Well it’s a new year and with a new year comes… a new copyright logo on the bottom of my pictures (which you may have seen on my champagne cupcakes)! In case you aren’t aware, I went about 3 years having this blog without needing to (or feeling the need to) copyright my photos, and then some dipshit named Sharon Louann Swann Stallings went and stole a bunch of them and used them as advertisements for her “up & coming baking business” on Craigslist & Facebook. Yeah, like I said, dipshit. Anyway, after that, in September or October of 2010, I decided I better tag ’em with my blog name so that when they’re stolen, people will know, unless these dipshits have the ability to crop in Photoshop, which I highly doubt. So for the next 12 months you’ll see this new copyright on the bottom of the photos. It’s a shame I need to do this at all, I hope someday I can remove this step in my photo editing for good. But for now, it stays, just updated for 2011 and with all this other newness, comes a new recipe!
Most people think of peppermint bark as a Christmas-y treat, however, I think it’s also a great way to use up all your leftover candy canes after Christmas. Although, to me & my family, Christmas lasts until tomorrow which is Little Christmas, so it’s still appropriate to make it with those. You’ll never catch us taking our tree down before tomorrow! If anything, it’s up another week or two. The outside decorations, that’s a bit different. They had to come down before we’re hit with another blizzard.
Peppermint bark is a chocolate confection. Generally it consists of peppermint candy pieces in white chocolate on top of dark chocolate, but peppermint bark can refer to any chocolate with peppermint candy pieces in it.
It is especially popular around the Christmas season. Companies known for selling it seasonally include Williams-Sonoma, Ghirardelli, and Dove. Though they do not label it as peppermint bark, Hershey’s also sells peppermint Hershey’s kisses.
Peppermint + chocolate = wonderful. Funny story; Jay never liked the mint/chocolate combo until eating these. He’ll probably still deny liking it, though. I saw him smile when he ate a piece on Christmas- he can’t fool me.
Needless to say, I did indeed make mine for Christmas, and I put it in Martha Stewart treat bags and used them as place settings for the table on Christmas Day. This way, everyone could take theirs home with them and enjoy it. Although like I said, I think it’s a sweet way to use up your candy canes when the holiday is over, and I think it’d be equally sweet for Valentine’s Day, perhaps using white chocolate colored pink? Or even better: use white chocolate & pink Candy Melts with dried cherries. Or try making it with all white chocolate and crushed starlight mints, then drizzling melted pink candy melts over the top? Or for St. Patrick’s Day; white chocolate with crushed spearmint starlight mints or crushed green candies. You can do it in any way you like, for any holiday, even with cherry or blueberry or fruit-flavored candy canes.
My recipe is just a basic one, very simple. There are tons of them out there, and there are also commercially made pre-packaged ones that usually cost a pretty penny. Williams-Sonoma makes a fantastic one, but buying it really takes the fun out of it to me. This is a project kids would love- it takes no time at all, lots of smashing (the candy canes), very little cooking, no baking, and the end result is delicious.
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup crushed candy canes
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.
- Melt the semi sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
- Then, melt the white chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and tilt the pan so the chocolate is in an even layer. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
- Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Makes about 25 pieces, depending on how large you break it up and whether or not you double the recipe.
NOMS! CRUNCHY CHOCOLATEY PEPPERMINT NOMS ALL IN YOUR FACE!
If you like more peppermint flavor in your bark, stir some peppermint oil (not extract), maybe ¼ – ½ teaspoon, into the white chocolate before pouring it on top of the other chocolate. You can also put more melted chocolate over the top, like a drizzle. I split my chocolate up unevenly, so the semi-sweet chocolate layer is thicker than the white, and used some mini chips in the semi-sweet layer that I didn’t allow to melt completely, so that layer is a little chunky. See? So many possibilities! You could even use white chocolate chips in regular chocolate… whatever your imagination can come up with, it’ll work.
I also want to say that these candy canes were the best ever. I got them at Target and the flavor wasn’t too peppermint-y, it was a perfect balance of sweet and mint. Which made them perfect for peppermint bark. It’s a shame I now have to wait almost a whole year to buy them again. But on the plus side… Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it.
I think I’ll keep the snow up on the blog for a few more weeks, or maybe all through winter.