Monday, December 24, 2012

Peppermint Bark

Don't say that I didn't warn you! I have become slightly obsessed with the beautiful presentation and ease of chocolate bark, but now it takes a Christmas-y turn. Peppermint bark makes a great, inexpensive gift for all of those people who you are constantly adding to your gift list during the holidays. Don't you dare darken the dreaded aisle of cheap hot cocoa mix sets and poorly made stuffed animals clutching holiday themed tins full of peanut brittle. Instead, get in your kitchen and make something that truly comes from the heart, homemade gifts show that you actually thought about what would please your friends. Once again, this recipe requires very little output for maximum gain. All you need is two flavors of chocolate, peppermint starlight discs, and your favorite bludgeoning tool!

Peppermint Bark

  • 12oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12oz. bag of white chocolate chips
  • 10 - 15 unwrapped peppermint starlight discs, pulverized
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, three to four minutes should do the trick, be sure and stir after every one minute interval to ensure there are no lumps. Spread the chocolate into a parchment paper lined baking dish. Place it in the freezer for 10 - 20 minutes or until frozen. While you wait, unwrap the peppermints and put them into a sealed sandwich bag, wrap it in a kitchen towel to muffle the noise. My father decided to assist me in the crushing process, and his tool of choice was a hammer. This stage in the bark making can be the most cathartic and worthwhile, depending on how much pent up anger you have. 
Repeat the same melting process for the white chocolate, and quickly spread it over the frozen dark chocolate, then sprinkle the crushed candy all over the top and push it in gingerly with your hands, to make sure it stays on the bark. Freeze it overnight, and I have found that the best way to break it apart is to take a sharp knife and insert it vertically into the bark, it will break up into perfectly shaped pieces. Package it in holiday themed take-out containers with tissue paper and a loving note and your friends are sure to appreciate the thought you put into their gift this year!

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