Welcome back! Did you enjoy your rest from sweets and rich foods once you finished all your Thanksgiving leftovers? (Thanks to a wonderful invention called the freezer, I still have some leftovers to consume, as well as even more Hidden Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies, Apple Cinnamon Cakelets, two loaves of Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake Bread, and scones that have yet to be published.) I thought I’d be nice and give you a week to recover before I dived face first into the season of holiday cookies!!!!! You’re welcome. And juuuuuust in case your oven wants a little bit longer of a nap–or it still smells like the self cleaning setting, blech–today’s recipe is NO BAKE!
My favorite holiday flavor just might be peppermint. I wait every year for the holiday displays to go up in grocery stores so I can pounce on the cartons of mini candy canes. Not entirely sure why I prefer mini candy canes to full sized ones….anyways, this means I obviously love peppermint bark!
It is all too easy to consume copious amounts of sweets this time of year, especially as an avid baker. So I thought that I’d make peppermint bark a little bit more of a little treat than a sugar-high-inducing plate of rich chocolate coated in those candy cane pieces that give you the best crunch. Thus was the birth of Peppermint Bark Bites! Instead of spreading the chocolate layers in one giant sheet of chocolately pepperminty goodness, we are creating the same layers in mini cupcake liners to create bite sized portions! Not only does it keep the sugar high at bay, but it’s also ADORABLE.
So again, I prefer mini peppermint bark bites…and I prefer mini candy canes…I’m sensing a pattern. Oh my goodness–and I almost exclusively make mini scones! Definitely an interesting pattern.
Are these cookies? No. But they would be perfect to bring to a cookie exchange and I doubt anyone would turn them away because they don’t have flour. Which also makes them naturally gluten-free, so I guess you could fudge the cookie exchange rules and call them Super Duper Chocolatey Gluten Free Peppermint Cookies. I promise no one will complain.
The white and dark chocolates are in perfect proportion to balance sweetness with depth, and to highlight the candy canes of course. The bites stay solid at room temperature and obviously frozen, so there is a nice crisp sound when you bite into them. The creamy chocolates complement the crunchy candies on top and did I mention how cute they are in their little cupcake liners?
This recipe is so easy that it’s the perfect multitasking recipe. Just melt one layer of chocolate, then clean your room while it’s in the freezer. Melt another layer of chocolate, then bake more cookies while it’s in the freezer just in case the gluten-free wool doesn’t get pulled over anyone’s eyes. Melt the final layer of chocolate and top with candy canes, then eat the batch of cookies because they are probably delicious. And then finally you can break into the peppermint bark bites!
peppermint bark bites
- 12 oz white chocolate, divided
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- 1 ½ tsp canola or vegetable oil, divided
- ½ tsp peppermint extract, divided
- crushed candy canes (3 full sized ones or 8 mini ones)
You can melt all the chocolate in a double boiler, but it’s quicker and just as effective in the microwave so that’s what the directions are for!
Line a 24-count mini cupcake tin with mini cupcake liners.
In a medium to small glass bowl, mix 6 ounces white chocolate with ½ tsp canola oil. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in between each interval. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once chocolate is almost fully melted, stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in ¼ tsp peppermint extract.
Quickly spoon white chocolate evenly into the cupcake liners. Store in freezer for at least 20 minutes until white chocolate is fully solid.
In a different glass bowl (or a freshly washed same glass bowl), mix 6 ounces dark chocolate with ½ tsp canola oil. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in between each interval. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once chocolate is almost fully melted, stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in ¼ tsp peppermint extract. (Yes, basically the same thing but with the other chocolate.)
Quickly spoon the melted dark chocolate evenly into the cupcake liners over the white chocolate. The dark chocolate will start to harden immediately because the white chocolate is so cold. Return to the freezer for another 20 minutes.
Back in the original glass bowl, mix the remaining 6 ounces white chocolate with ½ tsp canola oil. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in between each interval. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once chocolate is almost fully melted, stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth. Do not add peppermint extract.
Quickly spoon the white chocolate evenly into the cupcake liners over the dark chocolate, one at a time. Immediately top with crushed candy canes. The white chocolate will begin to harden immediately after it is spooned into the liner because the dark chocolate is so cold. The candy cane pieces need to be sprinkled on melted chocolate in order to stick. Repeat with remaining cupcake liners.
Return to freezer for a final 20 minutes. Can be served at room temperature or cold.