I LOVE the holidays! I love cooking and baking! I love giving pretty food to my friends and family. One of my recent favorites is Peppermint Bark. There are many versions of Peppermint Bark out there. I used to be intimidated to make it because I thought it was difficult. SURPRISINGLY, IT’S NOT! Even if you choose to temper your chocolate so that it won’t melt at room temperature, it’s not difficult or especially time consuming.
I tried the results of this recipe out on some of my colleagues yesterday and everyone loved it, so here’s what I do!
3 cups of dark chocolate – (I used Cocoa Dolce 54% Dark Chocolate Callets – Use your favorite chocolate!)
2 cups white chocolate – (I used Cocoa Dolce White Chocolate Callets – Use your favorite white chocolate!)
1/8 tsp peppermint oil – (You can use more. See below! I used Loranss Peppermint oil)
14 –candy canes crushed (traditional)
Here’s what you do!:
Crush the 14 candy canes – I use the plastic bag and a hammer method. Crush to your desired level of crunchy. You can also do this in a blender or food processor.
Temper dark chocolate* – Melt 2/3rds of the chocolate over a double boiler (medium setting on an electric burner) ((What I do is put water in a larger pan and put my chocolate in a smaller pan, letting the warm water in the lower pan melt the chocolate in the upper pan.)) – When the chocolate is melted, check the temperature – You want it at 115 degrees exactly (use a candy thermometer). Take the small pan out of the large pan and stir in the remaining 1/3rd of the chocolate until melted.
Check the temperature when this step is completed and all chocolate is melted. If the temperature is below 90 degrees, heat again (on the double boiler – return the small pan to the large pan of medium heat water) until the chocolate reaches 90 degrees.
If it’s still above 90 degrees when all the chocolate is melted together, put the pan in a cool water bath in the sink (about 2 inches of cool water – don’t let any water get into the chocolate), stir the chocolate constantly so that the temperature remains consistent throughout. When it reaches 90 degrees, remove the chocolate from the water bath. DRY THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN (don’t ask me why I accent this. 8) ).
Spread the tempered chocolate across a parchment covered cookie sheet (you can also use aluminum foil if you don’t have parchment paper) Layer the chocolate to about 1/8th inch deep (don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the sides. You will shatter it into pieces later anyway, so it doesn’t have to be neat.).
Put it in the frig for no more than 5 minutes to set it up a bit. If you leave it in longer, the white chocolate may not stick to the dark.
Simultaneously (as you put the dark chocolate in the frig):
Temper white chocolate – Melt 2/3rds of the white chocolate with peppermint oil added to 115 degrees (using the double boiler method outlined above). Stir in the remaining 1/3rd of the chocolate away from heat.
Check the temperature:
If it’s below 85 degrees, heat again until it reaches 85 degrees.
If it’s above 85 degrees, follow the cool water bath outlined above (under dark chocolate) until the chocolate reaches 85 degrees. Smooth the white chocolate over the cooled dark chocolate.
When it’s 85 degrees, smooth the crushed candy canes over the top of the spread white chocolate.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the bark is completely cooled and set. Break into pieces.
*Tempering makes your chocolate really creamy and it holds up better at room temperature.
There are multiple options to this recipe.
Modification #1: Mix ½ of the candy canes into the cooled white chocolate prior to smoothing it over the dark chocolate.
Modification #2: You could use all white chocolate in this recipe
Modification #3: You could flip the amounts for a sweeter peppermint bark – 3 cups white chocolate and 2 cups dark chocolate
Modification #4: You could do a top layer of dark chocolate or invert the layers and have 2 white chocolate layers.
Modification #5: You could omit or add more peppermint oil – up to 1 tsp peppermint oil. (To determine how much peppermint oil you want, stir it by 1/8 tsp increments into the white chocolate. I went for the milder version. If you omit the peppermint oil, your peppermint flavor will come completely from the candy canes.
To me the holidays are about sharing food I love with those I love. I welcome you to share in this tradition! Happy Holidays!