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Give classic peppermint bark a salty twist this year with pretzel pieces! Perfect for cookie trays and homemade gifts.
I will keep this short and sweet because
1) we’ve all got a lot of stuff to do in the next 24-36 hours and
2) I blabbed to you last year about how much peppermint bark needs to happen in your kitchen, so I won’t go too crazy this year, but I will say…
Peppermint bark needs to happen in your kitchen. Specifically, this new variety I decided to try out this year.
You see, last year, when I realized I could make my own peppermint bark at home for about $10 (LESS if the ingredients are on sale) rather than shelling out $28.95 for the same amount of peppermint bark from Williams-Sonoma, I could not make it fast enough to share with my people. It’s just too good.
Take that idea and combine it with those amazing little chocolate peppermint covered pretzels you can find on the end caps in the grocery store come December (let’s be honest– November), I knew 2015 has to be the year of jazzy peppermint bark.
It turns out this idea was absolute GOLD. Peppermint bark on its own is purely magical: sweet and creamy white chocolate + slightly bitter semi-sweet chocolate + crunchy bits of minty goodness = Christmas in your mouth.
Add pretzels to that? Now we’re talking salty sweet + peppermint and ohmygod you neeeeeed to try it.
HOW TO MAKE PEPPERMINT PRETZEL BARK
It’s so simple to make: melt the semi-sweet chocolate, add peppermint extract, spread it into an 8″ square baking pan lined with foil, sprinkle with crushed pretzels, allow to set, repeat with white chocolate, more pretzels, and a hefty sprinkle of crushed candy canes and YOU, my friend, are moments away from salty sweet minty holiday cheer in the form of edible happiness.
Oh yes, it’s that good.
As I said about my gingerbread Rice Krispies treats earlier this week, this peppermint pretzel bark is perfect for accenting cookie trays, as a standalone dessert at a holiday party or gathering, and it also packs up beautifully as a handmade, straight from the heart holiday gift (would be perfect along side theeeeeese hot chocolate pod cuties!).
If I could, I would eat this all day long. Seriously. I can’t get enough! But alas, I need room for turkey and stuffing and all of the Christmas cookies that I’ve stocked in my freezer over the last several weeks…
But you better believe when I make some up to give as gifts, I will be taste testing each batch with a very large sampling!!
Always taste what you bake. Always…
Peppermint Pretzel Bark
- 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate1 coarsely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup mini pretzels
- 8 ounces (227g) high quality white chocolate2 coarsely chopped
- 3 large candy canes crushed
- Line an 8″ baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing foil to come up along the sides of the pan. Smooth out any wrinkles and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the semi-sweet chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth. You may also do this in the microwave, melting chocolate in 15 second intervals and stirring thoroughly with a spatula between each interval. Once chocolate is completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
- Pour the melted semi-sweet chocolate into prepared baking pan, spreading with a spatula into an even layer (it will be very thin– this is ok). Rap pan on counter top several times to settle chocolate and remove any air bubbles. Crush ⅔ cup of the pretzels into medium-size pieces and sprinkle over wet chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator or freezer for 20 minutes or until completely set.
- After you are sure semi-sweet chocolate layer is completely set, move onto the white chocolate layer. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the white chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth. You may also do this in the microwave, melting chocolate in 15 second intervals and stirring thoroughly with a spatula between each interval.
- Pour melted white chocolate directly on top of semi-sweet layer, gently spreading with a spatula into an even layer. The pretzels will make it slightly difficult to spread but do the best you can. Be careful not to disturb the semi-sweet layer on the bottom, as it will melt a bit once the hot white chocolate hits it. Rap pan on counter top several times to settle chocolate and remove any air bubbles.
- Crush the remaining 1⅓ cup of pretzels into small pieces. Sprinkle crushed pretzels and crushed candy canes on top and tap pan on counter again to settle everything. Place pan in the refrigerator or freezer until completely set.
- Once entire pan is completely hardened, remove bark from the pan and peel off the foil. Break into desired size pieces or cut into squares. If you choose to cut into squares, allow pan to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then cut using a very sharp knife. Bark should be stored in the refrigerator and will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks. Keep in mind the pretzels will lose some of their crunch, but they are totally safe to eat.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: it is very important that you use high-quality chocolate for this peppermint bark. Do not use chips.
- White chocolate: check the ingredients on your white chocolate to make sure it contains cocoa butter and not palm kernel oil, which will inhibit your chocolate layers from bonding. Candy melts or white melting wafers will not work here. It’s best to stick with white bar chocolate to be safe.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.