Peppermint Bark is an easy and elegant Christmas gift. It’s a cinch to make with only four ingredients and contains layers of semi-sweet and white chocolate. It’s topped with crushed peppermint candy for a festive appearance.
I lived through the era of those aluminum Christmas trees that looked nothing like Christmas trees. They had a center pole, covered in strips of aluminum into which you’d insert these things that were supposed to represent tree limbs. The limbs were as straight as a poker, covered in aluminum strips that dangled, and had ridiculous looking pom-poms on the end. We even had the color wheel that shone on the aluminum tree making it look even less like a Christmas tree as it changed to every color in the rainbow. My mother loved this tree, however. After it was set up in front of the picture window, she would make us all stand on the sidewalk and look at it. All her ooo-ing and ahh-ing didn’t do a thing to convince me it was beautiful. To my eyes, it flat out didn’t look like a Christmas tree. And, it was strange looking, to boot.
We’d ride around to look at Christmas lights and she’d always delight each time she saw a similar tree in other people’s picture windows. Perhaps she felt validated. I, on the other hand, felt disappointed. Is it too much to ask for a green Christmas tree?
Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, we ditched the aluminum tree for a real tree. It not only looked like a Christmas tree, it smelled like one, too! This was long before Hallmark’s cable channel that shows non-stop Christmas movies, but I could have written a script for them. I was in Heaven!
My heavenly jubilation was short lived, unfortunately. My mother decided this beautiful live, green, perfectly shaped Christmas tree with the perfect evergreen bouquet, would be decorated all in blue.
Talk about an emotional roller coaster. I go from disappointed, to disappointed, and back to disappointed. Suddenly, I’m ecstatic and then BOOM! Disappointed, again.
So, on to the blue decorations: blue lights, blue ornaments, and blue garland. All that blue sufficiently snuffed the life out of the beautiful green Christmas tree.
But, we weren’t done yet.
Back then , silver tinsel was a popular Christmas tree decoration.. I suppose it could add some magic and beauty to a tree if applied correctly which entailed adding them one by one to the tree. But that’s not how we rolled. We grabbed handfuls, stood back, and threw them on the tree.
Between the non-Christmasy blue decorations and the abundance of sloppily placed silver tinsel, the beauty of the tree underneath no longer matter. At that moment, I felt a kinship with Charlie Brown.
My mother did bend a little and let us put candy canes on the tree. Real candy canes that were red and white striped just as candy canes should be. The candy canes brought just enough tradition amidst the sea of contemporary blue ornaments and artificial, poorly applied, silver tinsel to give the tree a real Christmas feel. For that, I’m eternally grateful to peppermint’s red and white stripes.
I still love red and white stripes at Christmas. Whether not that has anything to do with the real candy canes that made our unfortunate tree decorations tolerable, I’ll never know. What I do know, is that our decorations were a recipe headed for disaster until we were saved by the stripes.
Inspired by Food Network
You can’t have too much red and white striped peppermint at Christmas. Peppermint and chocolate is a great flavor combination. Peppermint Bark has the visual appeal of red and white stripes and the palate appeal of chocolate and mint. Score!!
Deceptively easy, this gorgeous candy makes wonderful gifts. Line the baking dish with aluminum foil with sides that hang over. Spray with non-stick spray. When the bark is finished and hardened, use the sides of the foil to lift the candy out of the baking dish. You can easily separate the foil from the candy. Either break or cut into sections. If the candy has been in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before cutting or breaking
12 ounces Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
16 ounces Baker’s Premium white chocolate baking squares
20 round peppermint candies (or an equal amount of candy canes), crushed
Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with foil. Spray with nonstick spray.
Place semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until chocolate is 75% melted, stirring 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour into prepared dish. Let sit until chocolate starts to harden.
Place white chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Microwave until 75% melted, stirring after each 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until white chocolate is melted. Pour over semi-sweet chocolate.
Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of white chocolate. Press candy gently into the chocolate.
Let sit at room temperature until firm, at least one hour.
Remove from baking dish by grabbing the foil.
Break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
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- 12 ounces premium semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 16 ounces premium white chocolate baking squares
- 20 round peppermint candies or an equal amount of candy canes, crushed
- Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with foil. Spray with nonstick spray.
- Place semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until chocolate is 75% melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour into prepared dish. Let sit until chocolate starts to harden.
- Place white chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Microwave until 75% melted, stirring after each 30 seconds .. Remove from microwave and stir until white chocolate is melted. Pour over semi-sweet chocolate.
- Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of white chocolate. Press candy gently into the chocolate.
- Let sit at room temperature until firm, at least one hour. I let it sit overnight.
- Remove from baking dish by grabbing the foil.
- Break into pieces. Store in airtight container.