Tasty Gifts: Easy Peppermint Bark
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making peppermint bark with my son to give to neighbors and friends at Christmas. It’s a fun and easy recipe to make with young children. My son’s favorite part is no surprise: he loves smashing the candy canes inside a gallon size baggie with a wooden hammer.
Yield: Makes roughly 3 pounds of peppermint bark.
• Two 12-ounce packages milk chocolate melting chips
• Two 12-ounce packages white chocolate melting chips
• 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
• 12 candy canes, crushed and divided
For easy and crowd-pleasing candy cane crushing, place candy in a gallon size bag and let your assistant crush with a rolling pin or wooden hammer.
• Line a 12x18 pan with aluminum foil.
• In a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl, melt the milk chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting for 1 to 5 minutes. Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Stir in the peppermint extract. Spread the chocolate evenly in the prepared pan. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
• In the meantime using 30-second intervals, melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes. Spread the white chocolate mixture evenly over the milk chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the white chocolate layer. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Break into small pieces to serve.
Custom Packaging for Your Peppermint Bark
When I package the peppermint bark for neighbor gifts, I use small white Chinese takeout boxes (available on Amazon). For a festive touch, I hot glue small red pompoms on the boxes. I let my son use a marker to dot where he wants the pompoms. This is an inexpensive and easy way to include kids in gift-giving. These packages are perfect for other projects, too. I have also used them for a Christmas cookie decorating party.
• White Chinese takeout boxes
• Red pompoms
• Hot glue gun
• Hot glue sticks
• Have your assistant pick the perfect spots for pompoms on each box with their marker of choice.
• Have an adult use a glue gun to place pompoms on the boxes.
• Fill the boxes with your treats of choice: peppermint bark, cookies, fudge — any hand-held favorites will do.