My husband LOVES peppermint. I mean, really loves it. The way some people love chocolate. Or truffles. Or cheese. Okay, I might be talking about myself with those last two, but you get the idea. So when I was baking for Eat My Blog this week, I wanted to kill two birds with one stone: fill goodie bags for the event and fill my husband's tummy (both worthy causes, I would say). So I knew peppermint bark would make its way onto my holiday gift menu, but I really wanted to make it a truly spectacular batch. I started with a simple base: two layers of semi-sweet and white chocolate, but then I went crazy chopping Trader Joe's peppermint products for toppings. Think white chocolate and peppermint-covered pretzels, dark chocolate-covered mint marshmallows, minty Oreo-esque cookies dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint, and pure crushed peppermint. When it was chilled and good to go, I tested out a piece on my husband. I must preface this by saying my husband doesn't do a lot of lingering in the kitchen, but he made several trips just to stand over and snack on the peppermint bark. He even exclaimed, "This is my perfect dessert." I was happy he loved it so much, and hope that the shoppers at Eat My Blog did, too! Recipe and photos below.
The Ultimate Holiday Peppermint Bark
Ultimate Peppermint Bark
Makes about 30 three-inch chunks
- 30 ounces (3 bags) semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
- 30 ounces (3 bags) white chocolate baking chips
- 2 red and white candy canes or peppermint sticks, crushed
- 1 bag Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims, chopped
- 1/2 box of Trader Joe's Peppermint Joe's, chopped
- 1/2 box of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows, chopped
Line two 9x13" or one large 15 x 21" rimmed baking tray with foil, making sure foil overlaps the edges. Set aside. Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in medium-sized bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir with silicone spatula and continue to microwave in 20 second increments at full power, stirring after each round until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate onto baking tray, using a large silicone spatula to spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle one crushed candy cane onto the chocolate, pressing slightly to make sure it sticks. Put tray in refrigerator to chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Line a rimmed baking tray with foil.
Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave until melted (see steps above).
Spread chocolate on foil and sprinkle crushed peppermint. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
While chocolate is chilling, prepare your toppings. Use any toppings you prefer. I use chocolate-covered pretzels, mint marshmallows and peppermint cookies.
When the chocolate layer is firm, put the white chocolate in another medium-sized bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir with silicone spatula and continue to microwave in 20 second increments at full power, stirring after each round until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove tray with hardened semi-sweet chocolate and peppermint layer from the refrigerator. Using a large spatula, spread the melted white chocolate over the semi-sweet chocolate in a smooth, even layer. Arrange the chopped minty marshmallows pieces into the white chocolate layer, spread evenly apart. Sprinkle the chopped peppermint cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels and crushed peppermint on the white chocolate, gently pressing each layer down to make sure the pieces adhere to the chocolate. Place the tray back into the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Melt white chocolate according to instructions above.
When the bark is firm, lift the foil layer out of the pan and set on a large cutting board or flat countertop. Using a large knife, cut the bark into uneven pieces. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Remove foil from pan and chop bark into large chunks. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Here's my packaged peppermint bark for Eat My Blog. I put 2-3 pieces of peppermint bark in cellophane bags, affixed a custom label with the name and list of ingredients, and tied them with a Pardon My Crumbs tag and holiday ribbon. Then off to the event they went. Well, not all of them. Let's say that my husband held some of them hostage. I hope you like them as much as he does. :)
The Finished Bark: All ready to go to Eat My Blog!