There are certain foods that you only crave around the holidays. For some, that culinary craving might be candy canes in December, cranberry sauce in November, Hot Dogs in July, or Peeps in April. Peppermint bark falls in that category, at least for me. I enjoy peppermint bark a lot, but I associate it so closely with Christmas that my pepperminty appetite lies dormant for 11 months of the year.
I was at the grocery store stocking up on Clementines when saw candy canes and chocolate/white chocolate chips on sale. So easy! So timely! So tasty! I knew then that I just had to do it.
I went without a recipe, relying on my memory to put the bark together. Luckily, bark is one of the easiest things to make. First you prepare your candy canes by crushing them, making it one of the best stress-relievers out there. I did this by simply bagging the candies in a Ziploc baggie and then hammering away at them with a pot until you get the right size. You don’t want to end up with candy cane powder, but they should be manageable bits.
Some people temper their chocolate, but with this recipe I didn’t bother. Too much work, especially considering the fact that the chocolate gets covered up with other layers. The general rule of thumb is that you stop heating up chips once the majority have melted and to stir constantly (assuming you’re using a double boiler). If you’re using a microwave, do it on a lower heat setting and check it frequently—no one likes his chocolate well done.
I distinctly remember chilling the chocolate layer before adding the white chocolate; however I think I chilled it for too long because the white and dark sections didn’t really stick together. The white part was entirely independent of the darker subterranean layer. That’s what I get for not consulting a recipe.
Not that anyone really cared. People enjoyed it all the same. This was probably my last Tufts cooking gig before I head off campus on Monday. Nothing sounds quite as delicious right now as a well-stocked kitchen. Mmmm…
Peppermint Bark (makes probably 4 servings if you’re planning on gifting it for people. But why give when you could receive?)
8 candy canes, crushed
12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
20 ounces of white chocolate (I cheated and used “Premier White Morsels” from Nestlé)
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1.) Line a 13x5x2 pan with parchment paper.
2.) Melt dark chocolate in double boiler/microwave, then add peppermint extract, stirring until combined. Pour melted chocolate in pan. Place in refridge for 5 or ten minutes. Pull it out a couple minutes before step three is done.
3.) Melt white chocolate chips and place on top of dark chocolate layer. Smooth top with a spatula and then sprinkle that crushed up candy cane mixture on top.
4.) Let set in refridge for half an hour or so.