Friday, December 14, 2007

My Confession...

The first time I ever had peppermint bark was a few years ago. I was doing some Christmas shopping and Williams Sonoma wasn't even on my list of stores to visit (this was before I was a true foodie). I'll admit it... I love free samples. I love going to Costco or Sam's Club around lunch time, as that's the time of day when they hand out the most free samples! So here is my confession: it was the samples that brought me into the Williams Sonoma, not their bakeware or cook's tools ;) They were handing out samples of their peppermint bark so I tried a piece. I was instantly hooked.

So last year when I did my holiday baking, I set out to make some peppermint bark. I browsed through several online recipes and finally came up with my own. Peppermint bark is so easy to make, but everyone will be so impressed that it's homemade :)

Peppermint Bark
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats

12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
20 oz white chocolate chips
2 candy canes, coarsely crushed
7 candy canes, finely crushed (approximately 3/4 cups)

Crush the first 2 candy canes coarsely by placing them in a ziploc bag and pounding them with a pan or the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Set aside for the topping.

Crush the remaining 7 candy canes using the method described above until they form a fine powder. Or, pulse them a few times in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside for use with the white chocolate.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you do not have one, melt them in your microwave on high heat for 1 minute, at 30 seconds intervals, stirring well between each interval. If the chocolate is not completely melted, continue heating it in your microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, and being careful not to burn the chocolate.

Spread the chocolate in a parchment paper or foil lined 13x9" baking sheet. Place in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes or until almost completely set.

In the meantime, melt the white chocolate chips as you did the semi-sweet chips. Stir in the finely crushed candy canes. Spread the white chocolate candy layer mixture on top of the semi-sweet chocolate layer. Sprinkle with the coarsely crushed candy canes and lightly press them into the white chocolate layer. Refrigerate until set. Remove from pan and break into large pieces.

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