Chocolate Peppermint Bark

IMG_1159Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and got all your Christmas shopping done… because Christmas is a week from Thursday, Oh My! Trying to find the perfect gift for co-workers, friends or neighbors is difficult, which is why I think food is always a safe bet! Delicious, homemade, baked with love, treats! I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a gift they can eat? Its better than an ugly pair of socks or an awkward Christmas tree ornament you’ll feel obligated to hang on your tree for the next 10 years.

After reading this hilarious article, 2014 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog, I learned just how expensive chocolate peppermint bark is when you purchase it from the designer brand Williams Sonoma… $30 per tin!!! That’s right, I can almost fill my car with gas for the same price. Unless their bark has flecks of gold in it or it was literally made by elves in the North Pole, there is NO reason you should pay that much for candy.IMG_1147 I took it as a challenge to make an equally delicious, wait no, an even BETTER bark than WS, and I’m pretty sure this recipe takes the cake. Creamy, rich, chocolate ganache sandwiched between two layers of silky white chocolate and topped with crunchy peppermint candy. Are you drooling yet? Forget the cookies, Santa wants peppermint bark this year! Enjoy! IMG_1163

Chocolate Peppermint Bark (Makes 30-35 pieces)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces good white chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 15 peppermint candy canes, crushed, divided
  • 12 ounces good dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. Turn a 9×12 inch baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil.
  2. Melt half of the white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli) in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently. If you do not have a double boiler you can use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of boiling water, see picture above.
  3. Spread the white chocolate evenly on to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4-1/3 of the crushed peppermints evenly over the white chocolate. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt dark chocolate, heavy cream and peppermint extract together in the top of a double boiler like you did with the white chocolate. Quickly pour the dark chocolate over the chilled white chocolate layer; spread evenly. Chill until firm about 20 minutes.
  5. Finally, melt the remaining white chocolate in the double boiler, stirring frequently. Spread white chocolate over the layers of chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining peppermint pieces; chill until very firm about 1 hour. Cut or break into small pieces and serve!

Rose’s Caramel Graham “Crack”er Bark

This holiday treat is totally addicting (you will see why I call it crack once you’ve made it) and a huge crowd pleaser. The delicious recipe is courtesy of my friend Jacki’s mom, Rose, who always has this graham cracker bark around the house during the holiday’s. The best part about it…it’s a snap to make and you can tweak the toppings to your liking! The classic recipe calls for slivered almonds, but we also added dried cherries to one and dark chocolate chunks to other (we doubled the recipe). Next time I’d love to try this recipe with some chopped pretzels or popcorn or a little Fleur de Sel sprinkled on top. Bring this to your next holiday party and you’re sure to be the most popular guest! Thanks Jacki and Rose for sharing! Enjoy! 🙂

Rose’s Graham Cracker Bark

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 graham crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Slivered Almonds (or another kind of chopped nut)
  • Dried Cherries (Optional)
  • Dark Chocolate (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350degress. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay graham crackers side-by-side on the cookie sheet so there are not gaps between the crackers. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat until completely melted. Slowly add brown sugar to the melted butter and stir. Allow to the butter and sugar mixture to boil and thicken for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove sugar from heat and pour sugar mixture over graham crackers, spreading evenly. Sprinkle graham crackers with slivered almonds, cherries or chocolate (or both!). Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and allow it to cool completely (this is the hardest step as you will want to eat it right away!) before breaking bark into smaller pieces. To store, line tupperware or tin with wax paper, separating each layer of bark with another sheet of wax paper. Enjoy!