Peppermint bark is finally in season, and if you’re looking for a recipe that’s not just a slab of melted white chocolate with peppermints scattered on top, you're in luck. This peppermint bark recipe, originally from Atkinson Candy in Lufkin, Texas, is special.
The Best Peppermint Park
This candy has two layers of peppermint sprinkled white chocolate sandwiching a thin layer of mint flavored chocolate ganache. The inside is a bit creamy, while the outside is stiff and crunchy.
White Chocolate for Peppermint Bark
As for which type of white chocolate to use, I'm not sure using the most expensive brand is the best idea since the white chocolate gets infused with peppermint flavor from the crushed candy, but it's always fun to experiment. Some brands have a more yellowish hue than others. The photograph gives this one a yellowish cast, but in real life it's a nice shade of off white. I used Baker's white chocolate with a little bit of Nestle thrown in, but for my next batch I might try Ghirardelli or Lindt to see if it makes a difference. Update: We have been using Ghirardelli and it tastes great!
Mint Flavored Chocolate Ganache
Keeping the middle dark chocolate ganache layer from smearing into the top layer takes practice. Make sure the bottom white chocolate peppermint layer is super cold and that the ganache is not very hot. Immediately put in the freezer after spreading on the ganache. Another note about the ganache is that the peppermint extract is optional. If you love mint, add it. If not, let the peppermint sprinkles do all the work.
A Few More Recipe Notes
Update: I simplified the directions a bit. The amount of white chocolate is variable, but 12 oz works (3 standard bars). Feel free to use more or less as needed. If using the double boiler you can melt the white chocolate all at once, but if using the microwave you should melt half at a time. Also, we recently switched states and our grocery stores do not carry the Atkins candy bits. Crushed Starlight Mints can be used as a replacement, but they are a bit stickier. Soft peppermints would be better. Another great alternative for the peppermints is something we found at Target called Andes Peppermint Crunch Thins. They are crunchier than the usual Andes candies and pink and white in color.
- 12 ounces white chocolate chopped, plus extra if desired**
- 7 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract optional
- ½ cup or as much as you need crushed peppermints preferably Atkins Mint Twists
- In the top of a double boiler, melt the white chocolate. Alternatively, you may do this in a microwave, but if you use the microwave only melt about half of the white chocolate. If using the microwave, melt on a low setting (50% power) and stir every 30 to 60 seconds.
- Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 12x9 inch rectangle on the parchment (or just visualize it and don't draw). Spoon the melted white chocolate onto the parchment and spread it to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of crushed peppermints. Put the baking sheet with peppermint sprinkled white chocolate in the freezer to set while you make the ganache.
- In a saucepan, heat the cream until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat, add the dark chocolate and stir until melted. If it doesn't melt all the way, set the pan back over low heat and stir until melted. If using, add the extract. If it is very hot, let it cool just slightly, then spread it over the frozen white chocolate/peppermint slab. Return to the freezer and let it set.
- When the chocolate ganache has set, melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave or heat it gently in the top of the double boiler. Pour the white chocolate over the fully set ganache and carefully spread it over the top. Alternatively, drizzle the white chocolate over the top and allow some dark to show through.
- Sprinkle remaining peppermints over the top and return to the freezer to set.
- When the bark is almost fully set, score it into squares with a pizza cutter. Let set completely in the freezer or refrigerator, then break into squares. Alternatively, just break it up into free-form pieces.
Storage: I like to store this in the freezer to keep it nice and fresh.