Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peppermint Bark

Delicious? Easy? Perfect for an edible holiday gift? Yes, yes and yes. Peppermint candies and white chocolate are a wonderful holiday combination and I amped this on up with some holiday peppermint M&Ms, just for fun. Dave was particularly excited about this treat since he loves peppermint bark. Do you know what I didn't know? That Dave loves peppermint bark. Seriously, I've know him for over 15 years--you'd think I'd pick up on that. And he couldn't believe I'd never made it before. Know we're both wondering where he's been getting his fix all these years. But back to this bark: whip this up and you'll be able to break it up into deliciously big chunks, bag it up and share it as gifts--perfect for teachers, class treats, coworkers, anyone. Personally, I'm thinking some labor and delivery nurses might be the recipients of these treats--assuming our little guy arrives before Dave eats it all.

Another win from Food Network Magazine's December 2011 booklet 50 Edible Gifts, my only change was to add the holiday M&Ms since I had them in the pantry and thought they'd be a festive and delicious addition. I used vanilla almond bark instead of white chocolate and candy canes instead of the small, round candies. All of these ingredients are fairly interchangeable, so go wild with whatever you have available. I found that lining my pan with a Silpat made it really easy for me to break the bark and peel it off in chunks. Parchment might have a similar effect, but take care not to rip off any paper into your candy. Lining your pan with a flexible cutting mat could be a good way to go as well. Make, eat, enjoy, repeat--with something so simple, these steps should be easy to follow.

Peppermint Bark

24 ounces vanilla almond bark
12 peppermint candy canes
1 cup white chocolate peppermint M&Ms

Place vanilla almond bark in a microwave safe dish and microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir, then continue to microwave in 30 second increments at 50% power until melted and smooth.

While chocolate melts, place candy canes and M&Ms in zip top bags and crush to small pieces using a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy can.

Transfer melted candy to a Silpat lined baking sheet, spreading to an even layer, but not too thin.

Sprinkle crushed candies over top and gently press into candy using a spatula.

Refrigerate until completely firm, about an hour.

Remove from fridge and peel from Silpat, breaking into large chunks as you go.

Serve, package or store as desired.

Makes about 6 cups.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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