Learn how to make homemade dark chocolate peppermint bark the easy way using just 3 simple ingredients and basic kitchen equipment. Decadent and minty, this dark chocolate peppermint bark recipe would make a great gift idea or a sweetly satisfying addition to a party dessert table. Ready to make the best dark chocolate peppermint bark to give away or eat yourself? Let’s get started!
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My Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark Backstory
Each year, everyone in my family gets to request a favorite Christmas treat. In years past, favorite holiday treats have included peanut butter fudge, milk chocolate toffee, dark chocolate raspberry truffles, and chocolate Scotcheroo bars. When my youngest son chose dark chocolate peppermint bark, I set about experimenting. This easy recipe is the result. Not a fan of dark chocolate? Don’t worry, there are other peppermint bark recipe variations further on down. I could not believe how easy this was to make. I hope it gets requested every year!
Equipment Needed for Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
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1 microwave safe bowl
1 zipped plastic bag
1 silicone baking mat or parchment paper
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
The ingredients for this dark chocolate peppermint bark are very simple. Best of all, the ingredient list is very short. There are many brands of dark chocolate chips. Some readily available dark chocolate chip brands in the U.S. include Nestle, Ghirardelli, and Guittard. You may be able to find some store brands for a lower price. Here are the basic ingredients for this easy dark chocolate peppermint bark recipe.
1 12-ounce bag dark chocolate chips (2 cups)
6 regular-sized peppermint candy canes or 18 mini candy canes, crushed into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Directions for Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or with parchment paper.
Unwrap the candy canes and place inside a zipped plastic bag. Leave a little opening in the zipped bag top so the bag doesn’t burst. Place the bag onto a large cutting board and pound with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin. Break the candy canes into small pieces.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes in a small bowl. Keep the rest of the crushed candy cane pieces in the bag.
Pour the dark chocolate chips into a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, like a Pyrex or other glass mixing bowl.
Microwave the chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat 2 more times, stirring after each 30 seconds in the microwave. At first, you might not think that is enough time, but after the final 30 seconds and stirring, the chocolate chips should be melted to a smooth consistency.
Quickly stir in the crushed candy canes from the bag and the peppermint extract.
Spread the mixture out on the silicone mat or parchment paper liner, using a spatula to spread evenly.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved crushed candy canes on top of the melted chocolate mixture.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until set.
Break the dark chocolate peppermint bark into pieces. Serve or store in an airtight container. Refrigeration is optional, but will help the peppermint bark stay fresh longer. Makes about 3 cups of dark chocolate peppermint bark.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- 1 microwave safe bowl
- 1 rolling pin or kitchen mallet
- 1 zipped plastic bag quart size or gallon size
- 1 silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- 1 Baking sheet
- 1 12-ounce bag dark chocolate chips 2 cups
- 6 regular-sized peppermint candy canes, crushed into small pieces or 18 mini candy canes
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the candy canes and place inside a zipped plastic bag. Leave a little opening in the zipped bag top so the bag doesn’t burst.
- Place the bag onto a large cutting board and pound with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin. Break the candy canes into small pieces.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes in a small bowl. Keep the rest of the crushed candy cane pieces in the bag.
- Pour the dark chocolate chips into a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, like a Pyrex or other glass mixing bowl.
- Microwave the chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat 2 more times, stirring after each 30 seconds in the microwave. At first, you might not think that is enough time, but after the final 30 seconds and stirring, the chocolate chips should be melted to a smooth consistency.
- Quickly stir in the crushed candy canes from the bag and the peppermint extract.
- Spread the mixture out on the silicone mat or parchment paper liner, using a spatula to spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of reserved crushed candy canes on top of the melted chocolate mixture.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until set.
- Break the dark chocolate peppermint bark into pieces. Serve or store in an airtight container. Refrigeration is optional, but will help the peppermint bark stay fresh longer. Makes about 3 cups of dark chocolate peppermint bark.
Common Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark Questions
Can I add peppermint oil to melted chocolate?
Yes, you can add food grade peppermint oil to the melted dark chocolate in place of the peppermint extract. How much peppermint extract should I use? It’s important to keep in mind that peppermint oil is highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. You should start by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your melted chocolate and tasting it to see if you need to add more. You can add more peppermint oil to taste, but be careful not to add too much as it can overpower the flavor of the chocolate.
How long does peppermint bark stay fresh?
When stored in an airtight container and can be kept at room temperature, peppermint bark will generally stay fresh for several weeks. If you want to extend the shelf life of your peppermint bark, you can store it in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, peppermint bark will stay fresh for several months. When the peppermint bark is thin, as with this recipe, chilled peppermint bark isn’t difficult to bite into. If your peppermint bark is thick, it might be a good idea to allow it to come to room temperature before serving to make it easier to eat. Regardless of how you store your peppermint bark, it is a good idea to keep it in an airtight container to help prevent it from drying out or absorbing unwanted odors or flavors.
Can you freeze chocolate peppermint bark?
Yes, you can freeze chocolate peppermint bark. Freezing peppermint bark is a good way to extend its shelf life and ensure that it stays fresh for a longer period of time. To freeze peppermint bark, simply place it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, label your frozen peppermint bark with the date it was frozen, and place it in the freezer. When frozen, peppermint bark will stay fresh for several months. Just as with chilled peppermint bark from the refrigerator, it’s a good idea to let the frozen peppermint bark come to room temperature before serving.
Why do they call it peppermint bark?
This peppermint dark chocolate candy is called “bark” because it is made by pouring the crushed peppermint and melted dark chocolate onto a flat surface and allowing it to harden. The resulting thin layer of candy resembles the rough, textured surface of tree bark.
How do you get peppermint bark to stick together?
To get peppermint bark to stick together, it’s important to remember the following tips:
Make sure to use high-quality chocolate that has a good melting point and is easy to work with.
Melt the chocolate slowly and carefully, using 30-second intervals of time in the microwave to avoid overheating the chocolate.
Mix in the peppermint extract or crushed peppermint candies thoroughly to ensure that the flavor is evenly distributed throughout the chocolate.
Pour the chocolate mixture onto a flat surface, such as a silicone baking mat or a sheet of wax paper, and use a spatula to smooth it out into an even layer.
Be sure to sprinkle on the reserved crushed peppermint candy right away, while the melted chocolate is still warm. The pieces will become embedded in the melted chocolate.
Allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely before breaking it into small pieces. By flexing the silicone mat or parchment paper, the dark chocolate peppermint bark should break easily.
Store the peppermint bark in an airtight container at room temperature to help it stay fresh and retain its shape.
By following these tips, you should be able to create a batch of peppermint bark that sticks together well and retains its shape.
Will chocolate harden if you add oil?
Sometimes, if you overheat chocolate, it will begin to harden again rather than melt. If this happens, you can try adding a small amount of vegetable oil or butter. By adding oil or butter to chocolate, you may be disrupting the balance of fat in the chocolate, which can affect its ability to harden properly. However, the effect of adding oil to chocolate will depend on the type and amount of oil used, as well as the type and quality of the chocolate. It is generally best to use a small amount of oil or butter and add it slowly, tasting as you go to ensure that the texture and flavor of the chocolate are to your liking. If you only add a little bit, you may still have success with getting the chocolate to harden. The best thing to remember when melting the chocolate for this recipe is to be patient and stir after each 30-second interval in the microwave. That way, you will not have to add any oil or butter at all.
How do you keep chocolate shiny after melting?
To keep chocolate shiny after melting, try following these tips:
Use high-quality chocolate: Using high-quality chocolate that has a high cocoa butter content can help to keep the chocolate shiny after melting.
As previously noted, melt the chocolate slowly and carefully: Heating chocolate too quickly or at too high a temperature can cause it to become dull and lose its shine.
Stir the chocolate frequently: Stirring the chocolate frequently while it is melting can help to distribute the cocoa butter evenly and prevent the chocolate from becoming dull.
Cool the chocolate slowly: Allowing the chocolate to cool slowly can also help to keep it shiny. To do this, you can place the melted chocolate in the refrigerator to allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the dark chocolate peppermint bark from the refrigerator and allow it to cool the rest of the way at room temperature. This will take longer than the straight refrigerator method, but the chocolate will retain its shine better. The crushed peppermint candy will also add to the shine and sparkle.
Chocolate Peppermint Bark Variations
White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Simply substitute white chocolate chips for the dark chocolate chips called for in this recipe. Keep the rest of the ingredients the same. Follow the recipe instructions, then you will have white chocolate peppermint bark to enjoy.