Holiday baking is one of the best parts of the season, and everyone in my house has their favorite. My oldest makes the most amazing grain-free and gluten-free peanut butter blossom cookies. She tops them with flakey Maldon sea salt and Hershey’s kisses, mind blowing combo! My son always wants to make big batches of rocky road fudge that we can share with teachers and neighbors, and my baby wants to make peppermint bark almost every day after school. She is so practiced that she makes it without a recipe, and so can you!
Thanks to Martha Stewart, we started down her peppermint bark path a couple years ago. But then I realized that we could simplify the recipe a little, and maybe just tweak it in the tiniest way. Why use a double boiler when you can put white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and hit “on?” We melt them for a minute and 30 seconds, and then stir and add 30 second increments until they are smooth. And why not add peppermint candy both inside the bark and on top? The extra broken up candy canes are like peppermint snow on top of the bark. After these treats cool and harden in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, the white chocolate can be broken up into uneven triangles and packed as holiday gifts. Now you know what to take as a hostess gift to your holiday party tonight!
Easy Peppermint Bark
24 ounces (1 1/2 pounds) white chocolate chips (such as Guittard brand)
12 large candy canes
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or peppermint extract
Line a 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a plastic freezer bag. With a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, pound the candy canes into very small pieces. You may want to double bag the candy canes as they tend to break through the bag.
Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stir. If the white chocolate isn't melted, heat for an additional 30-45 seconds until melted. Depending on your microwave, it may take two or three more attempts to melt the chocolate. (Alternately, if you don't have a microwave you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler.)
Stir 2/3 of the crushed candy canes and all the peppermint oil into the melted chocolate. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; spread in a thin, even layer (about 1/4-inch thick). Top with the remaining crushed candy canes from the freezer bag and gently press into the top layer of the bark.
Chill in the refrigerator until firm, 20-30 minutes. Break into pieces, and serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.