Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Peppermint Bark

In keeping with our new tradition of holiday treats that don't include nuts or eggs from the get go, here's a super simple but sublime addition to our cookie tray this year.
Peppermint Bark
adapted from Food Network Magazine, December 2012

1 10-ounce bag good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
12 ounces good quality white chocolate
2 tsp peppermint extract
3-4 candy canes, crushed

1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with foil, shiny side facing up. Place the bittersweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 20 second intervals, stirring between each cycle until about 2/3 of the chips have melted. Stir the chocolate gently until completely melted. Stir in 1 tsp peppermint extract. Pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and spread to an even thickness. Allow the bittersweet chocolate to cool until it's almost set, about 10-12 minutes.
2. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat as you did the bittersweet chocolate, taking extra care not to scald the white chocolate. (All chocolate can be temperamental but I find white chocolate to be particularly so. Take your time and don't rush the melting process!) Stir the white chocolate until completely melted. Stir in remaining 1 tsp peppermint extract. Pour the white chocolate on top of the almost set bittersweet chocolate and smooth to an even thickness. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes, gently pressing the larger pieces into the chocolate. Allow to cool to room temperature for an hour or more.
3. Once completely set, use the foil to lift the peppermint bark from the pan. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks - or better yet, wrap some up to give as a festive holiday gift.

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