This No-Recipe Peppermint Bark Is Crunchy, Crispy, and Totally Addictive

With just a few ingredients and no complicated candy-making techniques, this peppermint bark will be the star of your holiday baking.

pile of white chocolate peppermint bark

When I was in high school, my friend Natalie and I celebrated Christmas together in the very best way every year: by spending one sugar-covered, flour-encrusted day listening to Christmas carols and creating as many holiday treats as we possibly could. We called it our Christmas Baking Extravaganza. This tradition has gone on at varying levels of complexity for years (RIP 2020) and the recipe list has evolved into what I believe is a perfectly balanced, absolutely delicious celebration of all things Christmas. But one recipe reigns supreme, and that's our puffed rice peppermint bark, which delights people of all ages and taste preferences with it's delightfully crispy, crunchy texture.

In a day that typically includes at least three overly complex, multi-step recipes, this treat is a break from the multi-page recipes and precise baking temperatures. We barely even use a recipe anymore, it's that simple. We simply mix a box of Rice Krispies cereal with enough melted white chocolate to suspend all that puffed rice and then gently press the mixture into a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. It gets chilled for about an hour until firm, then we typically drizzle it with a heavy dose of dark chocolate and a heavy snow of smashed peppermint candies.

Lots of peppermint bark recipes require you to temper chocolate, a process of manipulating the temperature of chocolate in order to make it harden into a glossy layer that snaps when you bite into it. Tempering is the reason that chocolate bars and professionally made truffles have that firm bite to them, rather than a softer texture that you might have noticed in your homemade confections. But tempering is also challenging and time consuming. Because this recipe gets so much crunch from the Rice Krispies, tempering is unnecessary. I recommend storing it in a cool place to keep the chocolate nice and firm, and freezing it if it needs to last more than a week or so (which is not likely, let me tell you).

The other thing that keeps us coming back to this recipe year after year is its ability to adapt as our preferences change. As white chocolate lovers, Natalie and I like a base of high quality white chocolate like Callebaut or Guittard, but one of the best things about this recipe is that you can really build your bark to your exact preferences. Not big on white chocolate? Simply swap it out for dark or milk chocolate. Or, instead of a drizzle of chocolate on top, opt for a thin (or thick) layer of the dark stuff on top to create a nice counterpoint to the bottom. If you're making it with kids (an excellent idea, as this recipe is so dang simple) consider dying the white chocolate green or red, or using seasonal sprinkle to decorate along with the peppermint. I think you'll find, as I have, that this non-recipe is worthy of a brand new holiday tradition.

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