Peppermint Bark

KCTS 9 Cooks

Peppermint Bark
Paula Nemzek for KCTS 9 Cooks

Wrap this easy-to-make treat in a cellophane bag, put a bow on it, and you have the perfect edible gift.

1 11-ounce bag good quality white chocolate chips
3/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, divided
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 ounces (1 cup) good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Melt white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, carefully checking and stirring every 30 seconds or so to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir quickly until smooth. Immediately stir in the mint extract and 1/2 cup of the crushed candy. The white chocolate will seize up a bit and try to behave badly. Immediately press the mixture onto the prepared pan, spreading evenly, as thick or thin as you like. Fingers lightly touched with butter works best for this step, or use an offset spatula. Refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes.

When white chocolate is firm, make the top layer. Melt the semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, checking and stirring every 30 seconds or so to avoid scorching. Once melted and smooth, spread evenly over the white chocolate layer. Sprinkle the remaining crushed peppermint over the top. Refrigerate until firm. Break or chop into pieces and store in the refrigerator.

Note: The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping the candy canes and crushing them in a food processor. Look for packages of crushed peppermints at the grocery during the holiday season. It's such a time-saver that it makes this recipe almost instant!



If you use oil-based flavorings, rather than alcohol-based, the chocolate will not seize. The are much stronger, so add a drop at a time until you achieve the desired strength.


A couple tips: Adding a teaspoon of oil to the melted chocolate makes it more manageable. Also, if the first layer gets too firm when chilling, the second layer does not adhere. I find that carefully adding the second layer when the white chocolate is chilled but not quite firm solves this problem. If the first layer has gotten too firm putting it in a warm over for about half a minute will soften it. A bit of the white might mix in with the semi-sweet layer but it actually looks quite fine!



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