I always look forward to making peppermint bark during the winter holidays. Here I combine its flavors with a simple bittersweet brownie recipe. The brownies come together quickly and are the perfect base for the sweetness of the white chocolate and crushed peppermint candies.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with baking spray, line with parchment and then lightly spray the parchment.
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and set aside. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl until well combined. Stir in the melted butter, eggs, yolk, vanilla and water. Stir in the mini chocolate chips if using. Stir the batter vigorously until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 42 to 44 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 2 hours in the pan before cutting. Invert the pan onto a cutting board, peel off the parchment and cut the brownies into 16 squares.
Combine the white chocolate chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-second intervals, stirring well between intervals, until melted and smooth. This should take 40 to 60 seconds. Dip the bottom surface of each brownie into the melted chocolate, let any excess drip back into the bowl, and turn the brownie so the chocolate is upright. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Repeat with the remaining brownies. Store at room temperature, covered, for up to 4 days.
Leftover white chocolate can be turned into peppermint bark: Pour it onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and top with mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies. Allow to harden and then break up into pieces.