut into pieces.
I did have some trouble with the white and dark layers coming apart. I’m not sure why. It could be that the white chips are not the best to use for this. I thought about using Bakers White Chocolate, but it cost so much more. The white chips did melt kind of funny – they wanted to seize up on me instead of melting smooth.
Despite the layers coming apart on some of the pieces, the candy tasted good and was eaten up in record time.
Christmas 2010 update: I made this again, using many of the tips readers left in the comments. Success! The layers stayed together and it turned out beautifully.
I used the same ingredients as listed above. I did not refrigerate the dark chocolate layer before adding the white. I waited about an hour before adding the white chocolate layer. I melted the white chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions (70% power for about a minute). I also gently pressed the crushed candy cane into the white chocolate layer before refrigerating.
If you have any tips for me about keeping the layers together, please let me know!
Maybe you could try glue or mommy spit. Just kidding. I thought maybe you could try swirling in the white melted chips into the chocolate. It would change the look but it might be pretty.
Lois E says
Does anyone know of a good place to buy peppermint extract? Is there much
variance in price? Is there anything to watch out for with regard to quality?
Lois, I bought my peppermint extract at walmart. It was near the vanilla extract. I don’t have any info on quality or price though.
This is funny! I made this last night and I also had problems seperating. I read some of the comments on the previous people that made it on another recipe site and they said to make sure there is no condensation from being in the fridge for a few min.’s because this will cause the layers to stay seperate. Now that i think about it mine did have a little b/c i put the chocolate in fridge while it was still really hot. I am starting to think quality chocolate would work way better but i was giving this a test run on my family before I gave it as gifts this year. Also about your white chocolate seizing up before melting completely nestle says to add a teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil when its starting to melt or half way melted. Hope this helps! If i get it perfected I will let you know 🙂
Tiffany, do let me know if you perfect it. I have the same trouble with toffee wanting to come apart sometimes. I’ve wondered if it’s the brand of chips. With toffee, I thought it came apart worse when I used Hershey brand. My favorite brand was Walmart, but they stopped making the store brand.
You have a great name, btw 😉
Quality chocolate is the best option, but if you have white chocolate chips, make sure you melt them over a double boiler at VERY LOW HEAT. Their “burn” point is very low-much lower than dark chocolate. I boil the water in a pan and when it is boiling, I turn off the heat. Then put the white chocolate pan over the hot water making sure the pan with the chocolate in it does not touch the water. Just let it melt slowly. To make sure it does not seize up on you and is smooth, add a “little” [probably 1-2 tsp] of cocoa butter or coconut oil. And make sure there is NO WATER or condensation on the bottom layer of chocolate. I know it says to melt the chocolate in the Microwave, but that is almost always a recipe for disaster. I have been working with chocolate for years and have made just about every mistake you can make. Most of it had to do with water, moisture or the the wrong temperature.
Double Dipped Life says
Your bark looks yummy! Here is why the layers separated:
1. There could be condensation on the first layer from the fridge. Water causes chocolate to seize up. Another, but slower, way to do this would be to let the chocolate set up outside of the fridge. Only takes 30min. or so.
2. Your extract could be water based, which would have the same effect. Try finding extract that is oil based, or just do w/out the extract. I sold chocolate not too long ago, and I didn’t add any extract to my bark. People told me it was better than Sonoma.
3. Double Broiler. I tend to shy away from the double broiler just because of steam getting into the chocolate. Try using the microwave to melt the chocolate instead!
Double Dipped Life – thank you so much for the tips! Those are really helpful 🙂
Yum! Now that’s something I could make: ) Thanks Tiffany!
Colleen C. says
I’m going to try making this this weekend. I shy away from Whute Chocolate Chips as I always have problems with them melting, I’m gonna try using Almond Bark instead and see what happens. But thanks for the idea and recipe.
Colleen, let me know how the almond bark works. I thought about trying that too.
gina brazer says
Love your site and recipes, thanks for sharing with all of us! I made the peppermint bark yesterday, instead of cooling the chocolate in the fridge first, I went ahead and put the white chocolate on the melted chocolate put it all together and then put it in the fridge. The two chocolates did swirl together a bit but not much. The layers stayed together and did not seperate when I cut the candy up. My husband said this was the best thing I’ve ever made. Thanks again.
Wow, thanks for sharing — I love peppermint bark!
candace grubbs says
i found the white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter in them which helps to stick! i found them at walmart.
I am soooo thrilled about this idea!! With the economy being so tight, I almost gave up the idea on home made candies and cookies this year. The chocolate peppermint bark is a fantastic, economic idea, and people love it, but HATE the price in fancy stores!! Thanks for giving me a super idea!!
make this again you will.
I have made this many times over the years, and it is so versatile! I have done almond, Toffee, and even Orange (with candies orange zest). It is impressive and not all that hard!
Katie, orange is a great idea! So different and good.
Karen Woods says
I just made this and was surprised how easy it was to make..my twist was not only the 1/2 tsp of peppermint..but of vanilla as well…I also went ahead and added the oil as suggested…but I had to also after the double boiler..the white chocolate wanted to harden too fast..so I put it all in the pan and back into the oven..next time I am just going to put them both in one at a time and use the oven..I think..bonding will occur better ..I also put my candy canes in the blender and did a crush..I think I like this better even its sorta of a powder consistency.. so…in the fridge and OMG this is awesome…and smells fantastic and the taste!!!!!! OMG!! thank you all for sharing your tips to this amazing recipe…my new fav Xmas treat to make !!!!!!!
I’ve been making this same bark for years … inspired by the bark I purchased from Williams Sonoma at a premium. Sometimes mine separates. Today I read through the comments, and decided to try adding the peppermint to the dark chocolate vs. adding it to the the white chocolate (since white is so fragile). It didn’t separate! I did have a proble with the white not melting well this year, but it turned out okay … just had to work really fast, and settle for some chocolate swirling into the white. I also never used to chill the bark after making it … I would just wait until it was firm. Maybe refrigeration helped it, too. Everyone expects my peppermint bark every year … and I’ve given out the recipe, but most people have the problem of separation as well. Thanks for the reviews to help me troubleshoot! P.S. I used Ghirrardelli (Sp?) white chocolate and Hersheys Special Dark (which I’ve used for years, and I love the taste of that stuff … melts well, too!).
Mike atkins says
I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it turned out great! I made some tonight with store-brand white chocolate chips (they were out of nestle’s) and they didn’t melt as smoothly as Nestles.
Barbara Cullen says
the bark doesn’t remain set up, it becomes soft at room temperature, too soft to gift I use premium white chocolate melted in microwave ( no dark chocolate) and crushed candy canes. It tastes great and has a nice appearance just too soft to gift can you help ??
I wonder if it’s the type of chocolate that you used? Does it become soft again after chilling in the fridge? Sometimes if you chill it that will keep it from being too soft even when it’s out of the fridge. I have found that different brands react differently though.
I freeze my dark chocolate. I have had problems with the white chips – they come out lumpy. I microwave the chips. Usually dark has no problem. I will try with the oil in the white and see if that makes a difference.