Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time for Peppermint Bark

If it's chocolate and it's mint, I'm a fan. Especially if the chocolate is white chocolate! So of course I love Peppermint bark. A couple of years ago I decided to try to make it myself, and found that it's super easy!

I don't temper the chocolate, maybe I'll try it someday...but I just wanted a recipe I could quickly do so I could quickly get to eating it! I've melted the chocolate in the microwave and in a double boiler, both work well, but just be careful with melting the white chocolate in the microwave! I tried to with this most recent batch, in our new microwave, which is apparently hard core for a microwave, so instead of nice, smooth melted white chocolate, I got this:
Not really so appetizing. Although my husband  made me save it for him. So my double boiler (pyrex bowl over simmering water) went on the stove, and thankfully I had an extra bag of white chocolate chips. Voila!

Much better.

Peppermint Bark

1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 bag white chocolate chips (Nestle or Ghiradelli have the best tasting white chocolate chips)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (get the real stuff! Natural or Pure has the best taste)
6 - 8 candy canes
Unwrap 6 candy canes and break into small pieces in large ziploc bag.

Use the bottom of a pint glass to break the candy canes into shards and small pieces. I've tried a small food processor, but it doesn't give you the nice pieces that doing it by hand will.

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each interval. If there are still some unmelted chips, keep stirring. The residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate.

Spread the chocolate in a thin layer on parchment paper or silpat on a baking sheet. Put in the fridge for about 5 minutes while you prepare the white chocolate

Melt the white chocolate, but in 15 second intervals in the microwave...unless you like cottage cheese white chocolate. Or to be really safe, use the double boiler method.

Once white chocolte is melted, Add 1/4 tsp of the peppermint extract and stir well.

Mix in half of the crushed candy canes into the white chocolate

Spread the white chocolate mixture onto the dark chocolate.

Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes on top.

Refridgerate til rock hard! (Usually about 20 minutes or so)

Break the bark into pieces.


Keep refrigerated !

This really makes a great gift for a hostess or a stocking stuffer! Grab some candy gift bags and put a pretty ribbon on it and you're good to go.
I've tried the peppermint extract in the dark chocolate, and it also tastes great, but the extract in the white chocolate lets the dark chocolate flavor come out more. I just think it's a better contrast. Let me know what you think!

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