Easiest THICK Peppermint Bark
Makes 1 Thick 8x3 Inch Bar
A sweet, smooth, and rich chocolate layer on the bottom, a homemade pepperminty white chocolate second layer, all topped with crushed candy cane pieces. This thick bark is quick to whip up and perfect as a holiday dessert or gift!
1 cup vegan chocolate chips of choice
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
White Chocolate Layer:
1 cup cocoa butter, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 - 1 ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar
Pinch of standard salt or sea salt
¼ cup crushed candy canes (about 10 mini candy canes)
2-4 more crushed mini candy canes (about 2 tbsp) for topping
Start by lining an 8x3 inch baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Add chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them in intervals of 30 seconds, gently stirring between each interval until the chocolate is completely melted. Be careful not to burn it. Now a note that the chocolate will become a bit difficult to work with as it gets fudgy in this next step.
What you're going to do with the melted chocolate is very quickly whisk in the sugar and vanilla, make sure it is all incorporated. Quickly transfer the mixture into the bottom of the pan, and press it down firmly and evenly. It should resemble a thick brownie batter. Pop that pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, let's make the white chocolate layer. For this step, it's important to use the double boiler method on a stove (see notes for how to set this up), rather than melting in the microwave because the cocoa butter is delicate.
Pour cocoa butter and coconut oil into the bowl over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once the oils are almost melted, stir in both extracts, and for those using standard salt, add that in now as well. When everything is completely melted together, remove mixture from heat.
This next step needs to be done quickly. What you're going to do is remove the pan from the freezer, whisk powdered sugar into the white chocolate mixture, then pour that into pan on top of the chocolate, making sure chocolate layer is evenly covered. Evenly spread crushed candy canes over the top so they become slightly mixed in with the white chocolate layer! Immediately place pan back in freezer.
After 15 minutes, while white chocolate layer is still a bit wet, sprinkle reserved candy cane pieces over top. At this point, those opting for sea salt can sprinkle a bit over top now as well. Freeze bark for at least another hour to solidify before removing from pan and chopping it up!
Wrap leftover bark in parchment paper, then store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to a week.
The chocolate can also be melted using a double boiler method, although since it's not as delicate, I find microwaving it to be both easier and quicker.
Using a premade vegan white chocolate bar or chips works just as well as making your own. In this case, the microwave method will work to melt it if preferred.
Part of the charm of this bark is its thickness. However, if you like thinner bark, simply use a larger pan!
If preferred, shortening should work in place of coconut oil.
If you don't have mini candy canes, crush up standard-sized candy canes or any other peppermint candies instead! (You'll need ¼ cup + 2 tbsp.)
The way a double boiler works is that you fill a pot about halfway with water and place it on the stove with a heat-proof bowl or pot on top. This bowl or pot hovers above the water by hanging on the rim of the first pot. The stove's flame heats the water in the first pot, and that water releases steam. That steam rises and is trapped by the second pot/bowl, heating its bottom and thus its contents. Here's what it should look like: