Not only are these the best Christmas brownies EVER, they’re the best homemade brownies we’ve ever made, with peppermint bark right on top!
I have a huge obsession with brownies that aren’t just brownies. Frosting or peanut butter or sprinkles, please! How about a whole layer of ganache and peppermint bark on top? Oh, my! These are really deluxe. I guarantee that any occasion that warrants peppermint bark brownies will be a special occasion. Even if it wasn’t before, it will be now. They have layers of goodness and they’re incredibly festive, pretty, and fun. LAYERS, I tell ya. That is perhaps my favorite thing.
Best Homemade Brownies: Peppermint Bark Brownies
What You Need:
1 (18-ounce) box of brownie mix (plus ingredients listed on the package)
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
3 candy canes, crushed (about ¼ cup)
What You Do:
1 – Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-2 inch overhang on the sides of the pan.
2 – Then, prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions and mix in the peppermint extract if using.
3 – Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake following the box instructions – allow the brownies to cool to room temperature.
4 – Once the brownies have cooled, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave in 20-second increments until smooth.
5 – Then, mix in the butter until smooth and well incorporated – the mixture will thicken and resemble thick frosting.
6 – Spread the chocolate ganache in an even layer over the top of the cooled brownies.
7 – Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20-second increments until smooth.
8 – Spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the chocolate ganache. Immediately sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the white chocolate.
9 – Allow the chocolate layer to set before removing the brownies from the pan, slicing, and enjoying.
*Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
*The brownies can be made in an 8×8 inch pan or 9×13 inch pan. Brownies made in an 8×8 inch pan will be thicker, and those made in a 9×13 inch will be thinner. Be sure to follow the box instructions for the correct pan size used.
*Allow the brownies to cool completely to room temperature before you apply the chocolate ganache layer. If you apply the ganache to warm brownies, it will melt and will not create a nice firm layer for the white chocolate to sit on.
*Be sure to leave an overhang on two sides of your pan with your parchment paper so you can easily remove the brownies from the pan and transfer them to a board to slice. If you don’t line your pan with parchment, the brownies will be difficult to remove as the chocolate will set on the sides of the pan.
*Ensure you are using room-temperature butter when making the chocolate ganache layer. If the butter is too cold, it may cause the chocolate to harden before the butter can be incorporated. The ganache mixture will thicken as you mix in the butter; this is normal!
I recommend using high-quality chocolate such as Ghiradelli for the ganache and white chocolate layers.
*You can use finely chopped baking chocolate bars instead of the chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are more economical, so I prefer to use them in this recipe.
*The easiest way to crush the candy canes is to remove their plastic wrapper, place them in a Ziploc bag, and smash them on the counter with a rolling pin or meat mallet. I do not recommend using your food processor to crush candy canes, as they stick and are a mess to clean up.
*Around the holidays, you can usually find crushed peppermint candies in the baking aisle, which can also be used to top the brownies.
I do not recommend placing the brownies in the fridge to set the chocolate layer, as it may get too hard and cause the chocolate to crack when cut.
*If the chocolate layer feels too hard when you go to cut the brownies, you can run your knife under hot water for 30 seconds to a minute to heat the blade and make it easier to cut through the chocolate. You can also use a blow dryer or heat gun to gently soften the chocolate and make it easier to cut. Just be sure not to get too close or apply the heat for too long, or the chocolate will melt.