Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easy Peppermint Bark

Chocolate and Mint- in my humble opinion, one of the greatest culinary duos.
I love peppermint bark.  However, it's usually so expensive I rarely purchase any for my family.  This year, I decided to make some.  It was so easy- anyone can do this.
Here's what you need:
A bag of mints (or even candy canes) 
Two 12 oz. bags vanilla chips
Two 12 oz. bags semi-sweet chocolate chips

I would recommend, if your budget allows, more expensive, high quality chocolates- both white and dark.  But these work great for the average batch.

So here's what you do:

 Spray a 9X13 glass cake pan and line it with a sheet of wax paper or foil- allowing the paper to drape over the edges. (I lightly sprayed the foil)

In a food processor (or by hand), chop and crush peppermint candies.  Leave enough small chunks to be pretty.  You don't want it all pulverized into powder.

In a medium sized bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Stir every 30 seconds until just melted.  For mintier bark, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract to this mixture and stir.

Pour melted chocolate into greased pan and spread smooth.  Next, sprinkle half of the peppermint candy over the top.  Refrigerate for a few minutes to semi-harden while going on to the next step.

Now do the same thing with the vanilla chips.
Melt in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted.  You can add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to this mixture as well, if you like.

Pour over chocolate layer lightly and be careful not to mix with the chocolate. Spread carefully.

Now sprinkle the rest of the crushed candies over the top and press gently to be sure candies 'stick'. 

Refrigerate until hardened.
Remove by grabbing ends of wax paper/foil and lifting out of pan. Peel off paper/foil.
Break or cut into small chunks to serve immediately or store in an airtight container.


Note to self: Remember to document recipes during daylight hours in order to take better photos!

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