I'm going to wrap up NaBloPoMo, and start December with cookie recipes for Christmas baking! We'll see how daring and bold I feel about daily posting once this month ends.
While technically not a cookie, Peppermint Bark is a very seasonal treat, and perfect for homemade gift baskets. This tastes every bit as good as Ghiradelli's Peppermint Bark. Aesthetically, it's not as perfect in form, but I like the rustic appearance.
I don't recommend doubling this recipe, instead just make it one batch at a time. It's quick going, about thirty minutes start to finish.
Perfectly Easy Peppermint Bark
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 18 oz. white chocolate chips (you can make this with an even amount of white and semi-sweet chips, but I like the thicker white chocolate layer.)
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 4 candy canes, crushed
Line a 13x9 glass baking pan with a sheet of foil. Spread the semi-sweet chips over the bottom and put in the oven at 250° for five minutes. Do not leave it in beyond that. When chocolate burns and seizes up, there's no going back. Start a shallow pot of water on the stove to create a double boiler for the white chocolate.
Next, spread the chocolate chips evenly across the foil.
Now refrigerate the chocolate for 20 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time. You don't want to leave it in for less time, because the white chocolate mixture will melt it too easily resulting in a swirl of chocolates. More time causes condensation on the surface of the semi-sweet chocolate and prevents adhesion of the next layer. The darker chocolate layer should not be glossy when removed. If it still has a bit of gloss, put the pan in the freezer for one minute, that should do the trick.
While you're cooling the pan, crush four candy canes in a plastic bag. As a candy cane connoisseur, I admit to a preference for Bob's candy canes. The peppermint flavor is pure and true, not cinnamon tinged. The crushed candy canes should have a few chunky pieces, but don't crush them into dust either.
Now melt the while chocolate over a double boiler if you have one, or use a bowl that will not touch the boiling water when held over a pot. White chocolate is dainty, and it seizes up faster than it's darker counterparts.
Continue to stir them, until no lumps remain. Remove from heat as soon as the mixture is smooth. Add the peppermint extract.
Let the mixture cool ever so slightly after removing from heat. The process takes a little less than the 20 minute cooling time for the darker chocolate, which works out perfectly. You want the white chocolate to be spreadable, but not so warm that it will melt the semi-sweet layer on contact.
Work quickly to spread the white chocolate layer. Don't fuss with it too much. Just pour it on top of the semi-sweet layer. This is a great project for two people to do in tandem, but it's not terribly complicated for one cook either.