Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tis the Season For Peppermint Bark

It's that time of year when the speciality food catalogs are charging $26 a pound for peppermint bark. You can make it yourself for about half or even less depending on what chocolates and candies you choose and if you find a sale.
Here's the recipe I posted in Kid Cuisine (with some pix) a few years ago and the one my teen-aged son made a few nights ago. For more on peppermint bark, peppermint cookies and other related goodies in Blog Appetit, click here.

Peppermint Bark

Taste test your peppermint candy options before you begin. We found that some brands didn’t have as strong a peppermint taste as we would like. We ended up using round peppermint hard candies. If you want your younger children to have fun in the bashing, pick the easy-to-break thin, mini candy canes. Another thing to keep in mind, your candy will only taste as good as the chocolate you use. We used better quality chocolate which resulted in a really luscious treat.

12 red and white candy canes, or about 20 mini candy canes or about 3-4 ounces of peppermint candy
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (good quality chips okay)
12 ounces white chocolate (NOT chips, they will not melt well and the taste is not the same), chopped or broken into small pieces

Line an approximately 10 inch by 15 inch rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil lining extends beyond the sides of the pan. Unwrap your peppermint candies of choice and put inside doubled heavy-duty plastic zipper-lock bags. Make sure you get the air out when you seal the bags. Place on a cutting board on a steady, durable surface that won’t be damaged by some candy bashing (we used the floor). Whack the bag with the candies with a rolling pin, meat tenderizer or even a hammer until the candies are broken into approximately ¼ inch pieces.

Melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer across the bottom of the prepared rimmed cookie sheet. Place pan with chocolate in the refrigerator while you make the next layer.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Take pan with semisweet layer out of refrigerator and spread melted white chocolate on top. Working quickly, evenly scatter peppermint candy pieces (but discard or find another use of those teeny tiny bits of peppermint dust you might have created when you were candy bashing) on top, pressing down slightly on larger chunks to make sure they adhere.

Place confection back in the refrigerator until totally firm, about a half hour. Using the foil lining, lift the bark out of the pan. Peel off the foil and break into irregularly shaped pieces.

Makes about 1 ¾ pounds of candy. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed storage bag or container.

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About the photo -- Noah's latest batch made in a half sheet pan.

4 comments:

Meredith Celentano said...

I, too, blogged on peppermint bark and the recipe I used was simple and delicious. (Clearly that time of year!) Please stop by to check it out. You can find it using the drop down menu on the left. www.meredithsfoodforlife.blogspot.com

FJK said...

Thanks for stopping by.
I checked out Meredith's recipe and it meets my criteria for lots of chocolate, peppermint and flavor.

The Hip Hostess said...

Looks delicious! If you are looking for a new way to use it try it in place of chocolate chips in a cookie recipe. Check out the one on my blog: http://hiphostess.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/peppermint-bark-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Thanks for the post!

Max mickle said...

This chocolate looks so beautiful with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! Nice colors!