peppermint bark

DSC_0203-peppermint-bark

Since I couldn’t share my holiday basket recipes with you in December (that would have spoiled the surprise for the recipients!), I’ve decided to share them with you in January! Here’s a quick peek at what we’ll be covering…

IMG_9051-baskets

  • Gingerbread blondies
  • Peppermint bark
  • Parmesan-thyme crackers
  • Cheddar crisps
  • Cinnamon-apple bourbon
  • Toffee chip shortbread cookies

Today’s topic: Peppermint bark.

The first time I had peppermint bark was years ago at Williams Sonoma and at almost $30 a pop I limited myself to their free samples and other, cheaper, knock-off varieties of the holiday treat. While I was thinking about what to put in my 2014 baskets, I realized that I still had a good amount of Chocoley laying around and thought it would be perfect some holiday bark!

You can use any chocolate you like, of course, but I’ve already told you about how I love the snap of Chocoley’s Candy Molding formula, which makes a nice sturdy base for this bark without having to temper the chocolate at all. Just melt and pour, then top it with some white chocolate and a generous sprinkling of crushed candy canes on top and voila! You have a whole sheet-pan of peppermint bark for a fraction of what you would pay for the tiny bit you get from Williams Sonoma one!

peppermint bark

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 14 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 candy canes, chopped or crushed

Instructions

  1. Line a sheet pan or 9-by-13 pan (for neater corners) with aluminum foil and/or parchment, smoothing out any wrinkles.
  2. Melt dark chocolate over just steaming water in a double boiler. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between each session).
  3. Stir in the peppermint extract and pour into prepared pan, spreading to form an even layer. Set in the fridge to firm up while you melt the white chocolate.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate in the same manner as the dark chocolate (it may take less time).
  5. Remove dark chocolate layer from fridge and pour white chocolate over the dark chocolate layer, spreading the white chocolate to form an even layer. Sprinkle with candy canes and return to fridge for about 10 minutes to set up.
  6. Set on the counter to continue firming up, about one hour, then cut into desired size chunks.
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/11/peppermint-bark/

 

Peppermint Crack

peppermint crack 1

This wonderful little concoction is called, simply, “crack”. And, if you sprinkle peppermint on top, it becomes immediately festive “holiday crack” or “peppermint crack” or… something equally addictive but slightly more festive, it doesn’t really matter what you call it.

Sorry it’s too late for Christmas, but I’m sure you can make it for your New Year’s party as well. Or maybe for someone you fought with over the holidays and need to make up with? One bite of this and they won’t be able to stay mad… It’s so simple, and you wouldn’t believe what the actual ingredients are… the flavors, though, my god… salty, crunchy, chewy, sweet…. addictive. I guess that’s why they call it “crack”.

“Crack”

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 51 saltine crackers (or less, if you want to use the larger matzo crackers)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces high quality dark chocolate (70% or greater)
  • 2/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12 x 17 inch jelly roll pan with foil. Place saltine crackers salt side up and side-by-side in the pan as tightly as possible without overlapping. Use saltine pieces to fill any gaps at the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Chop chocolate so pieces are about the size of standard chocolate chips and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat stirring frequently with a spatula. Once butter has melted, add brown sugar and vanilla stirring to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes or until mixture is an even dark brown color and has begun to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over saltines using spatula to spread sauce.
  3. Bake crackers for 5 minutes or until butter mixture begins to bubble. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Spread chocolate evenly with the spatula so all of the crackers are completely covered. (I had to pop mine back into the oven for a minute to encourage my chocolate to melt)
  4. Let the chocolate cool to the touch, but not harden. Sprinkle crushed candy canes or peppermints (if using) evenly on top and refrigerate until chocolate sets and hardens. Break apart and serve..

 

[ adapted from serious eats ]