Hey y’all! It’s the Mouthwatering Monday edition of the Handmade Holiday Baking Party!! I hope y’all are getting as many fabulous gift ideas to make for friends and family as I am!! The delightful and talented Kelly is hosting all of the non-sewing craft ideas and the darling and crafty Cindy is hosting all the sewing craft ideas! You can see all of the Handmade Holidays posts here.
Today’s featured Baker is Heather, from Home-Ec 101
Peppermint bark is a cinch to make, provided you can follow directions and are careful to keep water away from the chocolate as it melts. Even a drop or two of water accidentally dripped into the melting chocolate can cause it to seize or turn into a lumpy, practically useless mess.
That said, for this peppermint bark recipe, you don’t even need a thermometer, just the ability to tell boiling from simmering.
- 12 oz white chocolate , finely chopped
- 6 oz (12 candy canes) or 30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
- 7 oz Semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 TBSP whipping cream
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp peppermint extract – OPTIONAL, I think this might even be better with a less minty counterpoint.
- aluminum foil
- cutting board or a square of heavy cardboard
- spatula, rubber or silicone
- 1 bowl either metal or pyrex -they must withstand heat
- 2 saucepans, preferably heavy
Nice but totally optional:
- double boiler
Wrap the cutting board or cardboard square with aluminum foil. On this foil use the blunt edge of a knife or a clean fingernail to draw a rectangle 8 x 10 or so. It doesn’t have to be perfect, this is just a guide.
Heat a pot of water to boiling, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
While the water is heating is a good time to coarsely crush the candy and chop the chocolate (in separate batches, there should be no mixing). A rolling pin and a freezer bag work to contain the mess for the peppermint candy, while a cutting board and knife work for the chocolate.
Add the coarsely chopped white chocolate to the bowl. Place the heatsafe bowl over the water. Check and make sure that the bowl does NOT touch the water, this is vital. If the bowl touches the water, you could scorch the chocolate. Stir just until smooth. Carefully remove the bowl from the pot. Wipe the bottom with a towel to prevent dripping condensation onto your work area. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot of water on the stove.
Pour 1/2 the white chocolate into the rectangle you drew on the foil. To make spreading easier, kind of drizzle it in long lines, then use your spatula to spread it evenly in your outline. It’s ok if you cross the line a little. Sprinkle your layer with half of the crushed peppermint. Place your foil covered cutting board in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
While it’s chilling, wash your spatula and begin melting the coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly and before it has finished melting, stir in the six tablespoons of whipping cream and 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat. Work quickly or the chocolate will be too stiff to spread.
Pull the white chocolate layer from the refrigerator.
Chill it for 15 minutes.
About 3 – 5 minutes before the time is up turn the burner for the water back on low. Put the bowl back over the pot and remelt the white chocolate. Remove the bowl from the pot as soon as it is smooth. If you haven’t already, grab the now cool, chocolatey goodness from the refrigerator.
Pour the remaining, melted white chocolate over the previous layers. Spread it as evenly as possible and sprinkle with the last few peppermint crumbs.
Put it back in the refrigerator and chill until set.
Allow to chill for at least 20 minutes, but overnight is better.
To make it extra pretty, cut off the edges of each side with a sharp knife. This will expose the layers of chocolate and peppermint and it should be quite pretty.
To cut the peppermint bark into triangles for gifts and to make people think you’re way more skilled in the kitchen than reality, cut the bark into strips, then squares, then cut the squares into triangles. These look lovely tucked into tissue paper in tins or in canning jars tied with ribbon. Just make sure they are stored in air tight containers and made no more than two weeks prior to giving.
Heather Solos is a former chef, a blogger turned author, and a royal pain in the butt. Ten years in the restaurant industry gave Heather Solos the tools she needed to found Home Ec 101. Those years in the kitchen inspired her love of food and the low pay taught her more than she ever wanted to know about budget living.
Hey y’all! Thanks so much for dropping in on this special edition of Mouthwatering Mondays! Make sure that you drop by Heather’s and show her some love, as well as all the other people participating in Handmade Holidays. Heather’s one of my inspirations and favorite people
As always, make sure that you play nice Link up your direct recipe url, leave a comment after linking up, visit the other participants and link back here so that others can play along and meet other food lovers, too!!!