By cookiedog on December 24, 2008
Photo by cookiedog
Photo by cookiedog
"This is a copycat of the William Sonoma Bark that costs $22 a lb. I have never tried their version, but when my mom told me she liked it, I went on a search to find the recipe. Make sure to buy white chocolate chips that contain cocoa butter to get a smooth melt- otherwise, you will end up with clumpy chocolate. Use good quality chocolate chips (belgian, semi-sweet, or bittersweet) for the best results.This recipe is so simple and delicious my only hope is that I'm able to save a piece for my mom. Recipe by Rita Nader Heikenfeld."
Serving Size: 1 (796 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
"This is the second year I've made this, so here's what I've learned. I had trouble with the layers not sticking together last year, and found mixed advice on the internet about how to fix that problem. Some said room temp is the best for the bottom layer before pouring the white, some said ice cold. I split the difference and refrigerated my bottom layer for about an hour, then let it sit on the counter while I melted the white. Everything stuck, no problems at all with layers separating. I also experimented with chocolate to see which I liked best. The smoothest melt with the best flavor was regular old Kroger brand "private selection" white chocolate chips--I'd read someone else mention those, but was skeptical. They were by far the best of the bunch. Also tried Tollhouse white chips, which were second best, and the worst was Ghiradelli. They did not melt smoothly, and their flavor was nowhere near as nice as the cheaper chocolates, surprisingly enough. I'll put it this way, I thought the difference in the Ghiradelli quality and flavor was enough that I didn't mix the different batches when bundling these up for gifts. I thought the recipients would taste the difference as they ate their way through the bag. It's not that the Ghiradelli pieces taste bad, they're just not as nice as the others. I did use the chips and not the baking squares, so that could make a difference. I used Kroger's private selection semi sweet chips for the bottom on all layers, and regular old candy canes for the tops. I took some more internet advice and tried mixing in the dusty over-crushed bits of candy cane into the white chocolate of one batch, in lieu of using the peppermint extract, and the results were good. I don't have a preference for using that method over using the extract; both batches were good. I would like to try using peppermint oil instead of extract to see if that makes a difference, but the extract worked just fine. Oh, I will also say that last year I used foil to line my pan and had trouble with it sticking to the chocolate. This time I used parchment, cut to fit the bottom of the pan, no overhang. I sprayed the edges with a tiny bit of cooking spray, which I then rubbed all over the parchment with a paper towel. So it was just barely there, and not enough to show up on the candy, but I had no sticking whatsoever. I made three batches using 12 oz of semi sweet chips and 24 oz of white in each batch, and about 8-10 candy canes on each (depending on how much you crush them), and that made enough to make 30 little candy bags with 10-12 pieces each, with the pieces being cut all crazy shapes, however I can get it to break! Overall, I had big improvements over last year's methods, and everyone loves getting this stuff for Christmas. It's delicious! Hope my trial and error helps you make some of your own!"
"Hi, I made this recipe as stated. It was excellent and so easy. The only advice I would add, is to work quickly when putting on the candies. The white chocolate sets up very fast. It was excellent and very pretty for the holiday. Linda"
"Awesome! I used bakers white premium chocolate squares.and I microwaved my white chocolate versus using a double broiler..it worked wonderful. Microwave one minute ...stir..microwave 30 sec stir and its melted nice and creamy."
"Good bark recipe. I think next time I try this I am going to melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler and pour in the baking pan. By melting in the oven, it didn't quite melt evenly and due to a hot spot, a part got burnt. Also, next time I make it, I think I will add some of the crushed peppermint candies to the melted white chocolate before I pour over the milk chocolate. This makes a wonderful holiday treat, can't wait to make again. Thanks cookiedog for a delicious recipe. Made for Let's P-A-R-T-Y! ~~2011~~ tag game."
"12 normal candy canes crushed made about 1 cup. Had trouble with the layers wanting to separate when cutting. It worked out better when we started cutting larger pieces first, then cut those smaller pieces into the sizes we wanted. Using a hot knife seemed to help too. Don't over-do the peppermint extract or everytime you kiss your spouse they'll ask if you just brushed your teeth!"
"I found another much easier recipe and the family liked it better....1 C. dark chocolate chips...2 C.white chocolate chips 6-8 candy canes. place parchment on sheet..spray lightly...crush canes..melt dark in microwave spread on parchment evenly..refrigerate 15 mins...melt white spread over choc. while still warm lightly press crushed candy canes on top refrigerate 15 mins. more or till harder...turned out good"
"OMG! I made a 1/2 batch - in order to try it out for holiday gifts. This is unbelievable. My chocolate layer did blend into the white -- so I probably didn't let the white chocolate "cool" long enough before putting on top of refrigerated semi-sweet chocolate. Regardless, this is absolutely fabulous! I hope to make a couple of batches and share among 6 co-workers along with a few other little items in a small gift basket -- as a thrifty holiday gift. Thanks for posting!"
"Fantastic recipe - easy to make, simple ingredients, great results. What could be better? I used the Kroger brand white chips, melted nicely. I mashed up extra candy canes to total almost a cup and mixed the smallest bits/powder into the white chocolate before spreading it on the dark chocolate layer, then pressed the bigger chunks into the top of the white chocolate.
My kids love this and have taken it in their lunches to school. All their friends who have tried it want the recipe. I'm sending them here. Thanks!"
"Holy amazing!!! As a lover of all things mint chocolate, this is wonderful, without being overwhelmingly minty. I used to make a layered mint and chocolate fudge at Christmastime, which is very good, but this is not only easier, but prettier and better tasting. Crushed candy canes (instead of starlight mints) is a must, as candy canes have that distinct sweeter, mellower peppermint flavor that compliments the bark so well. So easy to make, too. Thanks for the great recipe!"
"William Sonoma's Bark is my favorite, but very expensive at $29 a tin. This was surprisingly easy to make and tasted exactly like the original! Never again will I pay so much for my Xmas habit. And I can say its homemade. Thanks to you!"
"I am rating this a 5 with some modifications. This provided a tasty and much cheaper alternative to buying peppermint bark from Harry & David, William Sonoma or Trader Joe's. I used store brand chips for the semi-sweet chocolate but had to use Nestle white chips since they were the only ones available. I used a regular cookie sheet (double the size suggested) and doubled the recipe. After a few failed efforts with layer adhesiveness and seizing of the white chocolate I recommend the following:<br/>1. Place 12 candy canes into a zip-lock freezer bag and pound with a mallet until the desired size is obtained. I separated these pieces and kept the fine ground candy cane pieces separately.<br/>2. Cover the cookie sheet with foil. Lightly coat with PAM (or butter).<br/>3. Pre-heat oven to 250F. Pour the semi-sweet chocolate into an evenly spread layer and put in oven for 5 minutes.<br/>4. Spread evenly with a butter knife and let sit out to cool at room temperature.<br/>5. When the semi-sweet chocolate has just set start on the white chocolate part of the recipe. <br/>6. Put the white chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 15 sec intervals, stirring thoroughly with a rubber spatula after each time. When it starts to thin mix in the peppermint extract and fine peppermint that is saved from step #1.<br/>7. Microwave at intervals until it is both warm to the touch and thin. Pour over the semi-sweet layer and spread quickly and evenly with the spatula.<br/>8. Sprinkle on the peppermint chunks immediately and press into the white layer.<br/>9. Let sit at room temperature until set. Place in the refrigerator to cool prior to breaking.<br/><br/>I have read reviews about melting white chocolate and getting the layers to stick. I found that this is the best way to achieve both. Hope this helps! Enjoy!"
"Super easy and super delicioius! Use mini chips for the bottom layer and they melt and spread very easily. Just had to make a second batch as the first one dissappeared FAST!"
"Could someone please give me an idea of what chocolate chips (or good baking bars) to buy? Ideally, they won't be so expensive! Thank you!"
"I don't even like peppermint bark but LOVED this. My 7 year old help me make it. It was super easy. I did forget to put the peppermint oil in but it still turned out OK when I crushed more candy canes into powder and sprinkled on top. I took it to work and it was a hit. It's going to be a tradition."
"Excellent! I used semi-sweet chips and can't wait to try dark chocolate next time! Thanks"
"I made this for Christmas of '09 and it was AMAZING. Creamy, minty, refreshing, and chocolaty all mixed together. I would eat this year-round. Thanks for the recipe."
"Fantastic!!!! I followed the recipe to the letter twice and it came out just wonderful. I think I will be making this one every year!"
"This was so easy and so good! I do have to say that the Kroger chips with cocoa butter were definitely the best for the job. We also used ghirradelli semi-sweet, and everything adhered nicely. The ghiradelli white chocolate chips didn't melt as smoothly, and the Target semi-sweet choclate chips did not adhere. Either way, the recipe is EASY and tasty!!!"
"Oops! Forgot the peppermint oil but it was still Delish!!! I used 12oz. of Ghiradelli 60% cocao chips and 12oz. of Bakers white chocolate. This was sooo easy to make; I melted everything in the microwave after the first 30sec. I checked and stired it every 15-30sec. I'm going to make another batch to give away (this time with peppermint oil). Thanks for a great one!"
"I gave 5 stars based on the following adjustments. 1 lb high quality dark chocolate (Guittard -- same as williams sonoma) and then another high quality white chocolate (Merkens). I used 1 lb of each chocolate. I used 1/4 tsp of peppermint oil in the white chocolate. I also used 6 large candy canes -- crushed with meat tenderizer in ziplock. I put a about 1/3 of the crushed peppermint into the white chocolate before spreading. It was a HUGE success and everyone LOVED it. This will be the standard for us from now on. And... the williams sonoma is up to $26 lb.... Even using the high end chocolates you can get it in for $12 lb. ! UPDATE: second batch was a failure.... The white chocolate layer didn't adhere to the dark chocolate... To try to save it - ended up putting the finished product into the oven at low temp 150 degrees to try to get the chocolates to adhere to each other. You have to be careful in making chocolate -- tempering the chocolate etc...."