Meet the Contestants of Our Peppermint Bark-Off

Baking, Bloggers, Christmas, Food News, Ingredient Spotlight, Product Spotlight, Recipe Roundup, Winter

It’s hard to believe that our Peppermint Bark — now an iconic staple of the holiday season — is 20 years old this winter. To celebrate this milestone, we hosted a super fun Peppermint Bark Off Competition with Bake from Scratch at the flagship Williams Sonoma store at Columbus Circle in New York City. Much like our favorite cooking competition shows, three stellar bakers had one hour to create a unique, tasty, and beautiful dessert starring peppermint bark. It was an exciting challenge that resulted in three delectable confections.

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The competitors were Erin Clarkson of Cloudy Kitchen, food stylist and recipe developer Erin Jeanne McDowell, and Vallery Lomas of Foodie In New York. Read on to learn all about the contestants, see what they cooked up, and see who was the winner (it was a tough call!).

Peppermint Bark Off

Contestants Vallery Lomas, Erin Jeanne McDowell, and Erin Clarkson; photo courtesy Bake from Scratch

Erin Jeanne McDowell (the winner!)

Competition was tough, but food stylist and cookbook author Erin Jeanne McDowell wowed the judges and took home the winning title with her festive and delicious Peppermint Bark Puff Pastry Wreaths. Author of acclaimed cookbook The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro, McDowell has a knack for simply explaining the hows and whys behind her recipes, creating foolproof yet impressive creations. Her winning recipe incorporates ground up peppermint bark right into homemade puff pastry, which is then shaped into perfect holiday wreaths that are almost too cute to eat (but eat them we did.).

Erin Clarkson

Erin Clarkson, the New Zealand-born blogger behind Cloudy Kitchen, is actually a geologist by training and worked on an oil rig before moving to Brooklyn with her husband. She has a way of putting a novel spin on classic recipes that completley transforms them (like sage salted caramel apple pie). For the Bark Off she broke out her French star tip to decorate a sensational Peppermint Bark and Milk Chocolate Tart with Swiss Meringue Buttercream that’s as pretty to look at as it is tasty.

Vallery Lomas

As winner of the third season of The Great American Baking Show and the talented baker behind popular blog Foodie in New York, Vallery Lomas has some serious pastry chops. So it was no surprise when she brought her A-game to the Bark Off with a delightfully playful take on cookies and “milk” for Santa. Here, a simple yet rich no-churn ice cream is flavored with both peppermint extract and bits of Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark and topped off with espresso for a new take on affogato. Served with cocoa candy cane cookies, it’s exactly the kind of pick-me-up Santa needs after a long night delivering gifts.

One comment about “Meet the Contestants of Our Peppermint Bark-Off

  1. Meet the Contestants of Our Peppermint Bark-Off | Good Foodly

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