Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite holiday treats.  I like it plain with just white chocolate.  I like it with dark chocolate.  And I like it with a toothsome crunch from Rice Krispies.  Over the years I've become quite opinionated about how to make it and blended several recipes.  I prefer the taste of peppermint oil over peppermint extract.  But extract works too.  I like Bob's candycanes best.  I only use Ghiradelli white chocolate chips.  But I like to mix those with with high quality melting wafers--I don't like to use almond bark.  So here's my favorite recipe:

12-15 candy canes
1 pound white chocolate (I use a 12oz bag of ghiradelli white chocolate chips and 4-6oz. of melting wafers, you could also chop a block of white chocolate)
4 drops peppermint oil (or 1/2 t peppermint extract)
1 1/2 - 2 cups crispy rice cereal
**dark chocolate chips, optional (about 1/3 cup of high quality melting chocolate)

1.  Spray a rimmed cookie sheet.  Then line with wax paper.  (The spray is strictly to help the wax paper stick to the cookie sheet).
2. Crush candy canes.  Place unwrapped candy canes in a quart size ziploc bag.  Place that ziploc in a gallon size bag.  Smash into pieces using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.  Sift candy cane pieces through a fine mesh seize and set aside the dust to use with hot chocolate.
3.  Melt white chocolate and wafers.  I prefer to heat in the microwave at 50% power for 30-60 second intervals, stirring in between.
4.  Add half of the crushed peppermint.
5.  Stir in crispy rice cereal.
6.  Spread out in an thin even layer on the wax paper.  **If adding a dark chocolate drizzle, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle on with a fork in zig-zag motions.  Then sprinkle with the remaining  candy cane pieces.  Press gently into the bark.  Chill for at least an hour.  Break into pieces.

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