Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Peppermint Bark

I tried making peppermint bark this Christmas. I researched recipes, found one that looked good and scaled it down a bit. I dutifully spread the chocolate into a brownie pan. I followed up with the peppermint/white layer and spread carefully crushed candy canes on top. It was too thick, and the crushed peppermint didn’t stick to the top layer.

So I tried again, tweaking a few details, and I still wasn’t happy with it.  I boxed it up and gave it to my sister to take with her on her travels. I figured somebody would eat it and maybe by then my name would have been left out of the loop. Well, Sister A gave some to Sister B.

Sister B emailed me today with the following tacked on to the end of her message.

This missive gives me an opportunity to tell you how banging excellent that peppermint bark was! Yes, was. I was hoarding it. I like peppermint bark, but this was the absolute best I've ever had. Now, we had some friend's down from Rhode Island this weekend, and they found it. It was gone in two hours. Damn. So now I need to ask you for the recipe. It wasn't just chocolate under that peppermint, it was fudge, wasn't it?

So do an older sister a favor, and share the recipe, so I can share with [more friends] (who also put a hefty dent in my supply).

And my response …

Are you sure that was *my* peppermint bark?? It looked like something the cat horked up in my opinion, not that there is anything wrong with that. I just read a bunch of recipes and then made up my own which is as follows.

Bottom layer: one regular bag Hershey dark chocolate chips. Nuke in the microwave, stir, repeat until melty. Then pour onto a waxed paper covered cookie sheet (I used a jelly roll pan). Put in the fridge to harden. While you’re nuking and chilling;

Take a box of candy canes. Unwrap and snap into pieces. If you have the patience, put them in a ziplock bag and abuse them with a rolling pin until they are of a nicely broke-up size. This will cause tiny little holes to appear in the bag, and peppermint dust to waft about your kitchen which is similar to cotton candy goo – it sticks to everything – but your bark will look nicer. Otherwise, toss it into a food processor and try to get it a somewhat uniform size so you don’t end up with a range of sizes from “chunks” to “sub-atomic particles”. The dust will still stick to everything, but it will be more localized.

White layer: one regular bag Hershey (we don’t get a lot of high-end choices here in [rural location]) white chocolate chips. Melt and stir as above. Then stir in 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and wonder why the mixture suddenly seizes up like a Mopar slant-six with no oil. Ponder what to do to salvage it and decide to stir in a little butter and a little vegetable oil. Heat it up a bit. Realize that it’s helping some, but you don’t have a lovely glossy, homogeneous mass, and the best thing to do is just dump in the crushed peppermint and punt. This is accomplished by dropping/spreading it onto the chilled chocolate and hoping it doesn’t melt the dark chocolate too badly. Put it back in the fridge to harden.

When cold, take it out and peel off the waxed paper and break/cut it into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy. You just may not want to look at too closely.


  1. If you write a cookbook, I'll buy it.

  2. That is an absolutely hysterical recipe. I'd probably be more of a foodie if they all had this much snark.

  3. DT - That picture has not been photoshopped, and I've always liked it. The colors put me in mind of an ocean of quicksilver.

  4. I absolutely abhore peppermint bark. Actually anything with peppermint or bark is completely off my list of things to eat, but this recipe, as you described it sounds like an interesting way to cook, so I just might try it out:)