Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peppermint Bark

(Okay, I think I need a tutorial in food photography.  Or maybe a better camera!  Hmmmm.)

This treat has been a huge success and I am already on my second batch.  I have to say that any kind of chocolate + mint combination is heaven as far as I am concerned, so this stuff rocks.  Plus, it's relatively easy to make and doesn't require any baking, just some double-boiling action.

I guess I should also say that it isn't actually dairy-free so it doesn't fit perfectly with my oh-so-sacred food allergy list.  But it isn't sugar free either, so who's counting?

I got this particular recipe from Kate over at her blog which is one of my favorites to turn to when I need some ideas.  Take it away, Kate:

Layered Peppermint Bark 
by Kate Chan
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips or chopped white almond bark
8 large candy canes, chopped/crushed
4 - 6 teaspoons shortening
4 teaspoons peppermint extract

  1. In a double boiler, or a metal bowl resting over hot water, melt dark chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of the shortening and 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract. Do not let the temperature rise above 98/100F or you will break the temper of the chocolate.
  2. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet (that fits in your fridge). Smooth out the chocolate with a spatula to about 9 x 13″. Slide the cookie sheet into your fridge and allow the dark chocolate layer to cool/set for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once the dark chocolate is cooled, melt the white chocolate plus the remaining shortening (2 teaspoons) and extract (2 teaspoons). Once melted, pour over the top of the cooled dark chocolate. Working quickly - as it begins to melt the dark chocolate a bit - spread the white chocolate over the top of the dark chocolate base.
  4. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the warm white chocolate topping. You can press the peppermints in to the chocolate a bit to make sure they will stick. (Pressing the peppermints in to the chocolate may not be necessary.)
  5. Cool for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator or on the counter top for 1 hour or more.
  6. Score and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container for 7 - 10 days (or until your family comes to help you eat them up!)
Happy holidays, safe travels, and warm wishes!

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