Both impressive and intimidating, candy making can be quite simple once you know what you're doing. Peppermint bark is a holiday staple — whether you want a bite of something sweet after a meal or you want a simple, homemade gift for friends and family, it is an ideal treat for the holiday season. After ten years of making this holiday sensation, here are my five tricks to make your peppermint bark better than ever this season. 

1. Use high-quality chocolate

The easiest trick to take your peppermint bark from good to great is to use the best quality chocolate that you can find. Yes, it may cost you a couple extra bucks, but it is totally worth it. If I'm at a local grocery store, Ghirardelli is my personal favorite. If I'm at a specialty store, I like to invest in some high quality European chocolate. 

2. Combine your favorite chocolates

If you're like me, you have a personal favorite chocolate — milk, dark, extra dark, white, and the list goes on and on. To make peppermint bark delish, I suggest selecting your two favorites, which gives your bark a balance of flavors. Personally, I enjoy a combo of dark and white chocolate so that the sweet white chocolate is offset by the rich dark chocolate. 

3. Pay attention to melting time

mole sauce, sweet, milk, coffee, cream, pudding, chocolate
Elyse Belarge

Due to their chemical composition, different chocolates have different melting processes. The less sugar there is in the chocolate, the easier it is to melt — dark chocolate is the easiest to melt. Just pop it in the microwave for a minute, give it a little stir, and continue heating it in 15 second intervals until completely melted.

On the other end of the chocolate spectrum, white chocolate is has a completely different composition and is very difficult to melt. Its high sugar content requires attentiveness during the melting process because white chocolate is easy to burn. My suggestion is to put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirring it, and continuing this process in 10 second intervals until it's completely melted.

4. Crush peppermints to the right size

peppermint, goody, sweet, chocolate, candy
Morgan Willie

The normal process for crushing peppermints/candy canes is to unwrap them, place them in a Ziploc bag, and crush them with a hard object. However, doing this often over-crushes the peppermints into a powder that's not as tasty or as pretty. Therefore, carefully crush each candy cane to ensure that every piece is of the desired size. 

5. Press the mints into the chocolate

cream, dairy product
Hannah Skiest

When sprinkling the mints over the melted chocolate, make sure to lightly press them into the chocolate with your finger. If you skip this step, a lot of those good minty chunks will fall out when you're breaking the bark into smaller pieces.