Peppermint Bark is a must-have candy around the holidays, but did you know that you can make your own? Today’s recipe is simple and makes for a festive & pretty treat! Wrap it up in cellophane or put it in a mason jar with a big red bow for the perfect edible Christmas gift!
I originally shared this recipe for homemade peppermint bark over on Spend with Pennies!
Peppermint Bark is our 6th recipe in our week of candy! Thanks for sticking with me through this sweet week complete with toffee, peanut brittle, honeycomb, peanut butter fudge, and saltine cracker candy!
Arguably one of the easiest candy recipes so far, Peppermint Bark mostly involves simply melting down chocolate, stirring in peppermint and candy cane pieces, and then having the patience to allow the chocolate to re-solidify. No candy thermometer, no stovetop, no worry.
We’re going to be flavoring our peppermint bark with extract, and make sure you grab peppermint and not mint flavored. Peppermint tastes like candy canes, while mint extract usually tastes more like spearmint (and, in my humble opinion, like toothpaste).
The crushed candy cane pieces that we stir into our white chocolate will help to impart some peppermint flavor, but I found that it wasn’t enough to give the desired flavor.
You’ll also notice that, rather than pour the extract directly into the chocolate, I recommend mixing it with a bit of melted shortening first. This is because the liquid extract actually could seize and ruin your white chocolate. By mixing our extract with shortening, I’ve always been able to avoid seizing even finicky white chocolate, so don’t skip this step.
What Kind of Chocolate Should I use to Make Peppermint Bark?
I recommend using quality chocolate bars, and my personal preference is Ghirardelli. For this recipe I used two of their 4-oz white chocolate bars and two of their 4-oz 60% dark chocolate bars. You’ll get the best taste and have the easiest time by using quality chocolate bars.
How Long Can I Store Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.
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How to Make Easy Peppermint Bark
Easy Peppermint Bark
- 8 oz quality dark chocolate bars*, chopped into small pieces (226g)
- 8 oz quality white chocolate bars,* chopped into small pieces (226g)
- 1 teaspoon shortening like Crisco
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract not “mint” extract
- ⅓ cup crushed candy cane pieces divided (76g)
- Line an 8×8" baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.
- Place chopped dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir very well. Return to microwave and heat for 15-second intervals (stirring well between each) until chocolate is completely melted.
- Spread melted dark chocolate evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Set aside (do not refrigerate) and prepare your white chocolate layer.
- Place your chopped white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir well. Return to microwave and heat for 15-second intervals (stirring well between each) until white chocolate is completely melted.
- Once white chocolate is melted, place teaspoon of shortening in a small microwave-safe dish and heat until melted (this will only take several seconds). Add peppermint extract and stir well.
- Add peppermint/shortening mixture to white chocolate and stir well. Add ¼ cup of crushed candy canes to the white chocolate and gently fold in until evenly distributed.
- Spread white chocolate evenly (and gently, in case chocolate has not completely set) over dark chocolate layer.
- Immediately sprinkle white chocolate layer with remaining candy cane pieces.
- Allow peppermint bark to harden completely at room temperature before cutting/breaking into pieces and enjoying. This will take several hours at room temperature. I do not recommend refrigerating.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Peppermint Bark isn’t a ‘thing’ in Australia, but I liked the simplicity of this recipe. I made a test batch with a view to putting it into my homemade goodies Christmas hampers. I was so happy with the test batch, I’ve now made 4 more for the hampers. It’s got something for everyone….dark chocolate for the adults, and what kids don’t love candy canes? A real winner in my opinion. Oh, and it’s quite therapeutic smashing the candy canes with a meat mallet! See, something for everyone, even the cook! Thanks for the lovely recipe.
🤣 I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Lynelle, and you got the bonus stress relief of smashing candy canes. 😉
This recipe is so easy and so good. I use the Ghirardelli chocolate both dark and white I was was recommended. There’s nothing better than this homemade recipe and I love the tidbit about mixing the peppermint extract in with a bit of shortening!
I am so glad you enjoyed it so much! 🙂
Would it be possible to use peppermint oil in place of extract?
Hi Tom! Honestly I am not very familiar with peppermint oil or baking with it so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. If you do try it I would love to know how it turns out. 🙂
Great tasting and easy to make! Also, a great way to use up those candy canes.
Hello ! I was wondering if you could use this recipe on popcorn ? Such as coat popcorn with the melted dark chocolate then once the white chocolate is all ready drizzle over the dark chocolate, then sprinkle the candy canes over ?
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Rebecca! I haven’t tried it, but I want to say that you should be ok. If you try it, let me know how it turns out! I love the sweet & salty combo! 🙂
Have you tried making this with the Ghiradelli melting wafers? I can’t wait for Christmas!!!
Hi Kris! I have not tried it with melting wafers, but it should work fine. I generally prefer the taste of the chocolate bars though. 🙂
The 60% Ghirardelli I found is bittersweet Did you use bittersweet chocolate?
Hi, Cindy! I used the 60% Ghiradelli bars. 🙂
Could you mix the extract with a teaspoon of melted butter instead of using melted shortening?
Possibly, but I can’t guarantee how it will work, I chose shortening because there’s no water in shortening while butter is usually around 20% water, and water is what will make your chocolate seize.