Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Peppermint Bark Recipe.
Last Christmas was the first time I ever made peppermint bark. It was so super easy and the kiddos really loved it! Plus, I love it because it's got the flavor of a candy cane that the kids love without as much mess and stickiness as a candy cane! This time when I went into the kitchen to make peppermint bark, I thought I'd mix things up a little by adding a layer of milk chocolate to the bottom. While it worked out in the end, I did encounter a few wee problems trying to whip this together as fast I could and take photos while all three kids kept climbing onto the table to stick their hands and faces in it.
Peppermint Bark Recipe.
12 ounces of milk chocolate chips
12 ounces of white chips
1/2 cup (7-8 regular sized) candy canes, crushed
1 tsp peppermint extract
Unwrap all of the candy canes and smash them into bits. I've tried various methods. I once put the candy canes into a large plastic freezer bag and whacked them with a rolling pin; my kitchen table is pine so it left a few dents. The sharp edges of the candy canes also tend to puncture the bag. This time I put them in my blender for 2-3 seconds on the chop setting. They were pulverized. It worked well enough, but if you want the peppermint bark to have slightly larger chunky pieces of candy cane you may want to find another way. (Ps. if you have a good method for crushing candy canes please tell me in the comments below.)
Line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt the milk chocolate using 30 second intervals, stirring between each so that the chocolate melts evenly and doesn't burn (about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes all together). Spread the melted chocolate onto the foil lined baking sheet as thinly as possible. Place in the refrigerator to harden.
Once the milk chocolate has set, put the white chips into a glass bowl and microwave to melt in the same manner. When the white chips have melted, stir in the peppermint oil. Note that the white chocolate may begin to appear a wee bit curdled; do not try to melt it any further to smooth it. This does not work and will only overcook the chocolate. Spread the white chocolate over top of the milk chocolate at no greater than 1/4" thickness.
Gently press the bits of candy cane into the top of the chocolate. Put in the refrigerator to harden. It won't take long! Once set break the bark into pieces to enjoy.
Peppermint bark is a nice companion to hot cocoa! It also makes a lovely handmade gift when placed into a fun food-safe box and tied with pretty ribbon.