Saturday, December 10, 2011

Peppermint Bark

My 7-year-old had a homework assignment to have Mom or Dad help him follow a recipe to make a holiday treat. I thought about it and informed him we would be making peppermint bark didn't even give him a chance to make suggestions. One of my sisters makes the best peppermint bark that she sometimes sends to me at Christmas-time. It's super pepper-minty I love it! I thought it would make a nice, homemade gift for our neighbors too. After a little more thought, I decided not to try to replicate my sister's awesome recipe, but make chocolate peppermint bark instead.

To be honest, although my son usually loves to help me in the kitchen, he wasn't that into the whole peppermint bark thing. But he was a good little cook, followed directions, smiled sweetly for the camera, and even took a few snapshots himself.

The stuff turned out terriffic! If you like strong peppermint flavor, I'd recommend adding peppermint extract as we did, otherwise leave it out. And definitely use semi-sweet chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate. We used pretty red, green, and white candy canes, but obviously you can use whatever color you like. Just watch out for those crazy, fruit-flavored candy cane imposters.

This will make at least two tin-fulls, if you're thinking about making Christmas gifts.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark  PRINTABLE RECIPE

24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 oz. white chocolate chips
16 peppermint candy canes
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (optional)

1. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the candy is crushed into small pieces. The largest pieces should be about 1/4" and some of it will basically be powder.

2. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a spatula, spread to a little more than 1/8" thick, up to 1/4" thick at most (ours was on the thick side and it was fine). It doesn't have to be perfectly even or reach the edges of the pan. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely hardened.

4. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in your double boiler. As it's melting, stir in the peppermint extract and most of the crushed candy canes. Set aside 1/4 cup or so of the candy.

5. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate over the semi-sweet chocolate.

6. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the entire surface and press down ever-so-gently to ensure it sticks. Place the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until the white chocolate is hardened.

7. Remove the peppermint bark from the refrigerator and break, by hand, into small, uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. (Don't let it get too warm, for obvious reasons.)

1 comment:

  1. Ri & I were trying to think of a festive holiday fairly easy recipe to make some of our neighbors. We may just give this a try. Hopefully we will have the sucess you guys did! Special family memories made baking w/Mom in the kitchen!