Peppermint Bark, etc.

The past few weeks have been insane, to say the least. There have been FRG meetings, parties, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, school programs, dinners, and church functions. If the price of oil increases, it’s my fault; I increased the demand for dinosaur juice by about 1000%.

By comparison, this week is proving to be much more relaxed. My Christmas shopping is complete, which leaves me with time for straightening the house, getting cards in the mail, actually going for a training run. There are things to do, don’t get me wrong: a 5k with the family tomorrow morning, dinner with my husband’s co-workers tomorrow evening, a gift wrapping fund raiser on Sunday. Still, this will be a slow weekend compared to recent months.

Because I’ve found myself with a spare few minutes, I decided to play in the kitchen. Here’s some Peppermint Bark; it’s super easy and takes relatively little time. (hehe… “peppermint bark” always makes me think of yipping candy canes. “woof woof! bark bark!”) If you need a gift for teachers, neighbors, and the like, I recommend this stuff. It looks really pretty in clear goodie bags and green ribbon. 🙂

Easy Peppermint Bark

The Stuff You’ll Need

equal parts milk chocolate (or dark chocolate) and white chocolate

(I used four large Hershey bars for this; two milk chocolate, two white chocolate.)

1 Tbsp sea salt (or any fine-grained salt without iodine)

(other options: pretzel crumbs, chopped nuts, or cookie crumbs)

6 candy canes, crumbled

parchment paper, double boiler, and 1″ deep cookie sheet (or similar)

What You’ll Do

1) using a double boiler, melt the chocolates. (keep them in separate containers, obviously.) Add two or three Tbsp of crumbled candy cane to the white chocolate and combine well.

2) line the cookie sheet with parchment paper, then pour in the brown chocolate; spread this evenly. Sprinkle the salt over this layer (this adds addicting contrast and is yummy!). This is also a good point to add crumbled pretzels or nuts, as these additions can add traction for the next layer of white chocolate.

3) you have two courses of action now; either set the brown chocolate out on the counter to cool or put it in the freezer. I put mine in the freezer for about ten minutes because I’m impatient like that.

4) after the brown chocolate has hardened, layer the white chocolate over the top. Move quickly and don’t press too hard, or the brown chocolate will melt and show through the white.

5) while the white chocolate is still warm, sprinkle a generous helping of candy cane crumbs over the top. Set aside to cool over night, then break into chunks for gifting or serving. Goes extremely well with hot chocolate or coffee.

** a note about the chocolate: I don’t recommend using the “almond bark” or “candy making” type of chocolate substances. They aren’t really chocolate, first of all, so they taste nothing like chocolate. They are sweet and they melt beautifully (because that’s what they are supposed to do.), but don’t be fooled. It goes without saying that the better quality chocolate just tastes better. The first batch of peppermint bark was made with these chocolate-wanna-be’s. The kids liked it because it was sweet, but if you want people to taste chocolate, you need to use chocolate instead of brown wax.**

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