December 6, 2010

Homemade Peppermint Bark

Sometimes I'm stumped as to what to make or give people during the holidays, especially casual acquaintances like neighbors and co-workers.  Rather than toiling away in the kitchen, getting flour all over while making cookies, I decided to go the quicker route--making homemade peppermint bark.
Yes, I know Williams-Sonoma has the best, but at $26 a lb. that's way out of my price range for the mail carrier.  This recipe is a good knock-off, and much cheaper to boot.  Plus you can get all the items in your local grocery store, or even Target.

Here's what you'll need, and note--buy the best quality ingredients that you can afford or find: 
  • 24 oz. milk chocolate chips 
  • 36 oz. white chocolate chips
  • Peppermint oil or extract
  • 2 boxes of candy canes
  • aluminum foil
  • cooking spray
  • large baking pan (mine was 12"x18")
  • Double boiler (or a 2 bowls that can fit over a pot of simmering water)
Ready your assembly area by lining your baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure that it covers the sides too.  Spritz with cooking spray.
Unwrap your candy canes, and place them in a heavy-duty ziplock bag, then crush with a rolling pin.  Little helpers love this part!
 
Place your double boiler or pot of water on the stove to simmer.
Put the bowl on top, and add the milk chocolate chips.
Stir until melted,
then pour into your prepared pan, and spread to the edges with the back of a spoon.
In another bowl, add the white chocolate chips.  I wish I had been able to find better quality ones, especially where cocoa butter is a main ingredient, but this is all I came up with.  It still tasted good in the end.
Put these over the simmering water, and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat, add half of the smashed candy canes and 1 1/2 tsp. of the peppermint oil or extract.  Stir well, then pour on top of the milk chocolate, which should be a little firm.
Carefully spread with the back of the spoon to cover the sides of the pan.  While it's still warm, sprinkle the rest of the candy cane bits on top.
And then the torturous waiting begins.  He sooooo wants those candy canes, the little peppermint addict.
I stuck the pan in the freezer to firm up before cutting.  Just be sure if you end up freezing it that you bring it back to room temperature before cutting, or you just might break a finger or cut yourself.

When firm, lift the foil and peppermint bark out of the pan, and find a chef's knife to go to work with cutting.
You're really kind of scoring then breaking it into large pieces.
 It's so easy and so delicious, and will impress anyone who gets some, especially when packaged in a cute little tin.
Just be sure to save some for yourself!

14 comments:

  1. I made peppermint bark for Christmas 2 years ago. I found a bag of crushed peppermint candy (think like buying a bag of chocolate chips) in the baking section of the grocery store. It made peppermint bark even easier!

    Sadly I haven't found it for sale since.

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  2. I love peppermint bark! Another good one is chocolate covered cherries that you soak in brandy for 24 hours. Not for the kiddies.lOl. I have a list of Christmas candy I make every year and give away, takes me a few days but I love doing it!

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  3. This looks wonderful. I'm going to post it on FaceBook to remember it.

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  4. This looks fun and yum! I've always wanted to try making it, but I'm not good at candy:(. I just made a buttload of Chex Mix, NOT the traditional recipe, and put it in bags and right into chinese to go containers. So cute and easy! Maybe I'll post it. Just a little something savory! I wish I was your neighbor so I could get some bark! ;)

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  5. I posted my recipe for that last year. I don't put the chocolate layer on mine. I just use the white, but the idea is pretty much the same. I LOVE it. I go through about 5 batches a year.

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  6. *gasp* This post is bookmarked and NOW I know what I'm giving to family at the Christmas party! I need to find some fun gift boxes or tins at the dollar store and then I'm all set.
    Thanks!!!

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  7. Ooooh....this recipe looks so easy. I think I finally figured out what to make/give to my neighbors! Thanks for sharing =)

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  8. Ooooh....this recipe looks so easy. I think I finally figured out what to make/give to my neighbors! Thanks for sharing =)

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  9. OMG
    I LOVE THIS STUFF
    Thanks for the recipe
    http://copperllamastudio.blogspot.com/
    Copper Llama Studio

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  10. I might eat the whole pan if I make thus, but I'm willing to risk it. ;)

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  11. Yum! I am not a fan of peppermint but this looks delicious!

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  12. I'm surprised Jen hasn't seen this yet. She LOVES peppermint bark. I've made it before and it's SO easy! Yum! I like that you do both chocolates :)

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  13. We made something similar to this for our annual Candy/Cookie Day last weekend. Pretty delish!

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  14. Oh man Kathleen....I think you're my new favorite person!! LOL

    That looks Ah-MAY-Zing O.O

    I totally want to try to make some now!! Thanks for the inexpensive and easy recipe ^.^

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