From music to movies and decorations to songs, holiday traditions are both numerous and vast. The same can be said about the food typically served at this time of year, particularly when it comes to treats. Few people can resist indulging themselves during the holidays. If you like to make decisions with your sweet tooth, you can choose from an array of items including candy canes, fudge, peanut brittle, homemade cookies, pies and much, much more.
Creating your own candy can sometimes be a complicated endeavor, because of the special items required, such as double boilers, thermometers and other tools typically reserved for confectioners, but don’t let these new cooking methods deter you from trying your own hand. You can make several holiday treats easily at home, even if you’re a novice chef.
Peppermint Bark Recipe
Peppermint bark is one such seasonal indulgence, which is easy to make. Flavors of chocolate and peppermint are natural complements to one another and find their way into a variety of treats and holiday decor. Peppermint-flavored coffees and peppermint-scented candles — not to mention candy canes, hooked over the smallest limbs of a Christmas tree — have inextricably connected peppermint to the holiday season.
If you’re new to cooking holiday treats, peppermint bark is a great place to start. The recipe requires only three ingredients and takes less than an hour from start to finish. You can get by with items found in most kitchens, eliminating the need to buy new gear just to try a new recipe.
Let’s get started…
- 1 lb. semi-sweet melting chocolate
- 1 c. peppermint candy, crushed
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1. Cover an 11-by-17-in. baking sheet with parchment paper, curling the paper around the edges of the pan. Set aside. (You can use a smaller baking sheet for thicker peppermint bark.)
2. Fill the bottom section of a double boiler with water and set the boiler over medium-high heat. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot or metal bowl inside of a larger pot or pan filled with simmering water. This method of heating the chocolate keeps the high heat from burning the chocolate as it melts.
3. Place your semi-sweet chocolate in the top bowl or in your double boiler. Stir frequently until fully melted.
4. If your peppermint candy is in whole pieces, use a meat tenderizer, mallet, rolling pin or other hard device to crush the candy into small pieces. Don’t pulverize the candy into dust, but make the pieces small enough to sprinkle onto the chocolate later.
5. Take the chocolate off of the heat, adding in the peppermint extract.
6. Pour 1/2 cup of the crushed peppermint candy into the chocolate, folding the melted chocolate over with a spatula to mix the candy into the confection. If you are using white chocolate, consider adding a small amount of red food coloring to turn your peppermint bark pink.
7. Pour the mixture onto your parchment-covered baking sheet, spreading the chocolate evenly across the pan.
8. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 c. peppermint candy onto the top of your chocolate. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the melted chocolate hardens throughout.
9. Cut the peppermint bark into small squares for serving
Once your bark is cut into portions, serve immediately, or store in a cool, dry place to keep the peppermint bark from melting. Most importantly, grab a few pieces for yourself and enjoy the fruits of your labor — just don’t let your loved ones find out how easy your bark was to make! If all else fails, try Asher’s Peppermint Bark Gift Tray, it’s always fresh and delicious!