Last minute or days in advance, this holiday treat is super simple and quick to make with just three ingredients and tastes like Christmas in your mouth! An absolute must for peppermint lovers!
Good things come in threes. The Three Musketeers, the cast of Three’s Company, Three Little Pigs, Three French Hens, triangles, tricycles, and this dessert. If you think making cookies or candy for the holidays requires lots of time and ingredients, then you haven’t met this super simple, easy, easy, easy (yes, that’s three “easys”) peppermint bark recipe.
I was drawn to this recipe because of its simplicity, yes, but also because it’s delicious. And, it’s a family favorite. A good thing is a good thing, no matter how long it takes or how many ingredients are in it. I think I’ve mentioned before what an amazing baker my mom is. She had (surprisingly) never made this bark though, and when she tried it, she didn’t even believe me when I told her it was only three ingredients. I had to “prove” it to her. And now she makes this peppermint bark for her own guests around the holidays.
I like to make this bark when I have to come up with something quick, for cookie exchanges, for the hubs to take to work, as a hostess gift — basically I make it all holiday season long. The trick is to keep these ingredients on hand throughout the holidays. I like to stock up when I see a sale, and then I have everything ready to go at a moment’s notice.
WHAT IS ALMOND BARK?
Almond bark is often referred to as one of two things. 1) It is a melting chocolate-like substance of sorts, made with palm oil and vanilla-flavored candy coating. (It isn’t white chocolate, which is made with cocoa butter, sugar, milkfat, milk solids, and lecithin.) 2) It also refer to a chocolate candy that is found in bar form and has almonds or almond pieces in it, with or without cherry almond flavoring. So, which one do I prefer in this recipe? Honestly, either will work and both taste great! It depends on whether you want the actual almonds in your bark or just the flavor of almonds.
WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE PEPPERMINT BARK
I’ve already mentioned the two different kinds of almond bark from which you can choose when making this recipe. There are other ways you can customize this candy as well though (and keep it just as easy!):
- Add a little extra peppermint oil to either the bark or the candy cane kisses or bars if you just can’t get enough of that peppermint flavor.
- Melt extra chocolate to drizzle on top of the crushed candy canes for a little more flair (and yumminess)!
- Skip the chocolate and make this with only white chocolate and candy canes. Or, better yet, make some of each and plate them together for a stunning dessert presentation. ]
- Add crushed-up oreos (or other complementary cookies) to the first layer, or sprinkle on top.
- There are so many different kinds of candy canes available other than peppermint — mix up the topping with any crushed candy cane you like.
- Make a double batch of the melted kisses or bars and use it to dip pretzel rods in (now you’ve made two desserts with almost no extra effort).
HOW DO I MAKE PEPPERMINT BARK USING COOKIE CUTTERS?
If you want to fancy-up your peppermint bark, you can make them in cookie cutters! You have to make the chocolate fit the mold and not the other way around — the bark breaks apart too easily to be able to handle pushing a cookie cutter into it without a huge mess.
What you’ll need to do is lay your cookie cutters (sharp side down) onto a flat sheet pan lined with parchment paper. When the almond bark is melted, add it to the bottom of each cookie cutter using a spoon or a small scoop. (Use a knife or a toothpick to spread the chocolate into every crevice of the cookie cutters.) Try to get all the layers to be even.
Once you have the first layer in all the cutters, place the tray in the fridge to harden the chocolate. Melt the next layer and repeat the process as many times as you like, topping with the crushed candy canes on top of your last layer. Once they are all layered up, put them in your fridge for one final chill, about an hour. Remove the bark by pushing up from the bottom of the shape to release the seal, then push down from the top to fully release the candy from the cutter.
Easiest 3 Ingredient Peppermint Bark
- 24 ounces almond bark (see note for alternate options!)
- 1 bag unwrapped Hershey Candy Cane Kisses OR 6 bars Hershey Candy Cane Bars
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes
- Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or a silpat baking mat.
- In a microwave-safe bowl melt almond bark (you may need to chop it in half to get it to fit in a bowl) at half power for 2 minutes. Return to microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each until smooth.
- Pour onto prepared pan and use a rubber spatula or a spoon to spread into an even 1/4-inch thick layer. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or in the freezer 5 minutes.
- While chocolate is chilling, melt candy cane kisses or bars in a microwave-safe bowl at half power for 2 minutes. Return to microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each until smooth.
- Pour over chilled chocolate layer using a spatula or spoon to spread evenly. Immediately sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or in the freezer 5 minutes.
- Use a butter knife to break bark into pieces and serve or store up to 3 weeks.