Simple Gifts: White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark

So many holiday gifts can cause clutter in our homes, so I love giving (and receiving!) clutter-free gifts. Today I’m sharing one of my favourite things to make and give… White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark!

This is so simple that even kids can help make it.  It makes a great stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or neighbour treat. 

I heard about this from a colleague over 25 years ago and I’ve been making it ever since.  Here’s how!

White chocolate wafers and candy canes.

It’s just 2 ingredients – white chocolate wafers and candy canes.  Did I mention it’s simple?  I don’t even follow a recipe. 

Unwrap the candy canes and place them on waxed paper.  I like to use the ones with red and green stripes and a minty flavour.  They look Christmas-y and blend well with the chocolate to taste super yummy.

Loose candy canes.

You can crush them in a variety of ways.  I usually use a hammer.  It’s fun to do this on a day when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with holiday preparations – the hammer is a great stress reliever 🙂

I fold the waxed paper over to make a sort of “envelope” and then smash away with the hammer.  This picture was from the first year I had some helpers!

Kids making chocolate bark.

You can see I put a towel underneath to protect the table.  I don’t always do that but I wasn’t sure how hard the kids would bang that hammer!

Sometimes the waxed paper gets tiny holes from the candy canes pointing through so I usually change it part way through the process.  For safety purposes, you should keep your eyes back or even wear safety glasses since those little pieces of candy cane can sometimes escape and go flying if you’re not careful.

Breaking up the candy cane with a hammer.

Making progress!  You can make them as small as you’d like.  You want them to be big enough to show up in the bark, but not so big that people have to spend a lot of time crunching them in their mouths.

When the candy canes are the size you want, just set them aside in a bowl.

I’ve heard of people using a rolling pin to crush the candy canes too.  Or, I the last few years, to keep things even simpler, I’ve purchased already crushed candy canes at the bulk food store. That saves a step and make this gift even easier! 

Next, melt your white chocolate wafers.  I do this in a large glass measuring cup, but you could use any microwave safe dish.  Melt the wafers on low-medium heat in the microwave and stir every minute so they don’t overheat or burn. You can also use a double boiler.

Melted chocolate wafers.

Once your chocolate is melted, add your crushed candy canes and stir.  You can add a bit at a time and taste it to see if it’s minty enough for you.  It’s not really a science… just go by taste.

Melted chocolate wafers.

You can see beside the bowl that I’ve lined a baking sheet with waxed paper.  That’s the next step in the process.  You can do that while you’re melting the chocolate if you want to save time.

Next pour your mix of melted white chocolate and crushed candy canes onto your lined baking sheet.

White chocolate bark in a pan.

You can make it as thin or as thick as you’d like your bark to end up.  Just don’t make it too thick or it will be hard to break it into pieces.  If you’ve got too much chocolate for one pan, just line another one and make some more bark!

Then put your baking sheet in the fridge or freezer until it’s solid.  I think it takes about 15-20 minutes in the freezer or about an hour in the fridge, depending on the thickness.

Once it’s hard you can break it into pieces.  I just do this manually.  I tried cutting it into pieces but didn’t find it worked that well, but I’m sure it might work for some people.  If you’re breaking it, don’t let your hands get too warm or the chocolate will start to melt a bit and the sheen will wear off.

And you’re done!  Just decide how you want to package it.  I usually use little treat bags to make stocking stuffers or packages to attach to our neighbours’ Christmas cards.  I tie the treat bags up with curling ribbon to make them Christmas-y.

White chocolate bark in decorative bags.

We also usually bring some white chocolate candy cane bark when we visit family or friends during the holiday (along with other chocolates we make or other treats).  This tray has a neat little compartment in the middle that’s perfect for some bark!

White chocolate bark and holiday treats on a plate.

You could also use treat boxes like these to package up your white chocolate candy cane bark for gifts.  It will look like candy bark from the pros.

You can make this bark any time during the holiday season because it keeps well.  If you do a lot of baking and cooking in the last few days, you can relieve some of the pressure by making this several weeks ahead!  I often store it in the fridge because I have more space there than on my counters.  But the bark is fine not refrigerated too if your fridge is full of Christmas dinner items.  {Regular chocolate can turn white when it’s refrigerated, but since white chocolate is already white and it’s broken up into bark, nothing shows on it.} 

So that’s it!  I told you it was simple.  Just 2 ingredients – white chocolate wafers and candy canes.  Can’t get much simpler than that.

Everyone we give this bark to loves it, and it’s definitely not clutter because it all gets eaten quickly!

White chocolate candy cane bark.

So if you’re looking for another clutter-free gift to give, that’s yummy and well-received, make some white chocolate candy cane bark!  Just be prepared to make extra because your family isn’t going to want you to give it all away.  And it’s always fun to taste along the way!

If you need help decluttering or organizing, contact me for in-person organizing services in the Mississauga area, or virtual organizing services anywhere else.

Happy organizing!