Help me make the yummiest peppermint bark!
December 20, 2007 9:58 AM   Subscribe

CookingFilter! I need tips and tricks for making the bestest peppermint bark EVAH. Also any favorite peppermint bark recipes.

I love peppermint bark, but haven't actually bestirred myself to make it! This year will be different. I'm especially looking to make some for my mom, who loves DARK chocolate.

So any hints, tips, tricks of the trade, and favorite recipes would be much appreciated.
posted by Rosie M. Banks to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This may go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway - don't buy the cheap-o "chocolate bark" easy-to-melt stuff at the grocery store. It's got a horrible waxy quality, and the flavor tends not to be so great, either. Use a decent-quality real chocolate.
posted by owtytrof at 10:01 AM on December 20, 2007

I recently read this recipe and thought is sounded good.
posted by sulaine at 10:35 AM on December 20, 2007

I just made some fruit and nut "bark" last night. It is painfully easy. Here is a recipe from Simply Recipes (aka trusted food blog), if you feel that you really do want one. But really, just buy some really great chocolate, melt it, dump on candy canes! ta da!

I do have one bit of advice and that's to dump this onto a silicone mat, if you have one, or maybe even wax or parchment paper as it will be much easier to remove.
posted by stefnet at 10:36 AM on December 20, 2007

There, two votes for Simply Recipes!
posted by stefnet at 10:36 AM on December 20, 2007

I've been making this recipe (in the comments, scroll to the end) for a few years and it always comes out great. The claim that it's very close to the Williams-Sonoma bark is pretty accurate.

I buy Ghirardelli white and bittersweet chocolate in chunks at Trader Joe's, although the Ghirardelli chips are fine, easier to find, and slightly easier to melt (no chopping required). And I found peppermint oil at a baking supply store; I think it was $3 at most. It's a lot more flavorful than extract, which is why you use less. I also use more candy cane than is called for, and sprinkle some on top of the poured bark.

Peppermint Bark

1 lb (500 g) chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 drops peppermint oil - Try aromatherapy peppermint oil available at health food stores. It tastes much better than peppermint extract.
1 lb (500 g) chopped white chocolate
¾ cup (175 ml) chopped candy canes (smash 'em in a ziplock works) (note: 1 box of 12 canes is enough)

Line an 11x17 baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Adjust amounts for different sized cookie sheets. Set aside.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a heavy pot on low heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in four drops peppermint oil or more to taste.

Spread chocolate evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Chill until set, about 1 hour.

Melt white chocolate in a heavy pot on low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining four drops of peppermint oil, then add candy canes.

Quickly spread white chocolate mixture over chilled dark chocolate, spreading to the edge of the pan. (note: It's best if bottom layer is very cold; it melts very quickly.) Chill until set, about four hours or overnight. Break into pieces. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
posted by boomchicka at 11:26 AM on December 20, 2007

I just made this recipe over the weekend, and I only have two pieces left. People are pretty much going nuts over it, which is pleasing for the first time making a recipe. It's much heavier on the white chocolate than on the dark, though I imagine you could reverse that. If you do that, though, cut down on the cream in the dark chocolate--I cut it to 4 Tbsp in my recipe, so I'd suggest you cut it to 2 or 3. (Don't cut it out entirely, though--people in the comments report shattering.) I did not use a candy thermometer or an offset (icing) spatula. I might get the latter because I can see making this again (maybe even this weekend), but the thermometer isn't necessary if you have some idea of what you're doing.

I use high-quality extract from this place and think the flavor's great. I might up it to a full tsp, but I like it super peppermint-y.
posted by CiaoMela at 11:58 AM on December 20, 2007

I made that same Epicurious recipe that CiaoMela recommends. Everyone loves it.

One note on reversing the white and dark chocolate -- if you do that, omit the cream entirely (hopefully the chocolate won't seize up with the peppermint extract). The reason -- the dark chocolate in this recipe is a ganache -- it's too soft to use on the outside.
posted by stonefruit at 1:19 PM on December 20, 2007

I made the Simply Recipes version last week and it was pretty good. I would definitely suggest using better chocolate, though - I used Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chips and, surprise, surprise, it turned waxy after a few days.

This is going to be my new favorite holiday thing, though. It's ridiculously easy and seems to really impress people.
posted by lunasol at 6:59 PM on December 20, 2007

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