Prev Next
Festive Homemade Peppermint Bark by Melissa Summers for

Last Minute Gift: Festive Homemade Peppermint Bark

By Melissa Summers

As much as I try to pretend it’s not true, it’s go time: Christmas is coming, ready or not. Fortunately, I have a large number of people I want to express my kind feelings for, which is super Christmas-y, so today I put together this quick and easy gift for them.

I love peppermint bark; it’s one of my favorite holiday gifts to give and to get. If I only had two or three people I wanted to express my kind feelings for, I’d order the fancy option from Williams-Sonoma. But I have kind feelings for way too many people to go that (very pricey) route. Instead I created my own and spent just under $30 to make 12 gifts. And! The kids helped! So everyone was a winner.

Festive Holiday Peppermint Bark

treatsinabox.jpgPeppermint bark is fairly simple to make, which means it’s an ideal last-minute holiday gift. I use this easy recipe, although I like mine layered with milk chocolate and white chocolate, so I add an extra layer.  I also use candy melts, instead of chocolate chips, for ease.

The process is pretty straightforward: Melt the milk chocolate, spread it in a shallow pan lined with wax paper, and pop it in the freezer. When that’s solid, melt the white chocolate and then layer it on top.

I took care of melting the chocolate and put my kids in charge of smashing the peppermint sticks. This is the perfect job for kids — just put the candy in three or four layers of freezer bags and give your kids a little mallet or hammer and let them have at it. I know the multiple freezer bags part sounds dramatic but trust me — I still wind up with a little peppermint dust on my counters.

You can mix the smashed candy into the layers of chocolate or just sprinkle it on top of the second layer. That’s what I do.

I decided to drizzle some milk chocolate on top of my bark because I think it looks nicer. Put the whole thing back in the freezer for another 15 minutes or so, until it’s solid.

You’ll need your mallet again here, to break the bark up. Layer another piece of wax paper over the top and have your kids (GENTLY) bang on the bark. They just want to crack it, not pulverize it.

And you’re done! Now it’s time to wrap it all up.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Peppermint BarkSometimes I think my favorite part of a gift is the packaging. For these gifts, I bought some small white gift boxes and parchment sheets to line them. I also picked up some simple labels and some bakers twine for decorations, although you could use gift tags or grosgrain ribbon instead — whatever appeals to you. Pile the bark into the box, wrap it up nicely and write a greeting on the label. And you’re done!


Mine say Merry Christmas from the Summers but you can write whatever politically correct greeting you’d like on top. Also you don’t have to make yours from the Summers although I guess you’re welcome to, if you want.

This project took me about two hours, not including time waiting for the bark to set up in the freezer. The part that took the longest was putting the (stupid) boxes together — their assembly is far more complicated than it needs to be. If you have older kids, put them in charge of that, if only to keep yourself from losing your mind this close to Christmas.

So I have those gifts done, which makes me feel better about the fact that I still have to run out to the store for some last minute purchases.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

More from AlphaMom

DIY Surprise Ball Christmas Ornaments
Zen and the Art of Molasses Cookies
And So This Is Christmas

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


  • heather2

    December 20, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been wondering where to find a recipe for peppermint bark. Yum!

  • Gudrun

    December 20, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    thanks for the gift box idea – I love to bake but struggle with how to package attractively. Love your ideas for the white box with stickers – thank you!

  • Melanie at Beanpaste

    December 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    The packaging is completely darling. Well done! I would be thrilled to get something like that.
    I’m trying to avoid the Martha aisle. It’s like an opium den: I come out dizzy and penniless.

  • Brandi

    December 20, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    After this post, I ran to Michael’s and bought all the supplies. The only thing I couldn’t find was the tissue paper, so I bought some with snowflakes at Target. Instead of the sticker tag, I found Martha red mailing tags like the ones you used when you ran out. Thank you for this idea! Now I need to convince my husband to go door-to-door with me this weekend passing them out.

  • Krissy

    December 20, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    May I please ask you where you bought those original labels/tags (with the dark border)? Exposures used to sell them but not anymore. I have not been able to find these labels lately.
    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  • MelissaS

    December 21, 2007 at 10:39 am

    I got them at Michael’s with the Martha stuff as well, but they were on clearance. They have others though.

  • Fer

    December 23, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Awesome idea. VERY easy. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Assertagirl

    December 23, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    How did you manage the white chocolate not to melt in with the milk chocolate, below? Mine sort of melded in together. Still pretty, but not quite as nice as yours!

  • thisKat

    December 29, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    My NY resolution is to be more like Melissa Summers. Your writing rocks, your ideas are fabulous. I’ve been feeling like there is no way I should even attempt things like this because I just don’t have the time or skills, but you’ve inspired me!

  • Lillie Tidwell

    December 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Yes, this will make the perfect gift. For myself, too! Anything that mixes chocolate and mint is made for me! : )

  • DreamrKate

    December 30, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Loved, loved, LOVED this idea… and someone above me said that she’d like a gift like this… I agree. I was thinking I might layer some broken pretzels in there too… just to see. You know, sweet and salt, with some chocolate. Sounds good anyway.