Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Handmade Christmas - Peppermint Bark

Oh Peppermint Bark, how I love thee. There is something magical about Christmastime, and to me, Peppermint Bark solidifies that magic in my world. I love candy canes and the whimsical fun they bring to Christmas. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, candy canes are for all. And Peppermint Bark is a wonderful way to showcase them and share that magic with others. Packaged in a glass jar, or clear cello bag, Peppermint Bark is the perfect gift to make and give this Christmas to just about anyone - your mailman, your hairdresser, your children's teachers or caregiver, your best friend, your dog....ok, you get the point. Everyone loves this stuff. And the best part is how easy it is to make.

You will need:
2 bags of white chocolate morsels
12 regular sized candy canes
1-2 drops of Peppermint extract (optional)

To start, place your white chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you don't have one, no problem. You can melt your chocolate in the microwave or use a makeshift double boiler by placing a glass or metal bowl in a pan with a very small amount of water. Turn the heat on VERY low and babysit that chocolate until melted.
Unwrap your candy canes and admire their beauty. And magic. And whimsy. Place the candy canes in a big ziplock bag and gently crush. You can use a rolling pin or a big metal spoon.
Place the crushed candy canes in a small bowl. Set aside a small amount of the crushed candy canes to sprinkle on the top.
Stir most of the candy canes into the melted chocolate (and peppermint extract if you are using). Have a lined baking sheet nearby. I prefer to use a silpat or nonstick baking mat to line my pan, but you can also use wax paper.
Pour the mixture onto the lined pan and spread using an offset spatula. Once spread to desired thickness, sprinkle the reserved crushed candy canes over the top.
Place in fridge for 30 minutes or until completely set. Once set, break in pieces as big or as small as you would like. Try not to eat the entire pan yourself. Invite a friend so you don't feel guilty eating the wonderful gift you were making for your mailman. Accountability is always good :) Place bark in a jar, tin or bag. It looks lovely in a clear jar. I got these jars at the Christmas Tree Shop for $1.69. Don't you just love a bargain?
Tie a festive ribbon around the jar with a tag to make an easy, affordable and fun gift to give this Christmas.
Give this gift as soon as possible or you will find yourself sneaking pieces out one by one, hoping it isn't noticeable. It isn't until you get to the fourth piece. Trust me.

Photo credit goes to Travis Victor Sharkey. Check out his amazing work here.

12 comments:

  1. Yum yum yum! This is the only time I eat white chocolate. Love the stuff. I usually count on Sarah making it though! Great pics.

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  2. This was the first Martha Stewart recipe I tried that was easy AND turned out the way she pictured it. Breaking up the candy canes is a great job for the littles.

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  3. Sarah, I always loved eating your peppermint bark at Christmas time. I was thinking of you as I was posting this. It is very easy, and so yummy.

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  4. i've made it using the pampered chef recipe, and it's amazing! i'm sure yours is good, too. in fact, i'm sure any combination of peppermint and chocolate is good!

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  5. This is also really yummy with some milk choclate melted for the bottom later! YUMMY! Love this stuff. I am actually making some next week, but I hadn't thought of doing it for gifts!

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  6. I like to do a layer of semi-sweet chocolate with peppermint extract, and a layer of white on time. Make exactly the same except do the dark layer first and freeze it for a few minutes to harden, then do the white layer. Mmmmmmm.

    -Julie

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  7. This looks REALLY good and I don't even like white chocolate, but I think I'm going to have to give this a try!

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  8. Yum. Great idea. Never thought about making it before.

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  9. Love peppermint bark-the way you packaged it is adorable!

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  10. Made some this weekend after reading your blog. Hadn't known it was really that easy! Thanks for the idea. :)

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  11. This looks awesome! I need to whip up a few last minute Christmas gifts and this is perfect. One thing you didn't mention is roughly how much it makes. If I were to put it into 1-quart jars, is this enough for several jars?

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