For several years, I have been a happy consumer of a certain culinary goods store's peppermint bark candy. I gladly shelled out over $25 a box for the confection. Sometimes, I even did it more than once during the holiday season. In 2008, when I was two months pregnant with my son, I decided the peppermint in the candy was soothing for my stomach as I battled occasional morning sickness. Some people turn to saltines, I turned to chocolate.
But this year, I decided to say no more. I was curious if I could reproduce the candy myself in the comfort of my own kitchen.
My advice: save your pennies and make this peppermint bark at home. My homemade version was as good as the store bought and maybe better because I knew it was fresh and hadn't sat in a box for weeks.
First I bought quality white and semi-sweet chocolate and chopped it.
While the semi-sweet chocolate was hardening, I started melting the white chocolate. I should add that the key to melting the chocolate is to stir it almost continuously so that it gets smooth and doesn't scorch.
Burnt chocolate is nasty. Trust me.
Once the white chocolate is melted, I removed the cookie sheet from the refrigerator and spread the layer of white chocolate on top of the semi-sweet chocolate. From there, I sprinkled on the peppermint candies I had crushed. I crushed the candies by putting them in a ziploc bag, wrapping the bag with a kitchen towel and then smacking the bag with a meat tenderizer. It did the trick and I was left with crushed candies and frankly perfect peppermint dust.
From there, the cookie sheet went back in the refrigerator and hardened. Once it was ready to go, I broke off pieces of the bark with a knife and put it in a cute gift box to use as a gift for a party we were going to attend.
He immediately investigated.
|Those would be Davis' fingers in the box of peppermint bark.|
Another peppermint bark consumer is born.
Homemade Peppermint Bark
(makes copius amounts of Bark and trust me, you cannot make too much)
20 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
12 tablespoons heavy cream
30-40 peppermint candies, crushed
Line two 9x12 baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper
Coarsely chop the semi-sweet chocolate and then the white chocolate. Keep them seperate.
In a double boiler, add the heavy cream to the chopped chocolate. Stir continuously while chocolate melts to keep it from scorching. Once smooth, mix in peppermint extract and remove melted chocolate from double boiler and spread the chocolate on the prepared baking sheets using a spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
While the semi-sweet chocolate layer is chilling, melt the white chocolate in the double boiler, stirring continuously until melted.
In a ziploc bag, place peppermint candies and wrap bag with a dish towel. Using a meat tenderizer or other adequate tool, smash the candies until they are almost dust. Set aside.
Once melted, set aside and once the semi-sweet chocolate is hardened, pour the white chocolate over the semi-sweet chocolate and smooth with a spatula.
Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Return baking sheets to the refrigerator to chill and harden.
Once hardened, use a knife to cut apart the peppermint bark.