It’s been a while – sorry about that! This is a busy time of year for everybody, so by way of apology for being scarce, I thought I’d share one of the things that’s been keeping me busy.
A few years back, a friend of mine shared her peppermint bark recipe with me, and I decided I’d try making it. Well, it’s a really good recipe, and the result was that I got famous among my family and friends for this peppermint bark. So now, December means my kitchen turns into a peppermint bark factory. If you want to try it for yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do…
Peppermint candies (candy canes, Brach’s Starlight Mints, whatever you have on hand) – enough to make about ½-3/4 cup when crushed
1 pound (16 oz) white chocolate
1/2 pound (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate (I used 60% cacao, but you can use whatever dark chocolate you prefer)
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Set out cream to come to room temperature. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Crush peppermints and set aside. Chop up half of the white chocolate into small pieces (it will melt better that way) and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 20-30 seconds and stir; repeat until just melted (takes about 1 minute 20 seconds total in my microwave, but yours may vary, so microwave in small increments and watch carefully!). Spread the melted chocolate evenly on the cookie sheet – you want about a 9×12 rectangle. Sprinkle with about half of your crushed peppermints and put the cookie sheet in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to harden. Next, chop up all of the dark chocolate and melt as you did for the white chocolate (in a different bowl – you’ll use the white chocolate bowl again for the last layer). When the dark chocolate is completely melted, stir in the room-temperature cream and the peppermint extract. Using a spatula, spread this layer evenly over the white chocolate and put the cookie sheet back in the fridge. Give it at least 45 minutes to cool this time – the cream and peppermint extract make this layer softer than the others. Finally, chop up the remaining white chocolate and melt as before. Spread evenly over the dark chocolate layer (be careful not to mix the two, as the heat may soften the dark layer a little). Sprinkle with the remaining crushed peppermints and set in fridge to cool completely. When cooled, peel the foil off the bottom and break up or cut the slab into whatever sizes and shapes you desire. This can be stored at room temperature, but it’s better in the fridge.
The biggest tips I can give you are 1) use the best chocolate you can find (please don’t use the melting wafers you find at craft stores!!), and 2) don’t worry if it looks a little irregular. It’s homemade, and it tastes amazing even if the layers look a little funky.