Foolproof Peppermint Bark
It’s December, you have to make something for your family and/or guests, you’re a terrible cook, and f*n*ls are coming up. Or maybe you just have a really, really, really strong chocolate craving. Whatever the case may be, Bridget and I concocted a supreme, high-quality, almighty peppermint bark recipe (somewhat inspired by www.foodnetwork.com). I know you may be saying “I don’t think you understand! I’m actually a garbage cook!” To that attitude I say “that’s no way to get in the holiday spirit!” I will admit that Bridget makes a mean pumpkin loaf and that I’ve been told my dark chocolate buttercream isn’t too shabby, but we truly are about as amateur as they come. In fact, most cooking days don’t go so well for us; you know what I mean––we’re no strangers to the I-burnt-microwaveable-mac-and-cheese-because-I-forgot-to-put-the-water-in days. Don’t fret! We wholeheartedly promise that you’d have to try very hard to mess up this recipe.
14 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped up small enough that you’d feel comfy melting it (yes, we know, it’s more than in most recipes, but let’s be real here: semisweet chocolate is the MVP of peppermint bark)
14 ounces of white chocolate; you’re also melting this, so chop it up.
about 3 candy canes, crushed––depending on how much candy you want on top, you can use more or fewer than 3.
1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract (seriously, don’t think you can opt out on the extract; it’ll make or break your bark.)
Line a 9’’ x 13’’ baking dish with aluminum foil. Make sure the shiny side is up, and try to minimize the wrinkles, so the bottom of your peppermint bark is as smooth as possible.
Set 3/4 cups of the semisweet chocolate aside. Take the rest of the semisweet chocolate and melt it in a bowl placed over a saucepan with steaming water on low heat. The bowl shouldn’t touch the water. *
When your semisweet chocolate is melted, remove the chocolate bowl from the saucepan (don’t turn the heat off though). Now add a couple chocolate pieces at a time from the amount you set aside in step 2, stirring to help it all melt together. Do not rush this step; however, if the chocolate doesn’t appear to be melting, return it to the saucepan for a couple seconds at a time.*
Stir in 3/4 tsp––you can eyeball this like we did––of peppermint extract into your bowl of melted semisweet chocolate.
Pour the semisweet mixture into the prepared foil-covered dish. Once poured, lift the dish off the counter an inch or two then drop it to remove any air bubbles.
Set the dish aside at room temperature for about 10 minutes (or until it’s almost set).
Set 3/4 cups of the white chocolate aside. Take the rest of the white chocolate and melt it the same way you melted the semisweet chocolate.*
When your white chocolate is melted, remove the chocolate bowl from the saucepan (don’t turn the heat off though). Now add a couple white chocolate pieces at a time from the amount you set aside in step 2, stirring to help it all melt together. Do not rush this step; however, if the chocolate doesn’t appear to be melting, return it to the saucepan for a couple seconds at a time.*
Stir in 3/4 tsp––once again, you can eyeball this like we did––of peppermint extract into your bowl of melted white chocolate.
Pour the white chocolate over the almost-set semisweet chocolate you set aside earlier.
Spread the white chocolate GENTLY into an even layer. See Bridget for more information about gentle spreading––she seemed quite inclined to produce marbled peppermint bark when we were making this.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top.
Set it in the fridge until firm: 30-60 minutes (about the length of one holiday-themed TV episode).
*** you could do these steps with your microwave… if you want your peppermint bark to be subpar.
P.S. There’s no shame in eating this all in one sitting––we basically did.