So, it’s been a gloomy few days.
I had a demoralizing week towards the end of October and then the election came in and blew us all away… suffice it to say I wasn’t in the best of moods and so, my most efficient emotional outlet is always to cook or bake, and so we arrive at the Holiday season: with peppermint bark.
I am a moderate fan of peppermint bark but I do consider it quite beautiful and appropriate for the holiday. I’m not the biggest fan of working with chocolate though, so I’ve never made it before. Since I was desperate for some of the emotional relief of baking I went ahead and made it anyway lol so the good thing is, if anyone reads this you might learn from my mistakes!
First, I underestimated the amount of chocolate I was working with. This was a comfort bake and I wasn’t going to actually bake it so I didn’t really measure. So I thought I was making a little less than the recipe required and I could get away with a smaller dish. Wrong lol
The bark is a little thick. This in itself isn’t so bad (other than it was hard to chop it), but I could’ve done better.
I didn’t mix enough peppermint candy into the white chocolate, I guess I was afraid it’d sink to the bottom but I should’ve.
I read conflicting reports on whether or not it should be chilled between layers. I opted for chilling but I have to say: DON’T CHILL. It makes the top of the layer too hard and then it doesn’t stick to the next one quite as well. It is going to look perfectly fine, but it will separate when cut. What I did, was heat the parts that separated with a hot knife to stick them back together and that was okay. But this would’ve been unnecessary had I not been ridiculously inpatient (this is a theme in my life btw, I should write about this).
All of that being said, the bark is delicious and it held up really well. I have kept it in the fridge where it stays nice and super firm. But it’s done alright when I take it out to give away or to grab a piece with me to work.
I made my peppermint candy super fine. I am happy I did this because I hate the big chunks of candy, I feel that if you get a bite like that, it overpowers the chocolate.
It’s honestly TOO EASY to make. It was rewarding and comforting. I’m not sure to what degree things are going to be okay and I don’t mean just about the election… But I guess as long as I can cook and bake, I’ll have that to make me feel better.
On to the recipe then…
A classic holiday favorite, made at home.
Ingredients-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate
-3 cups white chocolate
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
-3-5 peppermint canes, crushed.
- Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil and then with parchment paper.
- Place a stainless steel bowl on a water bath, making sure the water boiling never touches the bowl. Place the semi sweet chocolate and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil on the bowl.
- Slowly stir and patiently wait for the chocolate to start melting. Once it’s melting slightly, you can add a couple of drops of peppermint extract. This is optional and additional but it adds a nice depth. The chocolate should be smooth and shiny for it to be ready for pouring.
- Pour the chocolate on the pan and carefully distribute it all over the surface of the pan. Set aside until it’s starting to firm up slightly.
- Place a clean stainless steel bowl on the water bath and now place a tablespoon and a half of the coconut oil with the white chocolate. White chocolate is more delicate and temperamental than dark chocolate so melt it slowly and without rushing. Always stir.
- Once the chocolate is melting, add the peppermint extract and continue to stir until it’s shiny and smooth.
- Continue to stir the chocolate for a few minutes until the temperature comes down, otherwise it will melt the chocolate at the bottom.
- Once the chocolate has melted, add 1/3 of the peppermint candy and stir until it’s well combined.
- Immediately, pour the white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate. Top with the rest of the crushed candy canes and press them slightly into the white chocolate so that they adhere and don’t float on top.
- Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours or until it’s set.
- Once it’s set, pull the aluminum foil from the dish and it should all come out smoothly.
- Heat a knife with hot water and cut the bark in uneven pieces.