Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I inquired of my Twitter followers the other day what they might like to have a recipe for and @lisahanockjasie asked for peppermint bark. I'd never done it before that, but I can tell you it's so very easy that there's no need to ever buy it.
You need very few ingredients and even less time to get this one done. I made one with white coating and one with chocolate and the kids liked both equally well. Be careful when melting chocolate or coating - you need absolutely dry equipment to start with and add the room temperature extract only after the chocolate or coating is already melted and still quite hot.
The candy can be added after the extract or, as I did - after the chocolate is spread onto parchment. Adding the extra drizzle of the opposite flavor helped adhere the candy to the bark, as well.
Crushing candy canes can be a challenge. I used a hammer to gently crush mine. I originally tried the food processor, but wound up with inconsistently crushed candies - some were powder and some too large. I laid them on a baking sheet and gently hammered them until they were the size I needed.
Makes 2 sheets (approx. 15x15) of candy
12 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate candy melts
12 ounces white chocolate chips or white candy coating
1 teaspoon peppermint extract or several drops peppermint oil
4 candy canes, crushed
1. Set aside 1/4 cup of both types of candy melts.
2. Melt each color of chocolate separately either in the microwave or in a double boiler. If using a double boiler the water in the bottom pot should NOT be boiling, but simmering. Even steam from the bottom pot can cause the chocolate to seize.
3. Once the chocolate is melted, add a teaspoon of peppermint oil to each color and stir thoroughly but very gently. Once the extract or oil has been successfully added (it doesn't seize the chocolate) stir it a bit more vigorously until it cools a bit. This will help to temper the chocolate and it will set up better than if you simply melt and pour.
4. Pour the chocolate onto the parchment and spread to desired thickness.
5. Top with chopped candies.
6. Melt reserved chips or coating and drizzle alternate colors over each. Drizzle white over chocolate and chocolate over white.
7. Let cool and dry completely before cutting with a very sharp knife or breaking into pieces.