Thursday, December 07, 2006

Look What's Cooking: Peppermint Bark

Since the Holidays are fast approaching, our theme this month is Favorite Holiday Recipes. Our first recipe is Peppermint Bark.

Ingredients needed:
1 pound white chocolate/melting bark
1 package (12) peppermint candy canes
red food coloring
Peppermint extract

  • Place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and slowly melt. This can be done on the stove top using a double-boiler. Make sure not to let any moisture mix in with the chocolate in either case or it will crystalize.
  • Unwrap all the candy canes then place in a plastic food storage bag and seal. Cushion the bag between a kitchen towel to absorb some of the noise and pound away with a heavy object. (a mallet, a hammer, or a meat tenderizer all work well).
  • Once the chocolate is melted, add two to three drops of food coloring to tint it pink and two to three drops of extract. Adjust either to your prefernce.
  • Stir in the crushed candy canes.
  • Spread on a sheet of waxed paper or foil to cool. A waxed paper covered cookie sheet works well if you need to move it during cooling.
  • Once it has hardened, break into bite sized pieces and store in a covered container. Refrigeration is not necessary, but is recommended to prevent melting.
This bark, packaged in a decorative bag or tin, makes a great gift. One variation would be to melt a layer of dark chocolate, let it harden, and then add to melted bark over that for a two layer version.

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