Christmas Favorites: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is the very first treat we make to kick off the holiday baking season, and Gio and I have been making it together since he was two years old, just like my mom did when I was growing up. This is a great recipe to try with kids as it’s easy, affordable, and basically foolproof.

There are only three ingredients: a dozen candy canes, vanilla almond bark, and peppermint extract. There have been many occasions where Gio and I have forgotten to add the peppermint extract, but the result is still minty and delicious. See? You really can’t mess this one up.

We make several batches of Peppermint Bark to give away as gifts to friends, family, teachers, and others who touch our lives throughout the holiday season. We love that this recipe can be made well in advance of serving (up to at least a month), and we use cookie tins lined with wax paper to keep it fresh.

Small tins or cellophane gift bags work well for Peppermint Bark gifts, and we like to attach a customized label to make the gift extra special. I am always surprised by how much good will this simple treat creates – people are so pleased to receive this gift. If you’re still looking for a Christmas gift idea, why not make a batch or two yourself f before the holiday?

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Peppermint Bark

Serves:  Many

Ingredients:
1 pkg vanilla almond bark
12 candy canes, regular size (not the small canes)
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

Instructions:
Blend the candy canes in a food processor until desired texture is achieved. We prefer to blend them until all large pieces are crushed, and the mixture is just a little grainier than sugar. ***This step is the “special something” that makes this peppermint bark soooo delicious.

Melt the almond bark in the microwave according to the instructions on the package, or in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, until all lumps are gone. Remove from heat and stir in the peppermint extract first, then the crushed candy canes until thoroughly mixed.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and pour the bark mixture onto the sheet, smoothing out to reach all edges. Once all the bark has been transferred, lift the sheet up with both hands and gently bang it down on the counter a few times to smooth out the mixture. Place in a refrigerator or cold place and allow to set until completely hard, at least one hour.

When bark is hardened, peel from waxed paper and break into pieces (like toffee or peanut brittle). Store in an airtight container until gone.

4 Responses

  1. Susan Finneman

    I’ve been making this for years and years and love it, too! I really like your recipe using almond bark! Previously, I always used white chocolate which gets uber expensive! This year-today, in fact- it’s the almond bark for us!
    My main ? today is about the labels. Would you please share where to order them ? I think it is a wonderful idea to give them as gifts!

    Many thanks,
    Susan~

    1. Sarah Nasello

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your comments and question. I have made it both ways and greatly prefer the almond bark, both for its price and texture. It just doesn’t melt like white chocolate does. I purchased the labels at Office Max – they are an Avery label product and there is a good variety of sizes and shapes. I use their free online service to create the design, and print them at home. If you’re planning ahead and have time to order them, I recommend using Mathison’s. So happy you’re making peppermint bark – it is a family favorite.

      Merry Christmas! – Sarah

  2. Julie

    We make this peppermint bark recipe every year. It is easy and a good way to involve children in cooking. My son likes to help make it.

    1. Sarah Nasello

      We love any recipe that can involve the kids, and peppermint bark is a great one. It’s the very first item my son and I make every year, and we’ve been doing it together since he was 2. In fact, it’s probably the very first dish we ever made together. Thanks for your comments, Judy, and for reading. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

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