Chocolate and peppermint are the pumpkin spice of Christmas. I am a huge mint and chocolate fan, so when peppermint bark makes it's appearance around Christmas, its gimme gimme gimme.
I was so excited to make a fun treat for my co-workers. I know it's cheesy, but I've been thinking about what I could make for a while. Perks of the working world is always having people to pawn my treats off on. I wasn't just pawning it off on this time, I made it special for them! Hint** if you are still needing a co-worker gift, go straight home and whip up a batch, you still have a day or two!
My first batch was a disaster. Chocolate chips do not qualify as "good quality" chocolate. My first attempt I used chips and the white and chocolate layer completely broke apart when I tried to break it up. I also didn't let it set up long enough.
After doing some research, I found 3 tips that are imperative for peppermint bark. 1. Use good quality chocolate (I used Ghiradelli) 2. Don't rush the process, let it firm up in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. 3. Break into pieces face down. This keeps the mess to a minimum and doesn't crush the candy cane pieces.
8 oz *good quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used Gihradelli)
12 oz *good quality white chocolate (More white chocolate, cause I love it)
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
5 candy canes or a handful of peppermints
Line a 9x9 pan with foil.
Place a heat proof bowl over a small sauce pan filled with about an 1-2 inches of water. You don't want the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer and keep simmering. Place about 6 oz of the chocolate in the bowl and stir often until melted. Add in the rest of the chocolate. Once it is all melted together, stir in 1/4 tsp. of the peppermint extract. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly along the bottom. Refrigerate until firm. About 2 hours.
While the chocolate layer is firming, place your candy canes in a Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces. Don't crush too small otherwise you will end up with powder.
Once the chocolate layer is firm and set up, repeat the melting process with the white chocolate. melting about 8 oz, then adding the rest at the end as well as then the remaining 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract. pour over the chocolate layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top and lightly press into the chocolate. Back to the fridge it goes for 2 hours or overnight.
*Good quality chocolate is imperative, so you don't get separation between the layers. Chocolate chips will not work.
Once the bark is set up. Take it out of the pan and place face down on a kitchen towel. This will help from all of the peppermint pieces breaking. Using your hands break into random shaped pieces. Store in the fridge before gifting or in between eating!