This rich, layered peppermint bark makes a great gift — or a perfect holiday treat to keep at home. Choose a dark chocolate you enjoy eating on its own, as the flavor will dominate through the white chocolate and even through the mint. Guittard semisweet chips are a favorite at our place for this recipe. If you prefer, you can use half milk and half semisweet chocolate, too.
- 14-16 oz (4-5 standard-size blocks) eating-quality white chocolate (not melting morsels or chips)
- 10 striped candy canes
- 8 ounces dark chocolate
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
- Line a 9” x 13” (quarter sheet) baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Crush candy canes: Use a mallet or hammer to smash each cane while in its wrapper, then tip the crushed chunks and powder into a bowl and set aside.
- Put chopped white chocolate into a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pan. Stir gently until chocolate is melted and smooth, and a candy thermometer registers 110°F. (Chocolate will feel warm to touch.) Pour about half the melted white chocolate onto the lined tray. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly to fill the tray. Sprinkle with about 1/2 the crushed candy canes. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
- While the white chocolate is chilling, put the dark chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy saucepan and stir continuously over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, 10-15 minutes. Moving quickly, pour the dark chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate. Using a spatula or pastry scraper, quickly spread the dark chocolate in an even layer completely over the white chocolate. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 30 minutes.
- Set the bowl of remaining white chocolate over the saucepan and rewarm over barely simmering water to 110°F. Remove from heat and stir slowly for a few minutes to slightly cool the melted white chocolate. Working quickly again, pour the white chocolate over the firm dark chocolate layer. Spread with a spatula as before to cover the dark layer completely. Use a light touch to avoid blending the warm white layer with the dark layer underneath. Immediately sprinkle the bark with the remaining crushed candy canes. You may need to gently press larger pieces of candy cane into the surface of the white chocolate with the flat of your hand. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Gently remove the slab of bark onto a cutting surface. Trim the edges as you work, slicing the bark crosswise into strips, then into chunks around an inch across.
- Bark keeps best chilled in an airtight container.