Tag Archives: chocolate

Easy, 10 Minute Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is a classic holiday treat. This candy has only 4 ingredients and comes together in 10 minutes. It’s perfect for gift giving or as a fun addition to a holiday cookie tray.


2 cups Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
2 oz Ghirardelli white chocolate (OR 1/4 cup of chips)
2 – 6-inch candy canes

Ingredients for Peppermint Bark


Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure the paper overhangs all side of the pan. Pour all semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips on to parchment-lined pan. Toss the chips together to mix, and then spread into a single layer.

Place pan of chocolate chips in the oven for 4-5 minutes.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE CHOCOLATE. You are looking for the chips to be *just* melted. The chocolate chips will retain their shape, so watch for the chips to start looking glossy. That will be the indicator that they’ve melted. If you leave them in too long, the chocolate will scorch and turn grainy.

Once the chips have melted, remove the pan from the oven.

Using an offset spatula, gently mix and smooth the chocolate chips so they fill the pan with a single layer of melted chocolate.

Melted Chocolate Chips for Peppermint Bark

Sprinkle the white chocolate chips on top of the melted chocolate.

Sprinkle the melted chocolate with white chocolate pieces/chips

Leave them alone for 3-4 minutes while they melt.

Using a butter knife or offset spatula, carefully swirl the tip of it through the melted white chocolate chips creating whatever designs you like. The more you swirl the knife through the pan, the more you’ll mix the chocolates together.

Swirl the chocolate together for the peppermint bark

Remove wrappers from candy canes and place them in a resealable bag. Using a small pan or rolling pin, crush the candy canes into very small pieces.

Sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces over the melted chocolate.

A pan full of peppermint bark

Let the pan sit overnight, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Using the parchment paper that’s overhanging the pan, lift the peppermint bark out and place it on a cutting board.

Using a sharp knife, cut the bark into pieces.


Tips for Peppermint Bark

  • Use good quality chocolate for this recipe. Ghirardelli is a great, high quality brand of chocolate that’s available in most major grocery stores.
  • Do not use your hands to break up the bark. The heat from your hands will melt the chocolate.
  • Can’t find candy canes? Crush 5-6 starlight mints and use those instead.
  • Peppermint bark makes a great hostess gift and is a fun gluten-free alternative on a cookie tray.

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More Easy Chocolate Treats

Pecan Turtle Candies

Want to make another fun, easy candy recipe? Give these 4 ingredient pecan turtles a try!

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Peppermint Bark

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission at no cost to you. 

Recipe: 4 Ingredient Pecan Turtles

Whether for yourself or to give as a gift, classic pecan turtle candies are a delicious treat that comes together quickly and is super easy to make.

Makes 12 turtles. 

12 caramels 
48 pecan halves 
1 cup chocolate chips
½ tsp coconut oil* 

Heat oven to 225 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Unwrap caramels and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. 

Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until caramels are softened and starting to melt. 

Remove caramels from the oven. While they’re still hot, carefully press 4 pecan halves into each caramel.

Caramel and pecans placed together

Set aside to cool. 

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil (if using). 

Microwave chocolate for 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. 

Stir chocolate chips until smooth. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate over each caramel/pecan cluster. 

Set aside and allow chocolate to set/solidify. This will take 2-3 hours, depending on the heat and humidity in your house. 

Pecan Turtles

Notes on Pecan Turtles: 

  • *The coconut oil is optional, but will make the chocolate come out nice and shiny. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, just leave it out.
  • Make sure your caramels are fresh. Don’t use caramels that have been hanging out in your pantry for 6+ months. 
  • You can use any combination of chocolate chips in this recipe. Using all semi-sweet chocolate chips will create a dark chocolate turtle. A combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips is also nice for these pecan turtles. 
  • I love giving homemade goodies, like these pecan turtles as gifts. Packaging them in small, inexpensive treat boxes make they feel extra special.
Pecan Turtles

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Banana Bread

This easy chocolate cream cheese banana bread – with its big swirls of cream cheese – is the perfect excuse to have chocolate for breakfast.

1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, mashed 
¼ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

4 oz cream cheese, softened 
1 egg
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine cream cheese, 1 egg, ¼ cup flour, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine 1 egg, milk, mashed bananas, oil and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. 

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan

Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the batter. 

Using a butter knife or small spatula, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter. Don’t over swirl or the cream cheese will disappear into the batter. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 


Tips on Chocolate Cream Cheese Banana Bread

  • Low fat cream cheese works well in this recipe.
  • The riper your bananas, the sweeter the bread will be.
  • Chocolate cream cheese banana bread freezes great! You can slice it before freezing or freeze the full loaf. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

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Enjoy it with…

Miel Milk

Pour some honey and cinnamon Miel Milk in your coffee for the perfect weekend breakfast treat!

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Martini

This chocolate caramel martini is basically a grown-up milkshake. Vodka, ice cream, and your favorite sundae toppings combine for a delicious dessert.

Makes 1 cocktail. 

2 oz caramel vodka 
1 oz coffee liqueur 
1 oz creme de cacao 
1 oz milk 
1/4 c vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream (if desired)

Place everything in a cocktail shaker with 3-4 ice cubes. 

Cover and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. (You want to break down the ice cream so it mixes into your cocktail.) 

Strain into a coupe or martini glass. 

Topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder if desired.

Chocolate Caramel Martini

Explaining Candy

When considering what to teach your kids, the tendency is to focus on the important things – not Candy 101. 

Halloween night, after each chorus of “trick-or-treat!,” I heard the same exclamation from my 4 year old – “Mom! Candy!” she’d cheer as she streaked by me with her cousins, already halfway to the next house. 

This was our second year of trick-or-treating, but the first time that my daughter has truly been interested in the candy. (Last year she lost interest in her haul almost immediately.) 

But this year, she was as excited for the candy as she was for the racing-around-to-houses part. As I watched her trick-or-treat, I noticed that the older kids would be excited about specific treat – “KitKats! Snickers!” – while she just labeled it all “candy.” Talking with her the next day, I realized that she has yet to learn brands and types of candy.  

Leading the charge for candy!

We rarely have candy in the house because I’ll EAT IT ALL. Kiddo knows plain M&Ms from potty training and Hershey Kisses from the bowl at her grandmother’s house. We have DumDum suckers in the pantry, but that one bag I bought six months ago is still not empty.

It never occurred to me that this was basically the extent of her candy knowledge until she was SO EXCITED about finding Hershey Kisses and DumDum suckers in her Halloween bag. (Aren’t you supposed to trade those?) 

With the Hershey Kisses devoured on Halloween night, she has moved on to the rest of her loot. And she’s not about to just taste her way through. Every piece requires thoughtful examination and consideration before she’ll even try it.

Kiddo: Mom, what’s this one? 
Me: A Butterfinger. 
Kiddo: What’s it taste like? 
Me: Peanut butter and chocolate. And it’s really crunchy.
Kiddo: Oh. Why is it called Butterfinger? 
Me: Ummmmm……?

Kiddo: Ooooh! M&Ms [pulls out a black package and digs in.]
Kiddo: I don’t like these.
Me: [looks at package] They’re dark chocolate M&Ms.
Kiddo: What’s that? 
Me: There are all kinds of M&Ms and they each taste a little different. [tries to explain the difference between milk and dark chocolate to a 4yo.]
Kiddo: No. [throws away the dark chocolate M&Ms]

Kiddo: Mom, what’s this one? 
Me: A Three Musketeers 
Kiddo: What’s in it? 
Me: Chocolate nougat covered with chocolate. 
Kiddo: What’s nougat? 
Me: It’s kinda like a marshmallow, except this one tastes like chocolate. 
Kiddo: [tosses Three Musketeers aside.] Are there more Hershey Kisses? 

This is NOT the kind of teaching the parenting books, magazines, and websites prepare you for. When you think about what you’ll need to teach your kids, the tendency is to focus on the important things – stay away from fire, sharing is good, it’s important to be nice, don’t play in the road. Not Candy 101. 

But here we are. Discussing our way through her Halloween treats, while she decides what gets an auto-rejection (Almond Joy), what’s worth trying before rejecting (Nerds), and what’s worth eating up (Hershey bar). 

It’s no surprise that a discussion of candy and its ingredients is way more fun than yet another lecture on why it’s good to share. Besides, as long as she keeps rejecting those Almond Joys, that’s sharing enough for me.

I built my own Easter basket this year – a first for this candy-lover. Holiday candy selections have changed a lot since I was a kid. The jellybean options alone make for tough decisions. And giving myself a blank slate to get whatever I wanted was fun, but it also made me incredibly indecisive. In the end, it turned out pretty delicious. Now to dig in & get started on that weekend candy bender… 🙂

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