At Christmas time, I cook a lot. There are treat baskets for friends and family, cookies for Santa, desserts for holiday meals . . . and though it’s a lot, I have to confess that I love every minute of it. Cooking is a passion for me, pure and simple.
In a week or so, I will begin the rush to bake for the treat baskets – and cook too. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I am exhausted and cooking takes a lot of the little energy I have left. Sad, but undeniably true.
So, I have been pulling together my recipes for this year’s collection with the idea of easy but delicious in mind. Something that immediately came to mind was peppermint bark. Peppermint bark is one of those super easy treats that consistently draws wows. For whatever reason, people assume it must be hard to make. In reality, it’s anything but difficult. It’s also ultra-flexible, which is a giant plus.
Here’s a step by step guide to making your own super-easy peppermint bark this year. And believe me, it’s totally worth the time. Just be sure to use quality ingredients – particularly the chocolate.
One little note, my method involves no tempering, so if you are worried, make it on the same day it is consumed (or given away), because there is a chance it could turn gray after a day — though I haven’t had that happen. Just warnin’ ya.
You will need 6-8 oz of dark chocolate (here I used a mixture of good single origin bittersweet chocolate and some dark chocolate in a 1:1 ratio — about 6 oz total). You will also need peppermint extract, a double boiler, a baking sheet and parchment paper. Oh, and two peppermint candy canes, crushed.
Break the chocolate into chunks and place it in the top of a double broiler (bottom should be filled with water and heated over medium). Stir frequently until chocolate is fully melted. Then add 1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint extract and mix well.
Once the chocolate is fully melted, spread it evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick.
Now, evenly distribute the crushed candy cane all over the just-spread chocolate. Set the pan aside to cool for at least two hours. Then break into pieces.
Ta-da! Now, wasn’t that easy? Not so bad, eh?
Category: Gifting Goodies