Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite holiday treats. My dad used to make it, and there’s something about the crunchy, minty, chocolate-y taste that just makes it perfect for Christmas. It’s also a super simple way to make homemade gifts for family and friends. I don’t have an exact recipe for this, because I just eyeball it and do everything based on intuition, so here’s a step-by-step guide.

Ingredients

white chocolate
dark chocolate (I use dark instead of milk, because it doesn’t melt as easily in your hands, making it easier to handle)
peppermint extract
candy canes
red food coloring

Directions

1. Crush the candy canes into tiny pieces. The easiest way to do this is with a food processor; but if you don’t have one, just double bag the candy in some ziploc bags and press down on them with a rolling pin or hammer. Be sure to put a towel under and on top of the bags so you don’t dent your countertops!

2. Slowly melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, with the water on a simmer. Be sure not to let any water or steam drip into the chocolate, because that ruins it! As the chocolate is melting, stir it with a spatula to help prevent it from burning and to help keep it smooth.

3. Line a baking tray with plastic wrap, then pour in the melted dark chocolate so it forms a thin layer. Then place the tray into the fridge to set up.

4. While the dark chocolate is in the fridge, melt the white chocolate in the same way. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the peppermint extract.

5. Remove the dark chocolate tray from the fridge, then pour the white chocolate on top. You may need to use a spatula to spread it evenly, just be careful that you don’t use too much pressure, as some of the dark chocolate may mix in (it melts a tiny bit because of the hot white chocolate).

6. After pouring in the white chocolate, use a toothpick to swirl the red food coloring through. Then sprinkle on the crushed candy cane pieces. Return the tray to the fridge to set up for at least an hour.

7. When the chocolate is all set, use the overhanging plastic wrap to slide the chocolate out of the tray. Then carefully press down onto the chocolate to break it into large chunks. Store these in an airtight container. You can store in the fridge, but be sure to let the bark sit out at room temperature for about ten or fifteen minutes to soften a bit so you don’t break your teeth!

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