Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint Bark

I'm not really sure why, but my husband really loves peppermint bark. And given how easy it is to make... I'm okay with that.

What You Need:
Vanilla (White) Almond Bark (or Candy Melts)
Chocolate Almond Bark (or Candy Melts)
Candy Canes or Peppermint Candies
Parchment Paper
Two pint-sized helpers 

Start by crushing the candy canes.

The best way I've devised to crush them is to line a zipper bag with parchment paper. (Fold it in half and stick it down inside the bag.)

Place the unwrapped candy canes inside parchment paper "sleeve," and place on a cutting board.

Use an ice cream scoop to smash them. The reason you line the bag is that the sharp, little pieces of candy cane crumbs will make holes in the plastic bag. The parchment helps reduce the number of holes (so less candy cane dust spills out), and it also helps keep more of the dust contained when holes do happen.

Once your candy canes are crushed, I like to separate the candy cane "dust" out of the larger pieces -- I may use this for another cookie if I get a chance this week. To separate them, I pour the bags of crumbs into a strainer with larger holes in the bottom, like a plastic one-- not a fine mesh strainer. A few shakes, and you have the bigger pieces ready for peppermint bark.

Now that the peppermint part is ready, it's time for the chocolate. I prefer to use half of a bag each of dark and milk chocolate Candy Melts, but you feel free to use whatever chocolate almond bark you like. If you're really ambitious, you could also temper your own really good chocolate to use. I'm not that ambitious.

Melt the chocolate on low heat in the microwave. I use power level three, and end up going for about 3-5 minutes. You'll want to stir it every 30 seconds after the first few minutes to make sure you don't overheat it.

Pour the chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and spread to a thin layer.

Place pan in the refrigerator to set.

While that's setting, melt your vanilla or white almond bark (using the same technique as above).

Remove the chocolate layer from the fridge, and spread the white layer over the top. (Be gentle here if you don't want to mix the layers. The warm white will melt the chocolate below a little bit if it's not totally set - and even if it is.)

Immediately sprinkle the crushed peppermint pieces over the top, and gently press over the top to help secure them in place. (This can get a little messy.)

Let the white layer set, and break or cut into pieces. I prefer mine broken. I think they look better a little uneven.

Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a few weeks.

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  1. I am dying to know what cookies you used the candy cane 'dust' on....

    1. Sad truth... It sat I the cupboard for six months me never graced a cookie... But I have these fond memories of candy cane dusted cookies my mom made when I was a kid. Maybe I can actually make them this year?


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