the peppermint bark ordeal

 I know, I know. . . it's still a little early for candy canes. But I was at the drug store the other night and they already have their Christmas merch out! And peppermint bark squares at the counter!

I love peppermint bark. I can't remember the first time I had it but it was fairly recent in the grand scheme of things. I really should've been eating it long before. It's amazing.

Last year we got all the stuff to make peppermint bark but never did. Those chocolate and white chocolate chips disappeared, of course. The parchment paper got used up, too, but I still had the peppermint flavor, so I decided to get it in early, just to make sure I get to it at all. It's really easy to make, though I did make a couple of silly mistakes, I'll share with you my process and my recommendations. Do as I say, not as I do!

As you can see, the white chocolate of my peppermint bark is in the inside, rather than on top like I meant for it to be. That is because I do not know how to melt white chocolate, apparently. We'll get to that....

What you need for this is:

Most of 1 bag of chocolate chips
Most of 1 bag of white chocolate chips
Candycanes or peppermints, crushed (you can do this with something solid and a Ziplock bag, or do what I did and break them into little pieces, put them in a bowl and then pulverize with a glass jar. It's a little messy, but fun, and you save a plastic bag!)
Peppermint flavor (optional)
Parchment paper on a baking tray

I melted my chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 1 minute, stirred and kept putting them back for 20-30 second intervals until thoroughly melted. Then I added a few drops of peppermint flavor (more or less depending on your preference, or you can omit altogether for a more subtle peppermint bark).

I spread the melted chocolate out on the parchment paper and allowed to cool. Well, I was in a hurry (as per usual) so I stuck it in the freezer for about 10 or 15 minutes. This was silly because the chocolate didn't really set up in that time, it just got cold so it appeared to be set, but melted as soon as I tried to spread the white chocolate on... I recommend putting it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

I then set to melting my white chocolate in the microwave, as well. As I began, Tom said, "Aren't white chocolate chips really hard to melt?" I said, "I don't know, I've never heard that." But, as it turned out, he was right. They started to melt, at first, but then ceased melting and became just a kind of solid-ish mush. I tried to spread this on the chocolate but the chocolate melted and it started to mix. I put it under the broiler a bit to see if it would melt more (Tom's idea, thank goodness he was there to keep me from flying into a panic about my weirdening bark), but it didn't really help. So I ended up just flattening it out, best I could, and put the dark chocolate over the top.

While still melted, I sprinkled the crushed peppermint over the top and pressed in gently with the back of a spoon. I let this harden in the freezer over night, though it probably would've done just as well in the fridge (I just didn't have room).

I've melted white chocolate before in a makeshift double boiler (with a glass bowl and a pot of water) and that worked fine, so I highly recommend doing that. Here are some really straight forward directions for that.

Anyway, it turned out really yummy (Tom-Approved) and prettier than I'd expected, which is what really matters, anyway, right?

Peace & love,

No comments:

Post a Comment