Friday, December 24, 2010

Easy Christmas Candy: Peppermint Bark

A certain retailer sells its famous peppermint bark for $20+ a tin. It is well loved. And not initially a fan of peppermint bark, I was skeptical but when I tasted it, I admit. I liked it. A lot. I've even eaten it waaaay past its intended season and *still* liked it.

So when I looked at my giant candy jar full of candy canes, which I bought solely for this mint chocolate cupcake recipe (and has doubled as Christmas-themed decor), I decided I needed to use some more of it (albeit not the rest of it) somehow. Since peppermint bark is basically melting chocolate, then more chocolate and topping it with mint, it seemed like an easy and a crowd-pleasing solution.

See here for proof:

Peppermint Bark
Recipe adapted from here

12 oz. white chocolate chips (make sure these have real cocoa butter in them)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (real chocolate, *not* choco flavored baking chips)
1/2-1 teaspoon mint extract (depending on your liking of mint)
1/2-1 cup of crushed peppermint candy (extra to account for the loose ones that fall off from cutting)

Preheat oven to 250F.

In a 9"x13" baking tin, line with parchment paper. Spread semisweet chocolate evenly along bottom of pan. Bake for a few minutes until glossy. Remove from oven and use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the pan.

Cool in refrigerator for about 20 min until cold and firm. Meanwhile, crush your peppermint candies under a mug or a heavy bottomed pot.

And if you're super wackadoo like me, take it a step further and pour the crushed candy through a colander because I don't like the teeny sprinkly pieces. I think the chunkier pieces are prettier and less likely to run the red color. I will use the sprinkly bits later to flavor my hot chocolate (or "hocho").
When the brown chocolate layer is about cooled, start the white chocolate layer.

Set up a double boiler, i.e. a mixing bowl atop a deep pot with a couple inches or so of simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bowl. Pour your white chocolate chips into the mixing bowl.
Remove cooled chocolate layer while you're waiting for the white chocolate to melt. If there's any condensation, lightly wipe dry with a paper towel.
Stir until white chocolate is nearly all melted. Remove from heat and stir in the mint extract. Allow to cool just slightly.

Pour white chocolate over chocolate layer. Work quickly to spread the white chocolate with a spatula. Be careful not to touch the chocolate layer or you might melt it. Keep the white chocolate layer even stevens.

Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy, ever so slightly press the candies into the chocolate. Return pan to the refrigerator to set and cool until firm (a couple hours to be safe).
Remove from refrigerator.  Lift parchment from pan and onto cutting board. Shake off any unstuck candies.

Cut lengthwise about 3" wide strips so you'll have 3 long strips. Then use your knife point to sort of break into smaller pieces. Don't let dog get into it though. Store in your fave holiday tin lined in parchment or take out plastic containers like me.
A cool and creamy treat for Christmas day. Woohoo! Now go eat an apple to balance out all the other crap you/I have been eating.


lavenderpug said...

i'm going to have to do this next year, instead of shelling out the $20+. or, i could come over your place! the latter option is winning out at this point.

Jessica said...

I love how easy it is to just put the bottom layer in the oven!

mintedlife said...

Mmmmm...that looks so good! I will definitely try this next year. I never know what to do with all the candy canes.

Annie said...

It was so good! Thanks for making it!