Monday, December 26, 2011

Peppermint Bark

I bring you this recipe post-Christmas because I a) made my best batch of peppermint bark four days before Christmas and b) feel the need to give you a new use for all of the candy canes you can buy on clearance right now.

I had seen peppermint bark in a magazine recently and decided I needed to conquer my fear of melting chocolate and make it this year. When I was living with my parents, we had a double boiler and would melt chocolate to make buckeyes each year. Out in the real world, I have yet to purchase a double boiler and instead use a make-shift one when I make this cheesecake for my husband and think I just closed my eyes and crossed my fingers when I made the cake batter bark earlier this year.

But the chocolate-melting-without-a-double-boiler for this bark? Sooooo easy. I used Nestle morsels and followed the directions on the back for melting them. (The directions for the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips vary slightly from the white chocolate instructions.) This didn't take long, and aside from messing up one batch because I was distracted by an extremely chatty husband (I didn't mix the candy canes in with the white chocolate and ended up sprinkling it over the melted chocolate), I was very pleased with the results. I made three batches, and my favorite by far was a milk chocolate/white chocolate combination. All of them were well-received.


12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips
8 peppermint candy canes (I used 7-9)


1. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5-10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are the size you desire. (I double-bagged them and experimented for each batch, using a rolling pin, hammer and stapler to smash them. The stapler was by far the most effective.)

2. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with smooth aluminum foil.

3. Melt or temper the dark chocolate. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and use an offset spatula or knife to spread it to an even thickness, a little more than 1/8" thick. The chocolate does not have to reach all sides of the sheet, as it will be broken up later anyhow. Place the tray in the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the white chocolate (I left it in for at least 20 minutes each time).

4. While the dark chocolate hardens, melt or temper the white chocolate. Stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving about a quarter of the mixture to put on top. (I stir all of them in unless Chatty McHusband is around.)

5. Remove the tray from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the dark chocolate.

6. While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the entire surface evenly. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick. Place the tray back in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.

7. Once the peppermint bark bark is completely set, break into small, uneven pieces by hand.



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