Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pretty Peppermint Bark

'Tis the season to be merry…and eat delicious treats.  I've been massively inspired in the kitchen ever since the semester ended and I've actually had the time to toil.  With a holiday gathering this evening, I decided to try out a new recipe.

I'm a big fan of peppermint bark and the idea of melting chocolate and smothering it with peppermint sounded positively sinful and exactly the challenge I was in seek of.

Turns out, peppermint bark is quite easy!  And I nailed it on the first try.  A kitchen WIN.  I read through a number of recipes and ultimately decided to test out the easiest sounding one :)  the Below is adapted from HERE.




Peppermint fields forever...

Ta-da!

Ingredients

2-12oz packages milk chocolate chips (I used Nestle's Toll House Milk Chocolate Chips)
2-12oz packages white chocolate chips*
2 teaspoons peppermint extract**
1-1/2 cups crushed candy canes/peppermint candy

Directions

1. Line a 12x18 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.

2. Melt the milk chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl within a large pot of hot water (do not allow to boil!). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Stir constantly and until it is a smooth and even consistency. Spread the chocolate evenly in the prepared pan; chill until set, about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl within a large pot of hot water (do not allow to boil!). Stir constantly and until it is a smooth and even consistency.  Stir in 1/4-1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes. Spread the white chocolate mixture evenly over the milk chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces evenly over the white chocolate layer. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Slice into triangles to serve.  Keep refrigerated. 

Easy peasy!  You can heat the chocolate in the microwave, but then it turns into a very labor-intensive endeavor and scorching the ol' cocoa becomes an issue.  Some people suggested a double boiler, but since I don't own such a thing the glass bowl inside a large pot filled with hot water (stove on medium heat throughout) worked wonders and was so darn easy.

*Not all white chocolate is created equal.  Make sure cocoa butter is in the ingredients, and not any sort of vegetable oil.  Good quality white chocolate will use cocoa butter.  Substitutes will wreak havoc on the consistency and you’ll end up chucking the while thing.  I use Guittard white chocolate chips and they were awesome.


**I didn’t use peppermint extract, mostly because we didn’t have any but also because reviews were mixed on the use of it.  Some people said it messed up the consistency, others said it was overkill.  I went with the overkill argument and avoided it.  I’m glad I did.

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

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