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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A super quick holiday treat: Peppermint Bark

Monday morning and midday found me out running errands for several hours. Upon returning home, I wanted to put together a little something sweet that tasted "Christmas". I didn't have time for baking cookies. But I did have time, and all of the ingredients, for peppermint bark.

  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • shortening (Crisco), (1 teaspoon)
  • peppermint melting wafers, by Wilton, 1 cup (bought on clearance after Christmas two years ago) 
  • 3 mini candy canes (bought at Dollar Tree last year and didn't use)

My cost was around $2 for a 3/4 pound batch. That's about $2.67 per pound. And it took me 10-15 minutes to make.

Not that I would buy the WS stuff, but in comparison, Williams-Sonoma sells their Peppermint Bark for $28.95/1-lb. 

I guess I could figure I just saved myself about $20! And if I calculated this savings as an hourly wage, I just "earned" $80 to $120 per hour.


  1. I made the same thing yesterday! Although, you beat me on price, by a mile! This is so good! And, like you said, super easy.
    Happy holidays!!

    1. Hi momsav,
      Smart minds think alike! It is so good and probably the easiest holiday treat that I make.

      Have a great day, momsav!

  2. Ooh, delicious! I've never seen the Williams-Sonoma kind, living here (have been to a WS in Dallas, though), but used to love the Ghirardelli kind. I haven't bought any now that we can't use the commissary, though, because it seems so pricey elsewhere. What a great idea for making your own!

    1. Hi Cat,
      Oh this is so easy to make. If you have a craft/fabric store that sells the Wilton melting wafers (in the cake decor aisle), they sell the peppermint-white chocolate kind this time of year. But even without the special melting wafers, you can use white chocolate, with a few drops of peppermint oil for flavor, or even just white chocolate with crushed candy canes stirred in, to the top layer. Definitely one of the better uses for leftover candy canes!

      Have a great day, Cat!

  3. Yummy! I love peppermint bark, and we've made it here in the past. Super-easy, as you said!

    This year when looking for goodie recipes, I saw one for white bark with dried cranberries and pistachios. That sounded delicious, too, and would be festive and pretty. Have a great day! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      that does sound delicious. Dried cherries with pistachios would also be tasty. Last year, I did small patties/mounds of dark chocolate with almonds and dried cherries. They were yummy! I've seen those gourmet chocolate bars with dried fruit/pistachios that sell for several dollars for a small bar. They look beautiful.

      I hope your day is off to a great start, Sara!

  4. Looks tasty and festive!

    We had a snow day Monday so the kids and I made sugar cut-out cookies. Not my favorite job, but I like seeing them have fun with it. I've made 2 other batches of cookies which we only eat at Christmas (date balls and a chocolate shortbread cookie with a fudgy, chocolate-chip and walnut topping). Exercise is a must!!!! :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      Your Christmas cookies sound so tempting! Especially date balls (almost healthy, too!)Yes, exercise will be a must! I bet your kids loved doing the cookies. That's such a fun tradition. We haven't baked any Christmas cookies, yet. But are thinking of doing some next week, and inviting my son's girlfriend to come over to decorate them with us. Just talking about the cookies makes me feel like I need to get out for a walk!

      Have a great day, Kris!

  5. Looks so yummy and festive!!

    We still have our clearance chocolates from last Christmas that were 90% off. Having all that chocolate just sit in our refrigerator deterred buying anymore candies all year (with the exception just once for husband's favorite). I may do the same again, next time there is a clearance.

    I love to read how you are able to save, finding thrift store bargains and upscaling clearance ingredients into homemade treats! So smart and creative.

    Have a wonderful day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Thank you, YHF.
      That is awesome that you still have the chocolates from last year, on clearance! You show great restraint. You must have hit upon a treat for you and your husband that is nice to have, but not overwhelmingly tempting. Plus, they're a special item for when your grandkids come over! Yummy!

      Have a great day, YHF!

  6. I have the peppermint melting chocolates.The clearance candy canes from Dollar tree last year. 10 cents for the box. I mailed one box in my brothers Christmas box. He put them on the little tree I sent him. I just need to buy the chocolate chips. I have very little restraint when it comes to eating them lately. I made the potatoe soup last night. I add kale and sausage so yummy.
    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      We have a similar problem with eating up chocolate chips, here!
      I was going to mention that the potato soup is good with some greens added. And as kale grows so well, here, it's often kale that I add. the sausage also sounds like a yummy addition!

      Have a great day, Patti!

  7. So do you just melt each layer? Do you need to wait for the bottom layer to harden before adding the second layer?

    1. Hi there,
      Here's how I make peppermint bark:
      I put a sheet of waxed paper on a baking sheet. Melt 1 cup of choc. chips, along with 1/2 teaspoon of Crisco in microwave in short bursts, stirring often. Spread on the waxed paper with knife. Allow to cool slightly (5-8 minutes, not totally hard or peppermint layer won't adhere, but firm enough to be able to spread the white without too much smearing). Melt 1 cup peppermint layer with 1/2 teaspoon Crisco. Glob it onto chocolate layer and gently spread it all out. If a little smears, it won't be too noticeable. Crush mini candy canes, in package, with back of large spoon on counter. Sprinkle over surface of bark, while peppermint layer is still soft, and gently press it in to stick, in places. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into squares with a long knife (just downward motions with knife, no sawing).

      If you wait for the bottom layer to harden completely before adding the peppermint layer, the two layers will tend to split when cutting and eating. Not the worst problem in the world to have, ha ha, but ideally the layers adhere to each other.

      And one other thing, white chocolate scorches easily, so melt very carefully, in short 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between.

      I hope that explains it! (I gave way more info than you asked, but thought I'd put it all "out there" for anyone else needing clarification.)

    2. Lili, et al-- The flat side of a meat mallet/tenderizer also works great for breaking up candy canes/peppermint candies. You can usually break a pretty thick peppermint candy with one whack, because it's flat and hard.

      I put my candy in a plastic zippered freezer bag, to keep it from flying all over the kitchen; but I try to hit as efficiently as possible, because the more times you smack the candy, the more the bag tends to rip, letting out your finest pieces and potentially leaving you plastic to dig out of the candy.

      We've tried rolling pins and other things, but the meat mallet works best around here. Sara

    3. Definitely, Sara! I've also gone out to the garage to get the carpentry mallet, to pound big candy canes. (Small ones do fine with a spoon on the counter.)

  8. hi lili,
    your peppermint bark looks yummie. thanks for giving the recipe,but what is shortening?
    have a nice day,

    1. Hi Regina,
      Shortening in the USA is what many bakers use for making pie crust. The name brand is Crisco. It's a solid, white vegetable fat, sold in canisters, and stored at room temperature. Crisco shortening has very, very little water content, less than margarine or butter. It makes melted chocolate chips creamy and more spreadable.

      In Germany, it might be Palmin. Coconut fat/oil might also work for melting chocolate. Basically you want something that is solid at room temperatures, but melts readily. And also has a very, very low water content.

      Hope that helps. Have a great day, Regina!

    2. hi lili,
      thanks for the information.In germany we use butter for pie crust.I have Palmin in the fridge.
      many thanks,
      hugs regina

    3. Glad to clarify, Regina! It was interesting reading, about the differences in ingredients between the USA and Germany.


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