Bark versus Bite

19 Dec

We are simply mad for chocolate peppermint bark a la Williams and Sonoma. It is a serious addiction. And we love the darling tin and tempting glass stand with matching dome. But it’s so bloody expensive. This year, we are tempted to cheap out and make our own.

How hard can it be? The key here is good quality chocolate. A base layer of melted chocolate, topped with cooled white chocolate laced with peppermint extract and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy. This is the flavour of Christmas — see Gourmet’s peppermint bark cookies below this recipes.

Peppermint Bark

12 oz good chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed

Preheat oven to 250. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides. Pour the chocolate chips in an even layer on the parchment paper. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until almost melted. Remove from oven, smooth with an offset spatula or knife. Place in refrigerator until cold and firm, about 20 minutes.

Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bottom of bowl touch water), until chocolate is almost melted. Remove bowl from water and stir until completely melted, stirring in extract. Let cool a little bit so it doesn’t melt the chocolate layer when you pour it on top. Pour this over chocolate layer, and, working quickly, spread to cover. Sprinkle with crushed candy.

Chill until both layers are firm. Lift parchment out of pan and shake off excess candy. Break into pieces. Chill in covered container. Makes about 2 pounds.

Tips from the internets: Don’t make the layers too thin as this can cause the layers to separate.
Take the bottom layer out of the frig a few minutes prior to spreading the top layer. Sometimes if the bottom is too cold, the top will set but may not bond completely with the bottom.
If there’s condensation on the bottom when you remove it from the frig, sometimes this prevents the top from sticking to it, as well.Let the bark sit out a few minutes before you try to cut or break it apart.

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