Silver Chips Online

Crunchy, minty, chocolate-y delight

This easy holiday treat will have guests barking for more

By Deepa Chellappa, Online Editor-in-Chief
December 4, 2008
Winter winds are whipping through the air, turning noses bright red with cold. Christmas trees are being lugged out of trucks and to the side of the road. You can smell it in the air, feel it on your skin and see the discounts at the mall - the holiday season is finally here. Unfortunately, along with the usual pleasures of family, friends, good food and good times often comes the looming terror of gift shopping. But with this ridiculously easy and delicious recipe for peppermint bark, a traditional holiday treat can turn into a beautiful and festive gift. Break it up into pieces, fill a jar, decorate it with a big red bow and a couple of candy canes, and voila! The white and dark chocolate combined with the addictive crunchiness of the peppermint candy will undoubtedly make this sweet eat a family favorite for years to come.



Peppermint bark

Prep time is about 45 minutes.
Makes about 20 pieces.

Kitchenware:

- large baking sheet
- aluminum foil
- bowl
- saucepan
- spatula

Ingredients:

- 8 oz good quality (Lindt, Baker's, Ghirardelli) white chocolate, finely chopped
- 3-1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 15 hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
- 3 tbsp whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)

Preparation:

1. Place a 12" x 9" rectangular sheet of aluminum foil inside a large baking sheet.

2. Pour white chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir chocolate until it is melted and smooth and feels warm to the touch.

3. Remove bowl from saucepan and pour white chocolate onto the aluminum foil, using a spatula to spread it evenly.

4. Sprinkle white chocolate with 1/4 of the crushed peppermints and chill in refrigerator until set, about 15 20 minutes.

5. Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in bowl over saucepan on medium heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

6. Remove bowl from saucepan and cool for about five minutes, until chocolate is barely lukewarm. This prevents the semisweet chocolate layer from melting the white chocolate layer.

7. Pour semisweet chocolate over white chocolate rectangle, using a spatula to spread it evenly. Immediately add remaining crushed peppermints.

8. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

9. Let stand for about 15 minutes at room temperature before breaking into pieces and serving. Peppermint bark can be made up to two weeks in advance if chilled in an airtight container.

10. Place in a decorative jar to share with friends or keep it all to yourself!

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8755