GF: Layered Peppermint Bark

Today is Winter Solstice. What are your plans? Do you and your family do anything to honor and stop and reflect on this the shortest day of the year?

My love and I are off for a night of wishes, dreaming, walking, and enjoying the fresh beginning of all things new.

With my family in town, things are busy and happy…. and BUSY! And I, as seemingly customary for this time of year, feel behind. We’ve finished all the shopping and wrapping, but I am behind on the baking and cooking. So, for the last several days, I’ve been getting things underway for our neighbor cookie/candy plates that we gift.

I have a few recipes to share for the Holidays. This year, we are making:

When I look at the list, it doesn’t seem like a lot. And then I look at what I have yet to make and I gasp. (What the heck am I doing here typing rather than in the kitchen baking? ACK! This might just have to be a short post all!)

My sisters go crazy for peppermint bark. Honestly, I can take it or leave it, but I love the look of it. Every year we’ve bought this treat from the store, but this year, I decided to try and make it myself. It’s actually quite simple – if you have time for the cooling process between the different chocolate layers.

Give this a try and let me know what you think. I’ll get my tush back in the kitchen (marshmallows are on the menu this morning) and then post more recipes (like the ones for the caramels that I just finished wrapping the individual pieces for last night and some tasty crispy polenta fries with alio oli – mmmmm!) .

I hope you are all safe, warm and reveling in the joy of the moment. I’m off to conquer sugar syrups.

Layered Peppermint Bark
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips or chopped white almond bark
8 large candy canes, chopped/crushed
4 – 6 teaspoons shortening
4 teaspoons peppermint extractDirections:

  1. In a double boiler, or a metal bowl resting over hot water, melt dark chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of the shortening and 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract. Do not let the temperature rise above 98/100F or you will break the temper of the chocolate.
  2. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet (that fits in your fridge). Smooth out the chocolate with a spatula to about 9 x 13″. Slide the cookie sheet into your fridge and allow the dark chocolate layer to cool/set for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once the dark chocolate is cooled, melt the white chocolate plus the remaining shortening (2 teaspoons) and extract (2 teaspoons). Once melted, pour over the top of the cooled dark chocolate. Working quickly – as it begins to melt the dark chocoate a bit – spread the white chocolate over the top of the dark chocolate base.
  4. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the warm white chocolate topping. You can press the peppermints in to the chocolate a bit to make sure they will stick. (Pressing the peppermints in to the chocolate may not be necessary.)
  5. Cool for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator or on the countertop for 1 hour or more.
  6. Score and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container for 7 – 10 days (or until your family comes to help you eat them up!)

Happy Holidays!


  1. Last Wednesday, while volunteering in Braden’s class, we graphed the treats that we like at Christmas. At first, no one liked peppermint bark. “Really,” I said, ” you don’t like layers of chocolate, white chocolate and crushed candy canes?” Yeah, almost all of them raised their hands after that.

    Sounds like my sisters were definitely in THAT class! LOL – Kate

  2. How do you make your marshmellows?

    Hello Melanie =)
    This is the first time I’ve tried to make them – but oh! It was FUN! I can already think of several adaptations – like making them thinner to cut out with mini-cookie cutters. The process wasn’t difficult – just a bit time consuming in the wait (at least 4 hours or overnight for the final cut of the marshmellows). Martha Stewart and Alton Brown have a couple great recipes. I link them in a marshmellow post. =)

  3. Happy Holidays Kate!

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

    Happy Holidays to you as well, Sheltie Girl =)

  4. Really beautiful! Hope you had a lovely winter solstice. It was quiet here in the desert. The moon was amazing!

    OH! The moon over the desert sky at night in the winter….. I wish I had been there! While we didnt have our typical Pacific Northwest cloudy night, we didn’t get outside to see the moon for very long. I wish we had. I would have liked to have snuggled under a blanket on our outdoor swing with my honey and a hot cup of Irish coffee.

    We stayed indoors to say a few prayers, spend time with family, make our wishes and then burn them in the fireplace. Perfectly wonderful. It was fabulous to read my nephews’ wishes (ages 5 and 10) as well. The little one wished for his grandpa (my dad) to have healthy legs/feet (my father has had problems since he was a child and a leg was run over by an ice truck) and the older one wished for a PlayStation2 from Santa (which we all knew he was getting from my husband as a hand-me-down). We are a fortunate family to have each other- which is what ALL wished for as well.

    May your new year harken in more joy, good health, and love that you think your heart can handle – as it will ever open for more!

  5. No Candy making this Christmas! 5days of rain in LA means lousy candy making weather. Too bad! I’m craving peanut brittle w/ red chile which is what this recipe reminded me of. I use baking soda in my brittle to foam it slightly and everyone always loves that it doesn’t bust teeth! I’ll have to try this next year!

  6. Thanks for the recipe! We are going to add it to our list this year. It is so simple and easy, and tasty too! We have to use Pure Fun brand candy canes and Enjoy Life chocolate chips to make it also corn free and soy free.
    Thanks again!


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