Every year I like to make at least one treat to try to get into the holiday mood. About a week ago, right when I was pondering what this year’s treat should be, I wandered across this awesome peppermint bark recipe over at Shutterbean (a fabulous and visually stunning food blog). I knew I had to make it for several reasons…
A) I love peppermint bark.
B) The addition of rice crispies fits right into the Budget Bytes philosophy: use less expensive ingredients to bulk up your recipes and streeetch the flavor (don’t think I didn’t know what you were doing all along, Mr. Nestle Crunch Bar).
C) This is practically a “no cook” recipe. That’s perfect for busy holiday schedules.
D) It makes great, inexpensive Christmas gifts (if you don’t eat it all first).
I only made two small changes to the Shutterbean recipe. First, I wanted peppermint in as well as on my bark, so I added a splash of peppermint extract to the melted chocolate. Second, I made a half batch because I will, and I promise, eat it all. It’s a preemptive strike against my guilt. If you’re going to give it as gifts, I suggest making twice the amount that I have listed below. All of the steps will stay the same, just double the ingredients.
You can make this with white chocolate chips or almond bark, which isn’t actually almond flavored. I think it’s just called “almond” because of the color. Almond bark was the less expensive option at my store, so that’s what I used.
Crispy Peppermint Bark
- ½ lb. almond bark or white chocolate $1.40
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract $0.14
- 1 cup puffed rice cereal $0.24
- 3 peppermint candy canes $0.38
- Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a heavy duty zip top bag. Use a rolling pin or another heavy object to crush the candy canes. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or foil and non-stick spray.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for on high for 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir well between each interval. Continue this process until the chocolate is fully melted with no chunks (approximately 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds).
- Stir the peppermint extract into the melted chocolate, followed by the puffed rice cereal. Spread the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over top and press them lightly into the melted chocolate.
- Refrigerate the peppermint bark for about 20 minutes, or until hardened. Break the bark into pieces and enjoy.
Step by Step Photos
Before you begin melting the chocolate, crush the candy canes, so that they’re ready to go when you need them. Use a heavy duty zip top bag to keep the candy in line as you crush it to a pulp. Okay, not a pulp, you want chunks. Also line a baking sheet with either waxed paper or foil and non-stick spray.
You can use either white chocolate chips or almond bark. I used almond bark because that’s what was on sale at the store. Either way, put it into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir well between each interval, until it’s completely melted (about 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds).
Once completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
Then stir in the puffed rice cereal (like Rice Crispies).
Spread the chocolate out onto the prepared baking sheet until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over top and press them lightly into the chocolate. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until it’s hardened.
Then just break it up into pieces and you’re done! Get some pretty holiday themed bags and you’ve got yourself some great little homemade gifts. Yay!