New and Improved Peppermint Bark!

I know I’m odd, but not many sweet treats turn my head. I usually prefer to save my calories for French fries or a nice hunk of cheese.

I’m also not a chocolate-mint fan. Sweet + mint remind me of brushing my teeth.

I’m usually satisfied with a couple of biscotti or an ounce or two of bittersweet chocolate. Occasionally my sweet tooth comes to life and I’ll crave something really intense like lemon bars, pecan pie, or turtle anything.

But there’s this one little inconsistency. I’ve got a thing for peppermint bark. My friend knows about it and makes me a batch every Christmas. It’s my little indulgence.

Last summer when my assistant Kirsty of The Good Taste Guide introduced me to Salted Toffee Chocolate Bars—butter and brown sugar baked onto saltines and topped with chocolate and Heath Bar Bits—I couldn’t wait until the holidays to apply this technique to peppermint bark. And it’s a winner too.

In my Updated Peppermint Bark, chocolate graham crackers stand in for the saltines (and give it crunch) keeping this treat slightly less decadent than classic Peppermint Bark. The swirl of dark and white chocolates make it especially festive and the peppermint kisses—at least to me—are better than crushed peppermints which can get tacky over time.

With New and Improved Peppermint Bar, it’s a long, hard wait until late afternoon when I pull out a piece (OK two) to savor with tea. What are the holidays for, if not for this?

New and Improved Peppermint Bark

Makes about 2 dozen pieces

If you can’t find the candy cane kisses in the store, substitute with 2 ounces of chopped white chocolate and crushed 12 peppermint candies (to do this, place in a sealed bag and crush with a rolling pin).

12 chocolate graham crackers
1/4 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
4 ounces bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
4 ounces, about 24 candy cane kisses, chopped

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9- by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Line pan bottom and up and over the long sides with heavy-duty foil for easy removal. Grease foil with vegetable cooking spray and then line with crackers, sugar side down, cutting as necessary to fit pan.

Heat butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until simmering. Pour mixture evenly over crackers and working quickly, use a spatula to spread it.

Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn)  Remove from oven and sprinkle both white and dark chocolates over hot crackers; let stand a few minutes and the spread chocolate with the back end of a spoon (or finger if you can stand the heat) in figure eights, creating a marbleizing effect.  Sprinkle with kisses.  Freeze until firm.

Using foil handles, remove bar from pan. Break into pieces and serve.

15 Comments

  1. says

    Peppermint bark is one if my favorite holiday treats…. it’s not as toothpaste-y as other chocolate-mint things. i generally prefer cheese to sweets too, but I’d have a trouble deciding between cheese and this bark,

  2. says

    Mom, this is incredible. Absolutely incredible. Surely it will be the first thing to go at the cookie swap on Sunday :) Love the chocolate graham cracker base. Genius!

  3. Crystal says

    I can’t wait to try this! I make the toffee version too every Christmas but I have always used graham crackers instead of saltines. So chocolate crackers with peppermint – genius!

  4. says

    Pam, I just loved having this yesterday at the cookie swap. I’m a sucker for peppermint bark too, and I really loved the addition of chocolate graham crackers.

    It might help your readers to know that the Candy Cane Kisses are a Target exclusive. They’re actually my favorite Hershey’s Kiss, so when they hit the shelves, I buy up about 6 bags for various baking and little treats throughout the year, and then freeze them.

    It was lovely to see you yesterday!

    • Pam says

      So great to see you too, Amber. Thanks for letting us know where you can easily find Candy Cane Kisses. I don’t know about the Target exclusive, but I do know that these kisses are very seasonal so you’re very smart to stock up when they’re available.

  5. says

    Amber, I know they’re only offered this time of year, but I was lucky enough to find them at Walgreens (but not Stop & Shop..) You’re right though, it is certainly time to stock up, and these new and improved cookies are quite the gem.

    Didn’t get to say “hi” yesterday but it was nice seeing you from afar!

  6. Emily says

    This looks so great! I’ve been wracking my brain for some different holiday cookie and candy recipes. I can’t wait to make it!

  7. says

    Tried this recipe tonight with regular graham crackers and it was great!! I’m sure it would have been even better with chocolate, but I wanted to use what I had. Thanks for a successful recipe!

  8. Carole says

    I am waiting for my bark to firm up in the freezer. The candy cane kisses were available at Super Walmart but I had to go to another store for chocolate graham crackers and purchased a store brand. Since I bought 2 bags of kisses I can make lots of peppermint bark. Yum.

  9. Adrienne says

    Hello! I saw these online the other day and couldn’t wait to try them. Since I wasn’t able to find the peppermint kisses in stores, I used the white chocolate and crushed a couple of candy canes. They are delicious! I will definitely be making them for my family this Christmas! Thank you! :-)

  10. says

    Ooooh…I CANNOT wait to make this! I love that you adapted that Toffee recipe (we make that too…wonderful stuff!) and you use the chocolate graham cracker. Genius! Happy Holidays to you all! Looking forward to BSP5!

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