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Look at that

I’ve been sitting here for the past twenty minutes, trying to figure out how to start this post. I hate it when this happens. I have nightmares about it, even.

Well, let’s see. How about a photograph? Maybe it will jump-start something. One can hope.

One can also, while hoping, tiptoe over to the fridge and steal some of the peppermint bark in that photograph, even though it’s supposed to be saved for holiday gifts. That’s another option. Just don’t tell Brandon, because I told him earlier today that he couldn’t have any. Then again, he’s over at the restaurant space right now, drinking a beer and eating Cool(!) Ranch(!) Doritos(!) while he rips out the carpet, so it’s really only fair that I should have a snack here too. Like peppermint bark. Which is, for the record, very refreshing. And inspiring! Look at that. I just wrote a whole paragraph.

I was introduced to this particular peppermint bark by my sister Lisa, who always, always, finds the best recipes. For a few years now - or maybe even several; I can’t remember - she has made it for the holidays. She gives most of it away to friends, but she usually sets aside a tin for the family to eat during Christmas, when we’re all together. Last year, when we spent Christmas Eve at her house on Long Island, I’m pretty sure I ate more peppermint bark than dinner.

Lisa and I were on the phone the other day, having a marathon catch-up session, and while we talked, I made a batch of chocolate blocks. I happened to mention that I was working on my holiday gift-making, and Lisa confided that she was running behind on hers. She usually makes both peppermint bark and bittersweet almond bark, handing out small sachets of each, but this year, she told me, so many people have asked for the peppermint bark that she is thinking of skipping the almond one entirely. I was sad to hear that - last Christmas Eve, I also ate more almond bark than dinner - but I understand. That peppermint bark is special.

Before I tasted Lisa’s version, the words peppermint bark weren’t even in my vocabulary. I guess I thought of it as one of those cutesy things you get in a gift basket but never eat, like tiny jars of cheese spread or plastic-encased summer sausages. Most of the time, it was simply a sheet of pallid white chocolate with crushed-up peppermint candies mixed in - or, in a slightly fancier incarnation, a layer of dark chocolate topped with a layer of white chocolate with crushed-up peppermint candies mixed in. I know this will sound like sacrilege to some, but I couldn’t get excited about it.

But then, THEN, there was Lisa’s version, which is really Bon Appétit’s version, a recipe that ran in the magazine ten whole years ago, in 1998. It consists of not one layer, not two layers, but three layers. The top and bottom are white chocolate, onto which you sprinkle crushed peppermints, and the middle layer is a bittersweet ganache, ever so slightly soft and truffle-like, spiked with peppermint extract. It’s pretty, for one thing, but it’s also unusually delicious: heady with mint, only moderately sweet, and surprisingly sophisticated, crunchy in parts and smooth in others, like a proper chocolate confection. It’s Americana, yes, but Americana in a vintage designer dress. If the butter cookies I made last week bore a faint resemblance to my grandmother, this peppermint bark is my fantasy great-aunt: the one who lives in San Francisco, wears Jackie O. dresses and glasses with vermilion frames, makes hot chocolate from scratch, and always knows what’s showing at SFMOMA. What a lady she would be. I wish she actually existed. At least I have peppermint bark.

This recipe takes a bit more time than the average bark specimen, what with the layering of chocolates and the required chilling in between, but it’s worth the effort. Once you have your ingredients ready, it’s really very easy: you just chop, melt, smear, and repeat. And while it cools, you can do any number of important things, like washing dishes, or chiding your husband for eating Cool Ranch Doritos without you, or calling your sister to thank her for her brilliance.

Three-Layer Peppermint Bark
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1998

When you’re shopping for white chocolate, make sure that the words “cocoa butter” appear in the list of ingredients. When I went to buy mine, I was shocked by how many brands contain absolutely no cocoa butter. (Instead, you get only sugar, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavorings, and the like.) I wound up using Callebaut, which isn’t cheap, but it was a worthy splurge.

Also, to crush the peppermints coarsely, Bon Appétit advises tapping the wrapped candies firmly with the bottom edge of an unopened 15- to 16-ounce can. I used a heavy glass jar, and that worked fine too.

17 oz. white chocolate, such as Callebaut, finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, such as Ghirardelli 60%, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
¾ tsp. peppermint extract

Turn a large baking sheet upside down, and cover it securely with aluminum foil. Measure out and mark a 9- by 12-inch rectangle on the foil.

Put the white chocolate in a metal (or other heatproof) bowl, and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth; if you take its temperature with a candy thermometer, it should register 110°F. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Pour 2/3 cup of it onto the rectangle on the foil. Using an icing spatula, spread the chocolate to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, and pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle. Using an icing spatula – make sure you cleaned it after using it for the white chocolate, above! – spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water to 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm bittersweet layer, using your (again, clean) icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the foil from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. (These are yours to nibble at, a little prize for your efforts.) Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slip the bark off of the foil and onto the cutting board. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or, alternatively, just cut each strip into smaller pieces of whatever size you like. That’s what I did.

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or, to emphasize the slight softness of the bittersweet layer, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: This bark will keep for up to 2 weeks, if not more. If you plan to pack it in a tin or baggie with other holiday sweets, be sure to wrap it separately in plastic wrap. Or maybe wax paper and then plastic wrap, so that it doesn’t sweat. If you left it naked, so to speak, to mix and mingle with other cookies or candies, everything might wind up tasting and smelling like peppermint.

Yield: about 36 pieces, or more, if you cut them smaller


Blogger Leah said...

That your husband is eating Cool (!) Ranch (!) Doritos (!) anywhere but in a car somewhere at Mr. Rainier without the entire crew is really the problem. Let's sic Shooby on him.

Meanwhile, I'll be in the fridge, 'guarding' the candy. What? You can't guard candy by putting it in your mouth? Says who.

11:31 PM, December 15, 2008  
Blogger Lara said...

I'm drooling already.

11:32 PM, December 15, 2008  
Blogger shishlique said...

Ditto on that wish for a fabulous great aunt. I am not a white chocolate person, but I love dark chocolate and good peppermint bark. I have to try this recipe. Thank you so much.

I just moved back to Seattle and a lot of things have changed since I last lived here, but reading your blog reminds me of the familiar.

12:01 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Amber said...

Must be in the air - my sister just made a batch and brought us over some...I've already snuck a few pieces :-)

12:02 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Shelley (Pink House) said...

Those look amazing! I'm putting them on my to-do list. which is already too long, but I can still hope.

12:03 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Babeth said...

This looks interesting for me ( never heard of it on this side of the ocean).
I will try to make some for the holidays.
Happy Holidays :-)

1:25 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger The Cook's Tour said...

I was so excited to see your latest post but when I saw that it contained peppermint my heart sank... peppermint and chocolate is just not my favorite combination. But then I saw the hyperlink to the chocolate blocks and I was back up again! Dark chocolate with nuts and dried fruit? The best! They look great and what a terrific little giveaway for friends during the holidays. Thanks, Molly!

2:53 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Victoria said...

You make everything sound wonderful - even peppermint bark! I'm in.

Will you please explain a little more how you pack it to give away? I'm not quite understanding how to separate it - is each piece wrapped, are the layers separated? Sorry.

3:10 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger trupeach said...

perfect! last year i made roasted red-pepper sauce for friends, but wanted to mix it up this year and do something sweet. i, too, had the fear of a sugary treat being appreciated as much as a gift-basket cheese spread, but now you've encouraged me.

3:30 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger maggie said...

What a treat!

4:53 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Alina said...

Thanks for this! I've been wanting to find a recipe for something worth giving to all the family as gifts this year...this looks to be just the thing! Also, thanks for admitting your love for Cool (!) Ranch (!) Doritos (!)--they are quite nearly a perfect snack, in my opinion!

4:58 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Susannah said...

I think you read my mind--I was flipping through my Williams-Sonoma catalog and was more than a little taken aback at how overpriced their peppermint bark is. Perhaps I'll give this a shot instead. Thanks!

5:35 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger UNIFORM Studio said...

thank you for this. You just solved my gift giving dilemma.
this is perfect.

6:19 AM, December 16, 2008  
OpenID pricklypearbloom said...

I've never been a peppermint bark lover, or liker for that matter, either, but this sounds like something that could change my mind. I've made 5 batches of cookies already, and have 2 more plus rogue caramels in the plans, but I'm going to have to add this too.

6:21 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

Although I'm not a huge fan of chocolate and mint, I do love chocolate barks. One of my favs is white chocolate with green pumpkin seeds and dried cherries or cranberries - yum!

6:27 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous emily said...

oh molly, i adore you and your fantasy great aunt and your love of all that is delicious in this world. peppermint bark, here i come...

6:49 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Renee said...

It's official. Peppermint Bark has just made it to my holiday baking list. Thank you for sharing.

6:55 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Someone directed me to your site after reading one of my post's requesting a good peppermint bark recipe. This looks WONDERFUL! Thanks!

7:05 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Ganache? For realz? That sounds like it would be worth the three layer effort. Yum!

7:26 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

Tee-hee! My sister(-in-law) also introduced me to homemade peppermint bark, and while her version is a straight white chocolate+peppermint candy combo, it's addictively tasty. If she doesn't make enough for my brother to eat a healthy portion of bark, it causes SERIOUS problems in their marriage. Yikes!

7:33 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous lisaiscooking said...

Believe it or not, I've never eaten peppermint bark! Callebaut white chocolate is fantastic, however.

7:40 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Elle said...

This is the recipe that my mom has always used at Christmas. It's addictive.

7:41 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger A Day That Is Dessert said...

I'm so excited see this - I make peppermint bark every year,and this looks better than the MS recipe I usually use. Thanks!

7:46 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Erin said...

I've never understood the peppermint bark fascination that so many people have but then I snagged a free sample at Williams-Sonoma the other day and instantly fell in love. Thank you for reminding us all about the Bon Appétit recipe! This looks perfect.

7:55 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Peppermint bark--what a lovely new holiday tradition. Here's an old holiday tradition you might enjoy, from one Oklahoma girl to another:


Yep, that says BC Clark. You know what it is! Get ready to sing along! My mom and I now live in Arizona, but we listen to the jingle every year for our taste of home. This year, thanks to you, we were able to listen while making Aunt Bill's!

7:56 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm a sucker for peppermint bark, so this is definitely on my "to make" list, possibly nudging out coconut macaroons for first place.

8:04 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous beth said...

i was just looking for a recipe for this yesterday afternoon! i had the same idea for homemade christmas gifts — the stuff at williams-sonoma is way too pricey. i got a little overwhelmed when everything i read detailed the process of tempering chocolate and the science of how chocolate crystallizes with warnings not to disturb the cocoa molecules or whatever. so i'm happy to see your recipe. it's a simple one i know i can trust. thanks, molly!

8:10 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Erin said...

Peppermint bark rocks, I used to make it every year, but unwrapping those canes is so tedious.

8:25 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger JillyB said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the tip on Callebaut white chocolate. I have been working through your wonderful recipe archives for months now, but I have never had a chance to comment on a recent post. So here is my question--I don't understand why you turn the baking sheet upside down. What is the advantage?

9:03 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Pajau said...

Do these need to stay refrigerated? I was thinking of shipping them (from west to east coast)... would they last?

9:37 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Hello, I'm Sally. said...

I'm thinking "can I add one more thing to my list?" because I really want to make this!

Funny that you mention the lack of cocoa butter in white chocolate. I used to buy the most lovely block of white chocolate at Trader Joe's. Since they stopped carrying it I've had the worst trouble finding real white chocolate anywhere!

9:51 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Susan in Amherst, NH said...

Try sandwiching Nabisco chocolate wafers around mint-infused dark chocolate ganache, allow to firm-up in fridge, then slide the wheel around in some melted white chocolate until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle the tips with crushed candy cane, refridgerate again, and then wrap up in clear cello bags tied with festive ribbon. Makes an impressive gift.

10:07 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger rachel said...

Oh my...in all the excitement of exams, I have forgotten about Christmas baking!

The last time I made peppermint bark, the peppermint extract caused the chocolate to seize...I suppose that adding the extract before melting the chocolate would fix that? I hope so, because this looks fantastic (although no one had any problems inhaling the somewhat-bumpy bark from last year).

10:25 AM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous midy said...

"The top and bottom are white chocolate, onto which you sprinkle crushed peppermints, and the middle layer is a bittersweet ganache, ever so slightly soft and truffle-like, spiked with peppermint extract. It’s pretty, for one thing, but it’s also unusually delicious: heady with mint, only moderately sweet, and surprisingly sophisticated, crunchy in parts and smooth in others, like a proper chocolate confection. It’s Americana, yes, but Americana in a vintage designer dress. If the butter cookies I made last week bore a faint resemblance to my grandmother, this peppermint bark is my fantasy great-aunt: the one who lives in San Francisco, wears Jackie O. dresses and glasses with vermilion frames, makes hot chocolate from scratch, and always knows what’s showing at SFMOMA. What a lady she would be. I wish she actually existed. At least I have peppermint bark."

You could sell ice to the eskimos, in a heartbeat... oh me, oh my!!

10:59 AM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Erika said...

Not only does this particular peppermint bark sound scrumptious, but pulverizing peppermints is a great way to work off some holiday stress, no?

3:19 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Belle said...

Like you I never gave those a second thought - until this post. One question though, how do you mark the foil? What is a food-safe way to do it?

Thank you!
A new reader.

4:19 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger kickpleat said...

this looks so beautiful. i'm now put to shame with my 1 layer peppermint bark and will try this out for the holidays.

4:21 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Jen H said...

I just made the Food Network Canada's version of this (which is practically the same recipe) for a friend who is wheat-free and it was a complete hit! I may have to make a second batch for myself :)

4:51 PM, December 16, 2008  
OpenID cheztravie said...

I usually make a dark chocolate bark with dried apricots, currants, and nuts pressed into the surface, but this looks so good that I might have to change my plans and whip this up instead this year!

6:37 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Hilary said...

but the almond bark recipe? How can you tease me like that?

7:01 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Still figuring it out... said...

I made my bark about 5 minutes before yours...wish I had seen yours first. I like the 3 layer idea, with a ganache element. I did mine a bit differently, I added a little vanilla and cinnamon to my dark chocolate. It turned out very nicely too.

7:42 PM, December 16, 2008  
Anonymous Amber said...

This made me far too hungry - I had to stop reading halfway!

7:42 PM, December 16, 2008  
Blogger Samarahuel said...

I've been wanting to make peppermint bark this year, along with the other cookies and goodies I'm planning. I'd better get baking! As of yet, I've only made biscotti and your Lemon Sables that both got raves as they were completely devoured at my husband's office cookie bake-off. Thanks for the recipe.

And, I DID have a great aunt like that! Aunt Viola. She lived in San Jose, and I have a lovely collection of vintage jewelry and dresses thanks to her.

12:45 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Urban Explorette said...

Well I guess I know what I'm making later this week. :)

2:32 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Rita said...

I've been wanting to make a peppermint bark for a while, this might be the one, I love white chocolate. BTW, I understand the "blank moment" before starting a post sometimes....

9:03 AM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I went straight out to pick up some white chocolate and peppermints - made this in a snap. A perfect compliment to the Hot Cocoa mix and homemade marshmallows that are being sent to the East Coast today for family. Thanks again, Molly, for another awesome recipe.

9:21 AM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous EB said...

I made bark last year for gifts and um... it didn't make it out of the door. It's sooo good!

11:42 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Michelle said...

I was never a fan of this confection until I tried the Williams Sonoma bark - and it was good. Now it's nice to have this homemade alternative. Thanks.

6:17 PM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous Julie said...

Great, something else for my to-do list. I think this might displace the rest of the list...

8:54 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Wow. Made them this evening and we've already killed off the trimmings. Uh oh - David is looking longingly at the packages we made up for tomorrow night's guests...

9:32 PM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous Jane said...

I made this tonight and had a problem. I used Ghiradelli white chocolate chips and by the time they were all melted (no longer lumpy) the liquid had become dry and firm - no longer a liquid!!! I made a large recipe using 55 oz of the white chips - must I toss the whole batch? What happened?!!

11:00 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger nancy said...

I have made three batches over the last week using this same recipe. I have the same problem as Jane above. It tastes delicious, but my white chocolate messes it up - it doesn't look smooth and pretty. Also, how do you keep the warm layer you are spreading from melting the layer beneath and causing unsightly streaks??

11:29 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Eeek! Lots of you had questions about this recipe, and I meant to reply yesterday. So sorry!

Victoria, let's see if I can explain this better. I put multiple types of cookies and candies in a tin all together, and I wanted to figure out a way to segregate the bark, so that it wouldn't make everything taste/smell like peppermint. So what I did was this: I took the bark - let's say 4 pieces of it, or 6 - and stacked them on a sheet of wax paper. Then I wrapped the wax paper around them. (They might stick together a little, but eh, I think it's okay.) Then I wrapped the bundle - bark and wax paper - in plastic wrap. Then I put this whole bundle into the tin with the rest of the goodies. If you wanted to be extra cautious about it, you could wrap each piece separately before putting it in the tin, but I didn't go quite that far. (It might look cute, though, if you did!)

JillyB, turning the sheet pan upside down makes it easier to maneuver your icing spatula and spread the chocolate. I think this detail is mainly for people who use rimmed sheet pans: if you were trying to spread the chocolate in a rimmed sheet pan, your spatula would probably keep hitting the side. Really annoying. If you're using a flat sheet pan, without a rim, you're probably fine to not turn it over.

Pajau, yes, these do need to be refrigerated, but I don't think that should keep you from mailing them. I've been mailing mine, and so far, I think it's been fine. It's so cold outside (in a lot of the northern hemisphere, at least!) that the bark should be cool for the bulk of its journey - and either way, I think it would really have to get quite warm before it started melting.

Rachel, I didn't have any trouble with mine seizing, and I think it's in part because, yes, the extract was added before melting, but also because there was cream involved too. When you're melting chocolate, it will seize if you add a tiny bit of liquid - a drop of water, say, or a little extract - but if you add a good amount of liquid, it won't. I don't know what the magic chocolate-to-liquid ratio is, but I think the fact that this chocolate gets melted with quite a bit of liquid - cream AND extract - means that it won't seize. Sorry I can't explain the science of it better, but I hope this helps a little!

Belle, I marked the foil with a pen, but I angled the pen in such a way that it didn't actually leave any ink on the foil; it only made a line in it.

Hilary, I'm not sure of the exact recipe for the almond bark, but basically, Lisa mixes whole almonds into tempered bittersweet chocolate, pours it out onto a sheet pan (though I'm not sure if she greases it or not), and lets it harden before breaking it into pieces. You might try Googling a more exact recipe, but that's the gist of it.

Jane, I think there could be a couple of problems at fault here. The first is this: do you know if Ghirardelli white chips contain cocoa butter? I was looking at them in the store the other day, and I don't think they do. I'm not entirely sure, but it's worth your checking. The absence of cocoa butter - and the presence, instead, of other oils or stabilizers - could cause the chocolate to melt weirdly. Also, I worry that, because you were melting so much chocolate, parts of it overheated (i.e. got above 110 degrees or so) before the whole thing was fully melted. White chocolate, I've read, has a tendency to clump if overheated, and if you were melting a lot of it, it's likely that parts of it got way too hot while you waited for other parts to melt. Unfortunately, I do think you're going to have to toss it out! I hate to say it, but if it has really gotten clumpy, I just don't think it can be salvaged. I'm sorry about that.

Nancy, ack! Re: white chocolate, please see my reply to Jane, above. And as for how to keep from melting the layers below as you spread a new layer, you need to make sure to do a few things: 1) take care that the layers you've already done are very cold and firm before you add a new one, 2) take care that the layer you're adding isn't too hot (the bittersweet ganache should only be lukewarm; the white chocolate should be no hotter than 110), and 3) work quickly. I'm sorry for your troubles, and I hope it goes better next time - if you choose to do it again!

11:46 PM, December 17, 2008  
Anonymous Katy said...

I had a great-aunt in Berkeley (close enough) who loved the SFMOMA and she would have loved this. I think I'll make this in her memory.

(in Devon, England)

6:13 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Julia said...

The moment the boy and I read this recipe, we looked at one another and KNEW WHAT WE HAD TO DO. We went straight to the supermarket, and had these babies whipped up in an hour. We didn't let the fact that it was already 11pm stop us. They were delicious. I took some out to coffee with friends, and our waitress must have eaten half of it. She kept coming back all sheepish like for more! Dangerous stuff.

8:08 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

This sounds like a great solution to the fact that peppermint bark, though delicious - is usually kind of hard and thus difficult to eat - but then again, I'm not sure the ability to plow through it even faster would be such a good thing!

9:30 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Jayne said...

I've never made peppermint bark before, but the chocolate layer convinced me to give it a try. Two layers cooling in the fridge right now. Smells lovely! I'm planning to take it to my family's Christmas Eve gathering. I hope I can resist eating most of it....

(By the way, I used the end of a spoon to make the line in the foil.)

11:52 AM, December 18, 2008  
Anonymous Jessie said...

Hello! Having read your blog since before you introduced a certain New Yorker, I thought it fitting to post my first comment timed to the first of your recipes I've made in earnest. Others have inspired me to try new things, combine certain flavors, or just smile at your unfolding story, but this - this is the recipe that moved me to drive around suburban New Jersey in my parents' Suburu chasing down what was seemingly the last bottle of Peppermint Extract in the tri-state area. All this to say - I melted, sprinkled, chilled and chopped my way into a delicious result. A bit softer than what I expected, but a happy surprise - these are as tasty as can be. Thank you for this recipe and for the ones past and to come!

1:13 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Melissa said...

What could be a better yummy snack than some refreshing peppermint bark? :) This looks delish!

5:16 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Robin Marie said...

I don't know that I've ever comment before, but I love your blog! I wanted to let you know that I was supposed to spend tonight studying for my final tomorrow, but when I took a study break and read this post I dropped everything and went to the store (at 10 pm) and bought the ingredients for this. I also managed to convince another lady in the grocery store the stop her plans and make it too! It's incredible! All the guys I live with are loving it. I think I'll bring some to my professor in the morning (if it lasts that long) and see if I can't bribe an A out of him.

So, I'm thrilled that you didn't know what to blog about this evening, because I think you've created a new holiday tradition in my life!

9:48 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger nk said...

ooo this recipe makes me drool. LIke everyone else here, im giving it a go and keeping this recipe!

3:31 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Dani said...

yum.. that's all, just yum!

4:50 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Emily said...

Yum this sounds so much better than the stuff they put out at every Christmas concert. Congratulations on the restaurant as well!!!

10:11 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger nancy said...

Don't worry - I'll definitely keep making it. ;) It doesn't look pretty, but it tastes delicious!

12:25 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Anna Be said...

Thank you for your recipe! I was planning to make peppermint bark for gifts for people, but I hadn't found a recipe yet, then I saw your post and viola!!

1:44 PM, December 19, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

I get intro block a lot too :)

Nice peppermint bark - looks like it's holiday time to me!

2:59 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Miriam said...

Made these last night, and they are totally insane. Evil. Yum.

I like the middle layer, and think I'll work harder to make the top/bottom layers a bit thinner next time, so it will all stretch a bit further. So it will seem like more, and I might be able to make it last a liiiiiittle longer.

It's so pleasing to look at, nestled in the wax paper.

3:02 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Jenny said...

I am so ready for Peppermint Bark! I love the looks of this recipe and finally got a candy thermometer, so the time seems to be right....

3:09 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Karin said...

I just relieved some sick dog frustration with a mallet to the candies...

3:29 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Peg A said...

I've ben looking for an excuse to buy Lurak butter--now I have one! Thank you! Love your blog and your recipes...

6:06 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Kathleen said...

This is one of the many recipes of yours I've made and, of course, it's delicious! I've made peppermint bark before (the author will remain nameless but her initials are M.S.)and it was good, but this is unbelievably good! Even my husband, who claims he doesn't like peppermint, love it. And my son can't get enough. Back to the store for more supplies! I've got to make another batch for Christmas! Thanks so much!

8:19 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Doris said...

Those looked great! I recently made my first attempt at peppermint bark this year (I wished I saw this recipe first). But I tried making it the slacker-method and used left over chocolate graham crackers for the bottom layer. It was still good, but I think I'll need to try your recipe (I still have a bunch of candy canes to use up!).

6:49 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

i made peppermint bark last night and it's all i can do not to eat it for breakfast!
i wanted to share my bad experience with the ghiradelli chips too (and that was with a regular batch, 16oz in my little double boiler, stirring constantly)... they got weird and seize-y and then the whole thing became grainy and clumpy and awful... nothing could save it! the whole lot went in the trash. you are right that ghiradelli has no cocoa butter, only palm kernel oil (wish i had checked that before i bought 3 bags). when i went to the fancy grocer and got white chocolate with cocoa butter it melted beautifully and worked out great.
also, thanks for the cookie travel tips the other day :)
happy happy holidays molly! xo

6:58 AM, December 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to make this, this weekend! Sounds great.

One question - are your peppermint candies you use round hard ones, or candy canes? I imagine the texture might be slightly different with either one or the other. (Or maybe not?!)

10:57 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Rachel Catriona said...

Just made these this morning using crushed candy canes and big blocks of Callebaut chocolate I chopped up. Now, I figure I made a batch and a half and with my chocolate costs the whole thing was about $18 to make. A) way cheaper than buying the bark at a good chocolate shop and B) so much better!

This one has earned a spot in my holiday baking for years to come. Thanks Molly!

1:07 PM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

i just made this! two batches, in fact! i should have held back and did one at a time, though, because even at 9x12 my layers didn't turn out as thick as yours! next time i'll keep it smaller than 8x11, i think!

8:22 PM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Tammy said...

I just discovered your site, and I LOVE it. I can't wait to try your restaurant out too. I live in the Tri-Cities, across the state from you and we often get to Seattle and love trying new restaurants. I love the peppermint bark recipe and want to try it, I also love the vision of an Auntie. I have a couple of great recipes on my site - handed down from my Grandmother and for a dear friend. They're not as fancy as yours, but you might enjoy them and they are easy. Merry Christmas.

12:38 PM, December 21, 2008  
Blogger Jeannie said...

I absolutely love your blog. I have no idea how I came across it, but I've enjoyed your insights for awhile now. Your musings are so interesting, even when you're at a loss for words! ;)

Good luck with your restaurant! We don't live in Seattle anymore, but we still have family there. Perhaps we'll be able to check it out during a visit.

1:45 PM, December 21, 2008  
Anonymous Informixx said...

Cool! Something delicious.

5:15 PM, December 21, 2008  
Anonymous Sara said...

I made this recipe with a few changes to take into work and in the 2 days it was in the fridge, it got demolished.

This is fantastic!

6:33 AM, December 22, 2008  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

Oh man, this stuff is dangerous! I made a big double batch and made gift baskets for co-workers with a little bag of it, some tangerines from our yard, and a little bag of cookies. They did come out rather cute if I say so myself ;-)

Thanks so much for all of the recipes and stories you've shared during the year Molly - I look forward to your posts every week. I hope you and Brandon have a fantastic holiday and a wonderful new year!

10:36 AM, December 22, 2008  
Blogger weekender said...

I just saw you at the airport! on the tram on the way to the terminal. I wanted to say hi, but I was all out of breath from running to catch my plane. Hope you have a great trip and that you didn't spend all weekend trying to get out of town like I did.

11:36 PM, December 22, 2008  
Anonymous THe Hip Hostess said...

Looks like an amazing recipe! Although I love peppermint bark on it's own, it's also great in cookies. Check out my post on Peppermint Bark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thanks for the post.


8:22 AM, December 23, 2008  
Blogger NL said...

Thank you so much for this recipe, you've read my mind! I made this peppermint bark last weekend and I can't wait to share it (or what's left of it!) with everyone on Christmas!

12:00 PM, December 23, 2008  
Anonymous Shannon said...

Hello, I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog, and that after I saw this post I made this peppermint bark for all of the holiday parties I attended this season, and people just raved. Thank you so much, and Merry Christmas!

1:54 PM, December 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are deadly! My boyfriend and I made them tonight using green and black's white chocolate and equal exchange's very dark with crushed candy canes. Perhaps from the brands of chocolate we used you can guess we went to Oberlin? :) Wish we had worked a little faster (we were warned!) to put the final layer of candy on top because most of the big pieces fell off when we sliced the bark but it still turned out absolutely divine. this will definitely be something we make (at least once) every holiday season. thanks so much!

9:22 PM, December 23, 2008  
Blogger rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe, Molly. I made it this afternoon (Christmas day) post-kringle, gifts, and brunch. It came together without any fuss and was a fun last-minute addition to the cookie plates we feasted on after dinner... which, by the way, was our traditional cheese fondue.

10:11 PM, December 25, 2008  
Blogger Karin said...

These were a hit with everyone! In fact, I think I'm going to make some more with my niece tomorrow.

1:29 PM, December 27, 2008  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for the recipe, Molly - and for the tip about using the hard candy and not a soft-peppermint-stick substitute. (I actually used candy-canes, which I typically loathe but which turned out lovely here). It's all I can do to not eat the remaining container's worth, which is currently stashed in my fridge...Maybe just one more piece!

8:41 AM, December 31, 2008  
Blogger jillian said...

i followed this recipe (using white baker's chocolate) and it was a-MAZ-ing! definitely a tradition in-the-making. thanks molly!

12:57 PM, January 05, 2009  
Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Thanks for the recipe, this was perfect and everyone loved it!

5:14 PM, January 06, 2009  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I wanted to make at least one thing that wasn't a cookie for Christmas and this was perfect. I made one batch, and my boyfriend loved it so much he requested a second batch and, I swear, he probably ate nearly a whole batch himself! This recipe will become a tradition for me. Thanks again, it was just perfect!

11:07 AM, January 10, 2009  
Blogger Seattle Tall Poppy said...

I love this phrase, "...Americana in a vintage designer dress." Indeed!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Cheers!

3:19 PM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Aparna said...

This food looks very delicious.
And the photograph also very beautiful.

10:16 PM, March 14, 2009  
Anonymous Ann said...

I thought I was ready with all my cooking done, but I think just one last goodie to make now that I have seen this blog and your wonderful recipe. I may have adapt slightly to a UK version, but here goes somebody is in for a treat.
Thanks for sharing.

9:20 AM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous julia said...

Lovely, thank you. I made it with chocolate for diabetics (no problem with dark chocolate, white is more difficult. There's not really a good brand to be had in my part of the world, nothing with coconut oil in it. So I added coconut oil myself and just accepted that the chocolate went a wee bit lumpy when I melted it.), only the hard peppermint candy was for non-diabetics. It's very very good, albeit a bit dangerous. You know how it goes: 'uh, just a little bit more...'

1:34 PM, January 06, 2010  
Anonymous Di said...

I had never heard of "bark' before here in New Zealand, anyway I made it, couldn't find the peppermint sweets you used ,but brought a stick of imported 'Brighton rock' from the UK, at a Sweet shop, which is the same , [I think], anyway we all loved it, and it looks so pretty. thanks

3:08 AM, July 27, 2010  
Anonymous karin said...

I'm back to this recipe for a third year in a row. It's now requested at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks, Molly!

10:38 AM, November 23, 2010  
Blogger Paulina said...

Hi Molly,

Do you think this would work with reverse chocolates? As in, dark chocolate on the top and bottom, and a white chocolate ganache in the middle? I'm not sure if I'd have to treat the white chocolate differently with the cream but I am hoping it will work!

9:36 AM, December 14, 2010  
Blogger Stacey said...

just came here from soulemama's link. my girls and i made this today and we are loving it. we have some lucky friends who will be receving it tomorrow in baskets of christmas goodies. thanks for sharing!!

2:29 PM, December 14, 2010  
Anonymous One Crafty Mumma said...

I made a batch of this for work friends this year and machine stitched them up with baking paper to look all festive. It is by far the BEST peppermint bark recipe I've ever made, thanks for the recipe!

5:07 PM, December 15, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Sadly, Paulina, I have no idea! I've only made it the way I wrote it here. If you do try reversing the chocolates, will you let me know how it turns out?

11:15 PM, December 15, 2010  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks so much for sharing this fab recipe - it solved my problem of what to make for my children's teachers.

10:19 AM, December 16, 2010  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

getting ready to make another batch of this! I can't believe that two years ago when you wrote this post, Delancey was just getting started. It seems like yesterday! Merry Christmas!

6:41 PM, December 16, 2010  
Anonymous kezia said...

I'm planning on try this recipe next week, it looks delicious! Do you how much the candies weigh in total?

8:16 AM, December 17, 2010  
Blogger KD said...

okay...I'm convinced...can't wait to try this one!

2:21 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Tania said...

Hehehe. I can't help coming over all bemused, while I wait FOREVER for the dark chocolate to set in the fridge. It seems the recipe (the timing only) requires tweaking for the Southern Hemisphere! I am equally bemused to note, that with the Australian sun blazing down outside, that the white chocolate for the final layer has melted beautifully of its own accord while waiting in a bowl on the table...

PS. Have a most excellent Christmas

4:52 PM, December 23, 2011  
Blogger kelly said...

Made this last night -- thanks so much for sharing the recipe (and your tips along the way...) It's divine!

8:52 AM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Katie @ Imperfect People said...

It sounds wonderful but I am a little intimidated to make candy since my last attempt was a complete flop. On a scale of 1-10 how hard would you say it is?

6:20 PM, October 28, 2012  
Blogger Molly said...

Katie, I think this is about as easy as candy gets! Very minimal candy thermometer use, etc. I'd give it a 2. Good luck!

1:10 PM, October 29, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to try this tomorrow, yum!

9:52 PM, December 14, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this recipe - this is the third year I've made it for gifts. This year I tripled the batch. YUM! It's in the fridge now, I love cutting it up - that's the fun part :) Thanks again.

2:47 PM, December 16, 2012  
Blogger JBerriault said...

Just about to start on this years batch for neighbors, the school bus driver, the cello teacher. Last year I ate far too much, couldn't stop myself! I'm going to restrain myself this time, by gum!

4:56 PM, December 17, 2012  
Blogger Olof Drofn Eggertsdottir said...

Have to try this after reading your blog post. Saw it on Soule Mama´s blog.


7:40 PM, December 22, 2012  
Anonymous d said...

Any tips for crushing the hard peppermint candies? Perhaps I need more power tools or anger in my life :)

8:53 PM, December 22, 2012  
Blogger K said...

You've gotten great mileage out of this post, it seems. Pretty good for something you had to gear yourself up to write. I know that feeling. For the last two months, I haven't written as much as a word - well, not worth anyone's time to read, really - and I tell myself it's because of the flurry of catching and catching up I've been doing. But it's really because I can't seem to find words to explain, even to myself, what the last few months have been like. Not sad, exactly. Busy. A bit like keeping a room-full of balloons in the air all at once - a heart full of gratitude and a wish to send to each person something that can suggest my affection for them - plus family things that I'm inevitably in charge of, including keeping everybody happy. And there are a lot of words - written - that don't say anything clearly.

I'm glad you got started back then, because the post was charming. My recipe is less elegant: put the candy canes in a small zip plastic bag inside of a large one then go at them with a nice hammer on the floor. But then, I'm American - and you know how we are. But the bark I make, while not as lovely as this (I will do this next year), is happy and nice to look at. But then, peppermint covereth a multitude of sins.

8:11 AM, December 31, 2012  
Blogger Lee-Anne said...

Back again for another Christmas. A perennial favourite. Many thanks!

8:50 AM, December 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grateful for this post - was looking for a new recipe/technique and this is a winner. Thanks for your beautiful words and images.

1:49 PM, December 08, 2013  
Blogger Lynn said...

okay, i've made this so so many times before with great success=thank you! tonight it looks like my ganache layer separated or something? it's sort of an oily separated goo=any insights?

3:09 PM, December 14, 2013  
Blogger Stephinie said...

fourth year this year...... i double my chocolate ganache layer..... it's my favorite part. thanks for sharing..... it's a holiday tradition now!

9:28 AM, December 17, 2013  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Just finished nibbling away the ragged edges from my double batch of bark - yum. This is a firmly entrenched holiday tradition at our house now; my youngest son can't recall a Christmas without this bark. Thank you Molly!

1:27 PM, December 19, 2013  
Blogger Little Welsh House said...

Wow, that looks so scrummy! I've never heard of peppermint bark before but I make Christmas hampers every year and this would be so perfect. Thanks for sharing x

12:25 PM, February 26, 2014  
Anonymous YolandaG said...

Love your stories with your recipes. I am going to make this tomorrow night for a Holiday Bake-Off at my work. I'll let you know if I win! My flan came in 2nd last year!

10:31 AM, December 09, 2014  
Blogger Kim said...

It turned out delicious, but am I the only bonehead who thought you meant 30 candy canes instead of the little round wrapped peppermint candies like Brachs and now has a cutting board full of extra broken candy to use up somehow? Aaaah, I blame mommy brain. And living abroad, candy canes are about the only peppermint candy you can find here, & even those aren't easy to come by.

1:13 PM, December 22, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished making these - and, ummm, yeah, they're good, ha! Used Lindt White Coconut (cause am in Hawaii) and red and white striped peppermint buttermints (cause that's all I could find) and wow, really delicious. Thank you! Happy Holidays!

10:09 PM, December 23, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and used coconut cream from a can for the regular cream and it worked perfectly (fyi for all those sensitive to dairy overload out there!).

10:13 PM, December 23, 2014  
Anonymous Isa said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! It made my grand father really happy, he absolutely loved them. I had a few too =P

2:49 PM, December 28, 2014  

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