recipe for peppermint bark & peppermint ice cream! what is not to love?

[1 Dec 2006 | By | 13 Comments]

candy canesI feel guilty about this recipe for peppermint bark. People inhale it, it tastes of Christmas and looks so impressive all wrapped up with care. If they discover how simple it is to make… I would be found out.

It is one of those recipes I had to ‘get over’ sharing, because it is so simple and yet comes across as such a gourmet gift (the secret is out!). And it isn’t just the fancy ribbon and cellophane I wrap it in for annual Christmas gifts: it is addictive good. My kids were begging me to make it, so we did: today. And we are snowed in so we had nobody to gift it to except ourselves—yum, pass the hot chocolate (note to self: bake goodies often when snowed in).

My neighbors have enough class not to beg for my peppermint bark recipe—but after we deliver these specially wrapped packages, they fall all over themselves thanking me and telling me they couldn’t wait to receive their bark (you know who you are). And now see, due to this lovely tomato talking blog, you have the recipe for yourselves.

I see little boxes of peppermint bark appearing at Trader Joe’s, I get emails from Williams Sonoma telling me it is time to buy theirs, and every time I scoot past a shelf at Starbucks there it is, staring me in the face: more peppermint bark. But guess what? I don’t buy it, I make it and now you can too:

Recipe for Peppermint Bark

2 Lbs. white chocolate, cut into slivers (I buy bulk from Trader Joe’s)
12 crushed candy canes
1-2 tsp peppermint oil/flavoring

Unless I am oddly lucky every single time I make this, you don’t need a double boiler. I just use the microwave. Smooth talk works. Using glass or melamine bowls (I love mine), place chocolate in microwave and heat 30 seconds. Remove and stir vigorously for 10 seconds. Repeat 2 more times. Stir like mad on the last round to remove all lumps, and no lolly-gagging. You can always heat it up more but you can never remove burnt chocolate. Really, it will be fine. My 4th and 5th graders can make it. When it is all melted, stir in candy canes and peppermint. Place on parchment on cookie sheet, spread out to desired thickness (I aim for 1/3 inch) then tap the counter with the tray to smooth top. Place in fridge to harden. I know, too easy. (Oh, and I often halve the recipe for those short-term self-indulgent cravings aka snow days).

reicpe for peppermint barkBy the way, if you don’t have one, buy an Ice Cream Maker. I have never gotten past page three in the little pamphlet that comes with it, having gotten addicted to the simplest vanilla ice cream (page 1) that takes me 2 minutes instead of 2 hours to make. It is cheating, really, and the peppermint ice cream (page 3) is a stand-alone favorite in our house (especially when grandpa comes over):

Peppermint Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp peppermint oil/flavoring
4 or 5 crushed candy canes

Start ice cream maker, quick throw in milk plus sugar. After 1-2 minutes pour in cream and flavorings. Hold breath. Release breath: you have to wait 25-30 minutes. Crush 4 candy canes, insert into ice cream a few minutes before it is finished. Store in freezer.

And now: let the holidays begin!

BTW in case you are on the hunt for Christmas food gifts; check out my Christmas Cookie Pinterest Board (shared with a pile of really cool bloggers).

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  • sher said (1 December 2006 at 1:38 am):

    Wow–no wonder people beg for that bark. It looks delicious. I also think a microwave is great for melting chocolate–Nigella Lawson does it too.

    I recently pulled my old ice cream maker down, so I must make the peppermint ice cream. Just saw the new Sunset Magazine and it has a great picture of an angel food cake with white frosting and crushed peppermint covering the cake. Looks FABULOUS! Long live peppermint.

  • Freya E said (1 December 2006 at 4:49 am):

    what a gorgeous treat to give (and get!) for Christmas (or anytime!). I love peppermint and chocolate but have never tried it with WHITE chocolate. Gorgeous stuff!

  • bea at La tartine gourmande said (1 December 2006 at 6:06 am):

    This looks like a delicious treat to be making indeed! The red spots on the white are too cute.

    Btw, thanks so much for your visit to my blog. I am enchanted by yours!

  • Jeff said (1 December 2006 at 6:38 am):

    Given that Steph is a teacher, it is a certainty that we will get peppermint bark and since Steph doesn’t dig white chocolate…guess who gets all of it!!

  • janelle said (1 December 2006 at 5:18 pm):

    Sher: do you remember peppermint being this big when we were kids (all I remember are those little pink peppermints my grandma used to give me)? It seems like it has made such an enormous resurgence! I am so jazzed—this flavor is front and center for the holidays! Now I need to go check out Sunset…

    Freya: Thanks for the vote on white chocolate. I don’t eat too much plain white chocolate—it is almost too sweet—but the peppermint lulls it perfectly. This bark is white chocolate’s way to my heart!

    Brea: so nice to have found you—thanks for visiting me!

    Jeff: you are a lucky, lucky man.

  • Jennifer said (1 December 2006 at 5:58 pm):

    Oh, thank you so much for posting this. I cannot find peppermint bark here anywhere. I have been on a peppermint extract (pure, only) kick lately, too!!! Thank you!!! :)

  • Julie said (3 December 2006 at 9:38 am):

    The peppermint bark looks beautiful and festive. You have lucky neighbors.

    I agree with Sher that you should check out the picture of the cake on the cover of the current Sunset Magazine — it really is striking looking. Here’s a link to a recipe and picture:,20633,1561033,00.html

  • janelle said (4 December 2006 at 1:29 pm):

    Jennifer: Peppermint unite!

    Julie: now THAT is a gorgeous picture. Looks like the cover to a Christmas card; maybe we should start something;). I wouldn’t mind adding that cake plate to my collection…

  • Jennifer said (14 December 2006 at 3:07 pm):

    I’m going to try this…but I need to pick up wax paper, totally forgot that. I will post after I make it. I figure it would be a good gift! :) Thank you so much! :)

  • janelle said (14 December 2006 at 6:18 pm):

    Jen: yes let me know how it turns out! I love making gifts via my kitchen!

    You have me thinking all about music right now. One of my clear favorites is Carli Bruni.

  • kathy french said (14 December 2006 at 10:19 pm):

    i am very excited to try this – thanks so much for sharing. what a nice little gift in the bags. just perfect!!

  • Suzanne said (10 January 2009 at 1:28 pm):

    This is quite a while after your original post, but I wanted to let you know that the peppermint bark was a huge hit this holiday. I made some up with an additional base layer of dark chocolate; friends loved it–so much so that I never got to give any away as gifts. Anyway, a query for you. I made this using peppermint extract, and used a lot to get it to an approved minty-ness level. Next time, I would like to try using peppermint oil, which is much more concentrated. Doing some initial research, prices and sources for the oil seem wildly variable, so the point that I’m a little uncertain about the food-suitability of some of them. Do you have a brand and source that you like? I’m in the Seattle area. Thanks for both the recipe and any tips!

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