Friday, November 28, 2008

Peppermint Bark

I love making Christmas candy, especially anything having to do with Chocolate! So, today I made my first round of candy and I wanted to share it with YOU!! Peppermint bark is one of the easiest and yummiest Christmas candies to make. This is what you will need...

1 lb White Coating Chocolate
1 lb Milk or Dark Coating Chocolate
8-9 Candy Canes, crushed

Easy right? The answer to that is...YES!

First, read my post "Chocolate 101", so that you know how to melt your chocolate. Next, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Either one will do. I use wax paper because it's cheaper. Melt a pound of milk or dark chocolate and then pour the chocolate directly onto your wax paper. Spread the chocolate as thin as you can without it being transparent. I used my offset spatula, which worked brilliantly.

Then, pop the whole thing into the freezer for 2-3 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Pull it out of the freezer, and let your chocolate come back to room temperature.

While your dark layer is coming back to room temperature, crush your candy canes and start melting your white chocolate. (Note about crushing candy canes... I just put mine in a couple of zip lock bags and hit them with a hammer. I have tried putting them into the blender before, but it crushed them up way too tiny. I like this best with small chucks of candy cane, not candy powder. Figure out how you like it best!) If you really like the taste of this point you can add a few drops of oil mint flavoring to make it more minty. I think that the candy cane adds enough mint, but it's up to you! You can purchase oil flavorings at candy supply stores, or sometimes you can find them at Walmart.

Once your white chocolate is melted, add the candy cane to your white chocolate and stir until well mixed. If desired, reserve about 1/8th of a cup of the tiny crumbs to sprinkle over the top. That just makes it pretty.

Spread the white layer over your set-up dark layer. This layer is a little harder to spread because it has chunks of candy cane in it. But, do your best to make it as thin as possible. Then, sprinkle your white layer with reserved candy pieces. Pop it back into the freezer to set up for 2-3 more minutes.

Next, just break your creation into pieces. They can be as big or small as you wish. I like to break them into a combination of both large and small.

Then, package them as you wish! I have a fetish for cellophane bags, so I put almost everything in a shiny cellophane bag. I think it makes everything prettier!

Note: You can make this bark without the darker chocolate layer. Simply skip the steps regarding the darker chocolate all together.

Also, it's cute to do this inside a cookie cutter, like a cool copper or stainless steel one. Just lay the cookie cutter flat on the wax paper, then pour the different chocolate layers into it, following the same steps outlined. Just make sure not to fill it too full. Let it set inside the cookie cutter, and wrap up the whole cookie cutter in cellophane.

Let your imagination run wild! There are so many possibilities when it comes to bark. You can omit the candy cane and add nuts and dried fruits. One year at Easter time, I made this without the dark chocolate layer, and then used lemon heads instead of candy canes. It was really yummy! There are so many things you can do! Get creative!
P.S. I just received a William's Sonoma Catalog today. They sell peppermint bark in a cute tin for$26 per pound. Go on...make it for $2.50 a pound!


Nielsen Family said...

I remember when Marc brought this into work. I couldn't stop eating it. Believe it or not I had never had peppermint bark before and I think about it from time to time during the holidays. This time I will have to make it!! (If I can find the ingredients here!)

Michelle said...

Aubs! I can't wait to make some of this for my co-workers. I love the idea of making it in the cookie cutters. I'll let you know how it goes. I absolutely love this recipe blog. You're amazing! How do you find time to make all this yummy stuff and run after twins?!? I wish we lived closer so I could watch you cook and bake. Sidenote: I'll be there for a week in February - surprise B-day for my Grandma and Rene is getting remarried. I definately want to see you when I'm there.