Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Nothing says Christmas like Peppermint Bark. It has to be the easiest holiday goody to make. I gave them out with an assortment of teas in a mug for teachers’ gifts this year. The dark chocolate and the white chocolate are so good together. Obviously, peppermint bark doesn’t fall into the “health food” category. Dark Chocolate does have some health benefits (antioxidants), but those benefits are pretty much nullified by the other ingredients. However, treating yourself every now and then is nourishing to the soul. Besides this is fun and easy enough to do with kids, so it’s a great family project. You don’t really need a recipe since it’s so easy, but just in case…

You’ll need:

  • 11 x 15 x 2 inch cake pan
  • wax paper
  • 2 glass bowls
  • spatula
  • will power (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large (3.5 oz) Dark Chocolate Bars (at least 70%, but I think 85% would’ve been better)
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil (divided)
  • 6 oz soft peppermint sticks (Bobs Sweet Stripes)
  • 2 – 24oz packages white chocolate morsels

Crush the candy canes. I used a mini food processor, but you can just put them in a bag and smash them with something. Get out some frustration. Let the kids do it. After they are crushed to you satisfaction sift them through a wire mesh strainer. Lets call this one candy cane dust. Then sift them again (into another plate or bowl) with a larger strainer or colander – like one you might use to drain pasta . We’ll call these chips and the largest pieces chunks. You can skip this of course and just throw the crushed candy canes on top, but keep reading to find out why I separated them. Also I like to use the soft peppermint sticks as opposed to regular candy canes for two reasons. They taste better and they’re easier on the teeth. They were hard to find, but I finally got them from Wal-Mart on Albemarle Road, which is where I found them last year. The other Wal-Mart I visited didn’t have them, so don’t be surprised if you can’t find them at your local Wal-Mart. (I strongly dislike this store by the way.)

Melt the dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil. Over the stove is fine, but I use a microwave for convenience. 1 minute, stir. After that I stir every 30 seconds until it’s smooth. The coconut oil will help keep the chocolate shiny when it cools. Poor the chocolate into a wax paper lined 11 x 15 x 2 cake pan. Don’t bother scraping the dark chocolate bowl. You can use that little bit to drizzle on top later.

Here’s why I sifted the candy canes. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the candy cane “dust” on the dark chocolate. This just adds a layer of flavor and that dust doesn’t really look so good on top. You could also just stir it into the melted chocolate before you poor it. In fact, I may do that next time.

Then let it cool. Since it was 24 degrees outside, I set it on the patio table, covered for about 10 minutes. That did it!

Melt the white chocolate and other 1/2 tsp of coconut oil. After it’s melted gently and lightly stir in the other 1/3 of candy cane dust and about 1/3 of the candy cane “chips”. These just don’t look as pretty on the top AND if you try to put them all on there, some are going to fall off. And it looks pretty mixed into the white chocolate. Just don’t over mix it or the candy canes might melt and turn your white chocolate pink.

Pour the white chocolate on top of the cooled dark chocolate and scrape the bowl. Spread it evenly. Don’t worry if the dark chocolate melts a little and mixes in. Then sprinkle the rest of the candy canes on top. You can lay a sheet of wax paper over it and gently push them into the chocolate. This ensures that most of them stay put. Let it cool.

This is where the will power comes in. But if you don’t have any, or choose to ignore it, drizzle a small amount of the dark chocolate onto your spatula and lick it (or, if they’re around and you’re feeling generous, you can share with the children). This also gives you something to do while you’re waiting for the rest to cool. And a good cook always tastes along the way.

Cut it. Take it out of the pan first, but you can leave the wax paper underneath if you want – easier clean up. I try really hard to cut it into squares, but usually end up with mostly odd shapes. I used the squares for the teachers and the rest are for us. Once you have it all cut up, drizzle the remaining dark chocolate on top. You may have to reheat it a little. If you drizzle the dark chocolate before you cut, then you just have to wait again AND the cutting might chip it off. It probably won’t look as nice.

That’s it. Let it sit until it is completely cooled then package it, plate it, eat it. It’s your peppermint bark. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to.

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About Michele
Wife and Mom of three girls doing her best to lead the family into a healthier lifestyle and evolve gracefully.

2 Responses to Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

  1. Pingback: Molasses Cookies, Royal Icing and Natural Food Coloring « HealthyMamma's Blog

  2. Pingback: My Mantra for the Week: “It’s the Little Things” « HealthyMamma's Blog

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