This Peppermint Bark Fudge is a delicious Christmas treat that's easy to make and perfect for gift giving - with free printable labels!
If you love peppermint bark, that delicious, quintessential Christmas candy you can find at the gourmet and luxury home stores this time of year, you're going to LOVE this Peppermint Bark Fudge. This heavenly confection with creamy white chocolate fudge layered over rich dark chocolate fudge and crowned with crunchy crushed peppermint is sure to become an unforgetable "must-make" holiday treat!
I actually started making this Peppermint Bark Fudge three years ago. The family was all together for some birthday celebrations in late November. I was testing this recipe and pulled out a container that I had stashed away. When I say everyone went crazy over this sweet indulgence, I mean CRAZY! They couldn't get over how delicious it was and everyone wanted the recipe.
There was one problem however and it's the reason I haven't shared this recipe on the blog - until now. The dark and white chocolate layers were prone to separating. The fudge looked beautiful in the pan, but when it was cut into squares, the layers would often come apart making it difficult to eat and not a great thing to give away.
I worked on the fudge a little more last year during the holiday season but I still wasn't completely satisfied with my results. Although we enjoyed the flavor, the recipe just wasn't consistently reliable.
Fast forward to 2020. I tried a few new ideas this year and... it's perfect now! My little Carolina kitchen has been inundated with Peppermint Bark Fudge and if you were a little mouse in my house you would be EVER so happy, as there's been fudge here, there and everywhere.
What's the secret that keeps the layers from separating? I realized that the problem occurred when the dark chocolate layer would start to cool before I could get the white chocolate layer cooked and poured over the top. I tried cooking the two layers simultaneously, but that was a little tricky.
My mom always said, "If you don't succeed at first, try and try again!". So I did. I decided to heat the oven to 200˚F. and warm the prepared pan while I made the first chocolate layer of fudge. When the first layer was done, I poured it into the warm pan then popped the pan back into the oven while I cooked the second white chocolate layer. I hoped that would keep the first layer warm help the two adhere. Voila! It worked! Thanks, mom!
A GREAT gift idea
I've made three batches since I made my discovery, each one with perfect results. That's A LOT of fudge! So we've been passing it out to friends and neighbors down our little mountain road and everyone has loved it. We recently discovered that one of the workers at our small-town post office is a chocolate-peppermint aficionado, so we delivered a box to her great delight yesterday.
I've created two different gift tags PDFs that we're happy to offer to our readers. Just leave a comment in the comment section at the very bottom of this post, letting us know that you'd like to receive the labels. We'll email them to you as PDFs. That means all you have to do is click on the image or icon for the labels and the PDF reader in your computer will open up.
Then click on the word "FILE" at the top of the screen and you'll see a drop-down menu that will give you the option to print. That's it! Print them up on your own computer and use them to dress up your gift boxes, bags or plates of this delicious Peppermint Bark Fudge!
Best way to package fudge
First make sure the fudge has had adequate time to cool and set. Let it sit in the pan in a cool, dry area of the kitchen for at least 3 hours. The pan should not feel warm at all when you touch it. Use the foil overhang, transfer the block of fudge to a large cutting board. Use a spatula to lift up the fudge and remove the foil.
Next decide what size pieces you want. If you're using gift boxes, you'll want to measure the box and figure what will be the best size pieces to fit in your gift boxes. I like the boxes pictured above if I'm giving a larger slab of fudge and the gift box pictured below if I want to give little squares of fudge. I cut the slabs 6½ x 4 inches. The box pictured below will hold nine 1-inch squares.
You can also gift the fudge on small festive paper plates small festive paper plates enclosed with plastic wrap or clear cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon this one matches with the labels). I have a sweet friend who always gives her homemade Christmas gifts in a nice storage container that's part of the gift. It's one of those gifts that keeps giving all year long!
Best way to cut fudge
Once you've decided on the size of your pieces or slabs, find the longest, sharpest knife in your collection. If you want the pieces to be really uniform, use a ruler and score small cuts along the four sides to guide you in where to cut. Cut all the slices in one direction, then turn the cutting board and make the perpendicular cuts. If you have difficulty cutting you can warm your knife in hot water between cuts. Use a paper towel to wipe the hot knife dry before cutting the next row.
Whether you're gifting, entertaining, or just have a family with a sweet tooth, make a batch of this delightful Peppermint Bark Fudge soon. It's a fun project that will make you feel quite festive and the results are beyond delicious!
Café Tips for making this Peppermint Bark Fudge
- This recipe calls for 12 ounces of both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. Pay attention to how many ounces are in a bag of chocolate chips. It used to always be 12 ounces but some companies have reduced their bags to 10 ounces.
- I like to use chocolate chips that have a little higher cacao percentage as the chocolate flavor gets weakened a bit with the marshmallow creme. I like Nestle's Dark Chocolate Chips (53% cacao) and Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips (60% cacao).
- For the white chips, I normally go for a brand that has some cocoa butter (like Trader Joes) but the cocoa butter gives a yellow hue to the chips so with this Peppermint Bark Fudge, I prefer a whiter chip like Nestle's Premier White Chips.
- This recipe calls for marshmallow creme. If you don't have or can't find marshmallow creme, you can substitute an equal amount (7-ounces which is 2 cups of mini marshmallows) of marshmallows.
- Most marshmallow creme fudge recipes call for evaporated milk. I've never been a huge fan of evaporated milk so I always use half and half in my fudge. (For those living outside the U.S., half and half is an American convenience product often used in coffee. It's half cream and half milk.) If you prefer to use evaporated milk, it will definitely work in this recipe.
- To make this recipe go a little quicker, I usually measure out the ingredients for both layers into 2 pots. While I'm making the dark chocolate layer, I have the other pot on a low burner so that when I'm ready to start the second layer, the butter is already melted and I'm ready to go.
- In the pictures, this fudge shows mini chocolate chips scattered over the top as well as the crushed peppermint. The mini chips are optional. If you use them, be sure to place the finished fudge back in the oven for 2 minutes to slightly melt the chips and help them adhere better (as directed in the recipe instructions).
- I really like this peppermint extract. It's reasonably priced and has a delicious flavor.
P.S. If you're not a chocolate peppermint fan, check out our other fudge recipes, there are lots of fabulous options!
Thought for the day:
And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us,
and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- ¾ cup butter
- 3 cups white sugar
- ⅔ cup half & half (or evaporated milk)
- 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips see Café Tips above in the post
- 7 ounces marshmallow creme
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¾ cup butter
- 3 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup half and half (or evaporated milk)
- 12 ounces white chocolate baking chips or white chocolate
- 7 ounces marshmallow creme
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3-4 tablespoons crushed candy canes or crushed peppermint candy
- mini chocolate chips optional
Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Line a 9x13-inch with foil with 2 edges extending over the two long edges. Spray the foil and the sides of the pan with cooking spray and rub with a paper towel to coat.
Mix sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting. Stir in chocolate chips and wait 1 minute. Add marshmallow creme, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Stir until smooth and creamy. Remove the prepared pan from the oven and pour the first layer into the pan. Smooth with a knife to an even layer. Return the pan to the oven.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter; bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat if the mixture boils up too high. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting. Stir in the white chips and wait 1 minute. Add marshmallow creme and peppermint extract. Stir until all the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. (The white chips will take a little longer to melt than the chocolate chips.) Remove the pan from the oven and pour the white chocolate fudge over the chocolate layer. Smooth the top with a knife, being careful not to dip down into the other layer.
Sprinkle immediately with the crushed peppermint and as many mini chocolate chips (optional) as you'd like. If you use the mini chips, return the pan to the oven for 2 minutes to allow the chips to slightly melt and adhere to the fudge.
Cool the fudge completely before cutting (at least 3 hours). Then, using the foil extensions, lift fudge out of pan and onto a cutting board. Lift the fudge with a spatula and remove foil. Cut fudge into 1-1½-inch squares. Store between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper in an airtight container. ENJOY!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.