Thursday, December 19, 2013

Peppermint Bark Recipe

During the December holidays, everyone has their preferences. Some people love freshly baked cookies, other hot chocolate, punch or sit down to enjoy a Christmas cake. But the great popularity of the Peppermint Bark, which for many are their favorite for these days, is indisputable. It is especially popular in the Christmas season. The companies known to sell them are Williams-Sonoma, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and Dove. Although they do not label it as Peppermint Bark, Hershey's also sells Hershey Kisses.

As winter begins, mint becomes a key ingredient for many recipes. It is used in smoothies, tarts and as a compliment for ice cream, but its most popular use is with chocolate and baked goods. My personal hypothesis is that these candies and bars of mint chocolate are relevant, specifically during Christmas, because of their red and white color, two of the main colors that represent these holidays.

No one knows for sure how and who first produced the mint candies. However, its origin goes back more than 350 years ago. Europeans began decorating Christmas trees with sugar candies stuck as decoration as well as cookies. The curved shape represented a shepherd's staff.

The Peppermint Bark is a sweet made of chocolate and crushed mint candies. It is a great gift that can be added to the dessert menu or it can be easily used as a simple gift for someone else. There are different ways to make the Peppermint Bark and there are very simple recipes to make them. Each bar is made by hand with a mixture made with chocolates, which is impregnated with natural peppermint oil and then a layer of creamy white chocolate cover with pieces of crunchy mint candy.

Now if you insist on making your own mint chocolate bars or Peppermint Bark, the recipe is very simple. What you will need to do is melt semi-bitter chocolate of the brand you prefer in a heat-resistant vessel. Spread the chocolate in a tray of at least a half centimeter, and let cool until it is very hard. Melt white chocolate and now spread over the bitter chocolate sheet with the same thickness of dark chocolate and before it hardens sprinkle with the mint candies on the white chocolate. Refrigerate until it is hard and ready.

Peppermint Bark images


225 g (1 lb) dark chocolate pieces (divided use)
2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) peppermint extract (divided use)
225 g (1 lb) white chocolate pieces (divided use)
3 crushed candy canes


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Add 1/2 cup (225 g) dark chocolate in pieces to the container and lock the lid.

Select the lowest speed. Start the device and mix for 1 minute to start chopping the chocolate. Stop the device.
Using a spatula, carefully scrape the chocolate on the sides and under the blades to prevent it from sticking to the blades and blocking them.

Lock the cover and select the lowest speed. Start the device, slowly increase the speed to the maximum and mix for 1 minute. Stop the appliance and scrape again on the sides and under the blades.

Lock the cover and select the lowest speed. Start the unit, gradually increase the speed to the maximum and mix for 45 seconds. Remove the cap from the lid and gradually add the remaining dark chocolate through the opening, using the pestle to push the chocolate towards the blades if it begins to agglomerate.

Once all the chocolate is added, add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, then mix for 3 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and fluid. Stop the device.

Use a scraper to remove the chocolate and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Spread out in a thin, even layer. Put in the freezer to freeze everything. Clean the container and repeat the previous steps with the white chocolate and the rest of the peppermint extract.

Once the white chocolate has melted, remove the dark chocolate plate from the freezer and, working quickly, spread an even layer of white chocolate over the dark chocolate. You must act quickly, because if the white chocolate hardens before you have sprinkled the pieces of candy canes, they will not adhere to the surface.
Sprinkle crushed candy canes evenly over warm white chocolate and lightly press with a spatula.

Put the plate back in the freezer and allow to harden for about 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer. Using a mallet, break the chocolate into uneven pieces so that they look like bark. Store in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve.

You do not have to go to a high-quality chocolate shop to buy mint bark at an outrageous price when you want to make a Christmas gift. Do it yourself with few ingredients in just one hour! Transform this recipe into a family project and cut the candy canes with the help of the children and sprinkle them on the crust to give them a festive touch.

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Kalyan Panja
Kalyan Panja is a photographer and a travel writer sharing stories and experiences through photographs and words