Erin’s Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Candy Bark

There is nothing like a cookie exchange to bring about the holiday spirit!  Casa Luca’s Chef Erin Clarke knows a thing or two about cookie exchanges as her family has participated in them for generations. According to Erin’s Aunt Doad, what makes a tray of Christmas cookies beautiful is that they are all different.  One of the Clarkes’ signature cookies is a Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Candy Bark.  Try out the recipe below and share them at your next cookie exchange!


Dark Chocolate & Peppermint Candy Bark


Yield:  Approximately 2 dozen 5 to 6 inch long irregularly shaped cookies


1  1/2 c.           All Purpose Flour

¼ t.                  Baking Soda

1/2  t.               Salt

1/2  c.              Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa Powder

1 c.                  (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

¼ c.                  Sugar

½c.                   Packed dark brown sugar

2 T.                Water

2 t.                   Vanilla Extract

3 c.                 Dark Chocolate Chips (semisweet is fine)

3/4 -1 c.          Peppermint Candy, crushed into small pieces


  1. Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Have ready two unlined baking sheets.


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Sift the cocoa powder into the flour mixture and set aside.


  1. Using a stand mixer on low speed, mix the melted butter, sugars, water and vanilla extract until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping the mixer to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until the flour is incorporated, 25 to30 seconds.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.


  1. Leaving a 3 inch margin on all sides, use a thin spatula to spread half the dough on one baking sheet into a rectangle that measures about 11 by 8 inches and is about 1/4 inch thick. Use your palms to help pat it into an even layer. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough on the second baking sheet.


  1. Bake one sheet at a time about 14 minutes, or until the top looks opaque and feels evenly firm at the edges and center. As soon as each baking sheet comes out of the oven, sprinkle half of the remaining chocolate chips over the cookie slab.  While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle half of peppermint candy evenly over the chocolate.


  1. Let the cookie bark cool on the baking sheets or a wire rack until the chocolate topping is firm, about 2 hours.


Break each cookie slab into about dozen cookies 5 to 6 inches long irregular pieces.  Store cookies in a tightly covered container, layered between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature for up to 5 days.