It’s our favorite flavor of the season: Peppermint Bark! Since we’re always looking for new ways to enjoy this signature mint-chocolate treat, we asked our in-store culinary experts and catalog stylists for their best ideas and innovations. Here are some of the Peppermint Bark sweets they’ve whipped up for customers for the past 17 years—we can’t wait to try them all!
Peppermint Bark Brownies
1 package prepared brownie mix
1 to 1½ cups of Peppermint Bark pieces
Bake brownies in a jelly roll pan or Le Creuset casserole dish. When brownies are done, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Peppermint Bark pieces. Do not return to the oven. Allow bark to melt for about 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate gently with an offset spatula. Cut brownies while warm; sprinkle with crushed peppermint pieces if desired.
Peppermint Bark Milkshake
½ cup skim milk
1 cup ice cubes
Add ingredients to a Vitamix blender in the order listed. Select Variable 1 and increase to high until Variable 10. Blend for 1 minute or until desired consistency. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Peppermint Bark Pavlova
To keep layers of meringue even, draw a circle guideline on each sheet of parchment paper before placing on baking sheet, drawn on-side downward. If you don’t have a pastry bag, place large scoops of meringue in the center of each circle guide and use an offset spatula to carefully spread meringue to the edges of the circle, maintaining an even layer. Make sure to whip the ganache just prior to assembling the pavlova; it can quickly become too firm to work with.
2 ½ cups sugar, divided
2 Tbs. cornstarch, divided
12 egg whites, divided
2 pinches kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. cream of tartar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 canister WS Peppermint Bark, 1 sheet broken into small pieces, 1 sheet broken into large shards
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat an oven to 250F and place racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 ¼ cup sugar with 1 Tbs. cornstarch until evenly distributed. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk on low speed, whip 6 egg whites with 1 pinch of salt and ½ tsp. cream of tartar until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium for an additional 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add in sugar mixture. Whip for 1 minute then add 1 tsp. vanilla. Continue whipping until egg whites are glossy and reach stiff peaks, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip.
On each prepared baking sheet, pipe a 9-inch circle, starting in the center of the circle and working outward in a spiral fashion. Using an offset spatula, gently spread meringue level and flat. Set aside pastry bag. Transfer baking sheets to the oven and bake until meringues are just slightly browned and dry to the touch, about 75 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Transfer parchment sheets with meringue on it to wire racks. Once meringues are cool to the touch, gently remove from the parchment and place directly on the wire racks.
Repeat process above with remaining sugar, cornstarch, egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla. Transfer to pastry bag. Reline baking sheets with parchment, pipe two more circles, and bake and cool as instructed above.
Place the bittersweet chocolate in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cream to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Let stand until cooled to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Transfer bowl to an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip.
To assemble the pavlova, pipe a small dollop of whipped ganache on a serving platter or cake stand. Place one meringue layer on top, pipe a layer of whipped ganache over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the peppermint bark broken into small pieces. Repeat layers ending with a layer of whipped ganache on top of the fourth meringue later. Top with the large broken pieces of peppermint bark. Serves 12.
Recipe courtesy of Alison Attenborough.
Mocha Peppermint Latte
1 Nespresso Cosi capsule
1 ½ tablespoons Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate Mix
Peppermint Bark pieces
In the bottom of the small Nespresso tasting cup place 1 ½ tablespoon of Peppermint Hot Chocolate mix. Insert the Cosi (or other mild strength) capsule in the Nespresso machine and press the shot button. When the shot has finished dispensing, stir the chocolate shavings to dissolve.
Fill the Aeroccino frother to the max level for frothing. Froth milk. Top peppermint-espresso mixture with steamed milk and frothed milk. Sprinkle with pieces of Peppermint Bark or Peppermint Snow. (There should be enough milk in the frother to make 3 Mocha Peppermint Lattes)
1 box of Brownie Mix, prepared for “cake-like” as opposed to “fudgey”
When Breville Pie Maker ready light comes on; add 1 full scoop of brownie mix to each well. Close lid and cook 1-2 minutes. Open lid and place 1 silver dollar size piece of peppermint bark on each brownie and cover with one more scoop of batter. Bake 6-7 minutes more. Check for doneness with a Bamboo skewer; edges will bounce back slightly and center will be melted peppermint bark!
Peppermint Marshmallow Fudge
4 Tbs.(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Lightly butter an 8-inch square pan.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, half-and-half and salt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Using a pastry brush dipped in hot water, brush down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. Boil for 2 1/2 minutes and then stir in the chocolate until melted and well blended. Continue to boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 234°F, 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool until almost room temperature, or 110°F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat the fudge until the color dulls and the fudge is creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the walnuts by hand.
Sprinkle the marshmallows in the prepared pan and spoon the fudge over them. Lay a piece of plastic wrap across the surface and, using your hands, press the fudge down into the marshmallows. Remove the plastic and smooth the surface of the fudge with a spatula. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, about 6 hours. Cut into 2-inch bars, or any shape desired, to serve or give as a gift. Makes sixteen 2-inch bars.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).
Decadent Chocolate Tart
1 rolled out circle of basic tart dough
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small slivers
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Crushed Peppermint Snaps for serving
Fold the dough circle in half and carefully transfer to a xxx-inch round tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the dough into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking.
Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.
Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until the dough is golden, an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Place chocolate in a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and salt until small bubbles appear on the surface. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until the mixture is smooth and stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling into the tart shell.
Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off. Just before serving, sprinkle with the crushed Peppermint Snaps. Serves 24.
Looking for more ideas? Try some of these:
- Crumble over ice cream, cookies, cakes or cupcakes
- Cook into (and top!) pancakes or waffles
- Melt, stir in cream and use as a ganache or filling for cakes
- Melt and drizzle over popcorn