Combine first 4 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook, covered, on LOW 1 hour and 30 minutes or until vanilla bark and chocolate look very soft. Uncover and stir until smooth. Stir in pretzels, crackers, and crushed peppermint candies.
Drop candy by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Let stand 1 hour or until firm.
Followed the other reader's suggestion for cooking it on "low" for about a half hour, then "warm". I used crushed candycanes and pretzel nuggets only, omitted the animal crackers..sounded kinda funky to me. Very happy with the result, bought some treat bags for 1.99 and am using this for a cookie exchange tomorrow night. All the chocolates were on sale this week so I made the entire batch for around 9.00 including pretzels.
The slow cooker is great if you have a lot going on at once. Melt the chocolate with the cooker on low, but reduce to the "warm" setting if you have it. Otherwise, a double boiler may be a better option to avoid scorching.
I melted the white chocolate in the microwave on 50% power and just a couple of minutes at a time (at most). If you watch it carefully and stir often that is the easiest way to do it! The recipe turned out really well and it would be enough to give as gifts or for a large party. Mine was to share with teachers at a hot chocolate bar the last day of school!