Peppermint Bark

More Christmas baking. Or maybe Christmas melting is more accurate.

If you think back to my postings from earlier this year, you’ll recall my interest in reducing my food costs. Making this Peppermint Bark to give away as a gift (or mostly eat myself, really) is a great way to save money which is especially helpful at this time of year.

Plus… this recipe is a breeze to make. The recipients of this treat will think you worked so hard which will surely result in a bigger payback for you!

And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Here’s what happens.

Get some high quality chocolate chips.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Melt those chips.

Melting the chocolate (a whatfoodimade action shot!).

Melting the chocolate (a whatfoodimade action shot!).

While the chocolate is melting, measure the white chocolate chips.

White chocolate chips.

White chocolate chips.

Get the candy canes.

Candy canes.

Candy canes.

Bash them until they are not candy canes any more.

Candy cane rubble.

Candy cane rubble.

There is also time to get the pan ready.

Line the pan with foil.

Line the pan with foil.

Chocolate has melted.

All melted.

All melted.

And it’s now the bottom layer of the bark.

Spread the chocolate into the prepared pan.

Spread the chocolate into the prepared pan.

While the chocolate is setting, melt the white chocolate.

Melt the white chocolate (another whatfoodimade action shot!).

Melt the white chocolate (another whatfoodimade action shot!).

Melted.

Melted white chocolate.

Melted white chocolate.

Add the smallest pieces of candy cane dust.

Adding candy cane dust (yet another whatfoodimade action shot!).

Adding candy cane dust (yet another whatfoodimade action shot!).

Stir to combine.

Combine.

Combine.

Spread this over the chocolate so there is a second layer.

Create a second layer.

Create a second layer.

Sprinkle the larges pieces of candy cane rubble over.

Add the remaining candy cane pieces.

Add the remaining candy cane pieces.

Break the bark up.

Break the bark into pieces.

Break the bark into pieces.

Display the pieces artfully on a plate.

Peppermint Bark.

Peppermint Bark.

Peppermint Bark.

Here’s the original recipe.

And here’s the slightly altered recipe that I used:

Peppermint Bark

Yield: About 16 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

When it comes to gift giving, everyone has that friend: the one who shows up with a container of homemade peppermint bark. Everyone loves said friend — and now, with this recipe, you can be that friend.

For the least mess when crushing the candy canes, place them unwrapped in a Ziploc bag and repeatedly tap it with a rolling pin. You’ll inevitably be left with some sugary dust to sift out, but don’t throw it away — add it to the melted white chocolate to boost the mint factor. And since chocolate is front and centre in this story, it’s important to spring for a top brand. Generally, anything you’d be thrilled to eat on its own is good for turning into bark.

Don’t wait until the chocolate is completely set, otherwise the two layers won’t stick together once dry. The bottom layer should be slightly melty still so that when you touch it, you’re left with a thin layer of chocolate on your fingertips… and you know how to clean that test up.

Ingredients

1 cup (6 ounces) good quality chocolate chips
1 cups (6 ounces) good quality white chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed candy canes (about 3 whole ones), sifted with dust reserved

Directions

1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan completely with foil and set aside.
2. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
3. Lower the heat to medium low, then place the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl resting on top of the pot of simmering water.
4. Stir to melt the chocolate until completely smooth, about 5 minutes, making sure no water gets in the bowl as you’re working.*
5. Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan and spread it evenly across the bottom. Place in the refrigerator to cool until just set, 10 to 15 minutes.
6. When the semisweet chocolate is nearly ready, repeat steps 2 through 4 with the white chocolate. When the white chocolate is completely melted, stir in the reserved candy cane dust.
7. Immediately pour the white chocolate over the semisweet layer, spreading evenly to cover. Sprinkle the candy canes on top, then chill the bark in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour. Cut the bark into pieces and serve.

*For alternative melting instructions: Microwave morsels in a small microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute on medium-high power, then stir until smooth. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.

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