White & Milk Chocolate Peppermint Bark Candy

One of my favorite things at the holiday is the taste peppermint.  And nothing is better than peppermint and chocolate,  and a cup of hot cocoa.   However, the place we usually get peppermint bark is at Williams-Sonoma and is out of price range for me.  I’ve tried other types, bit it never quite matches up.  So.. I searched high and low (okay, one Google search), and found what I wanted.  The original post is here.

This recipe is really similar to Williams-Sonoma.  I didn’t use dark or semi sweet chocolate, though, as I had milk-chocolate chips in the house already.  I also could not find “Peppermint” extract in any of my local markets, so I ended up using a genera “Mint” extract.

The original recipe has you melting the chocolate over a double boiler.  I find that to be a bit fussy, and so stick to the microwave method.  The trick to melting chocolate in the microwave is to stir it every 30 seconds, or it can burn or separate.

I made this for New Years Eve and everyone loved it.  Yummmy goodness!

Peppermint Bark

12 ounce bag chocolate chips, any – dark, semi or milk
16 ounce bag white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed

Preheat the oven to 250F (121C).

Crush the peppermint candy.  I used about 10 candy canes when I did this.  I tried crushing these with a wooden mallet, and then ended  up putting the candy into a ziplock, and getting out the hammer!!  Do what works for you.

Line a 9×13 pan (cake pan) with foil.  Let the foil hang over the edges and wrap it around.  Spray the foil with non-stick spray, or, using vegetable oil, spread the oil lightly over the bottom of the pan, as well as the sides.

Pour in the chocolate chips and spread them out evenly.  Try to put them in as evenly as possible the first time, so you don’t get oil on the top of the chocolate.  Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  The chips will look glossy, but will be melted.  Spread the chocolate out evenly.  Place in the refrigerator until firm – 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Remove any condensation that may occur with a paper towel.

Once the chocolate has been out for the 10 minutes, place the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Place in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove.  Stir.  Replace and set for another 30 seconds.  Do that until the chocolate has melted.  Add in the peppermint extract and stir well.

Once the white chocolate has melted, pour it over the chocolate in the pan, and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the crushed peppermint.   Refrigerate about 1 hour.  Lift the foil out of the pan and remove the excess peppermint and the foil.  Break or cut this into pieces.  For a more “formal” look, cut it into 2 inch wide strips.   You can store this in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks or longer in the refrigerator.  Place the pieces in a container, layer with parchment paper and store tightly sealed.  This makes about 2 pounds.

Variations:

Replace the peppermint extract and peppermint candies, using a variation below:

Almond Bark – Use 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring, and 1/2 cup of blanched, chopped (or sliced) almonds.

Cherry Almond – use 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring, 1/3 cup dried cherries, minced, and 1/2 cup blanched, chopped (or sliced) almonds

Maple Walnut Bark – Use 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring, and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Cranberry & Pistachios – 1/3 cup of dried cranberries, minced, and 1/2 cup of pistachios

Toasted Coconut and Almonds – 1/2 cup blanched, chopped (or sliced) almonds, and 1/3 cup of shredded coconut

Other variations:

Peanut Butter–  Replace the white chocolate, mint and peppermint candies with  16 ounces Peanut butter chips and  1/2 cup salted peanuts

Butterscotch – Replace the white chocolate with peanut butter chips, the chocolate with butterscotch chips, don’t use the peppermint extract, and replace the candy with peanuts and broken pretzels

About Michelle

I write two blogs - This Food Thing, (www.thisfoodthing.com) and This Life I Lead (www.thislifeilead.com). You can find me on Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/107541341956938355529/posts
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