Sunday, December 14, 2008
Gifting: Homemade Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark is my holiday eating downfall. During the holidays there are nights that I cannot fall asleep knowing that there is Peppermint Bark in the house. Last Christmas, while I was in the middle of finishing up my book, I caught myself thinking, there's no way that I ate that whole tin of Peppermint Bark. I frantically searched the entire house for the missing bark only to find the final piece hidden in a mountain of papers on my desk. Use your imagination to figure out how happy I was.
Tonight I'm headed to my friend, Chef Erik Fischer's house for a holiday party. I have a rule never to turn down an invitation to a Chef's house, and so far it's served me well. If you want to be popular among chefs and lay-people, do make your own edible holiday gifts, like some of this homemade Peppermint Bark. Be sure to put it in a nice box and present it like the special gift that it is.
To Make Peppermint Bark:
Try to buy the finest chocolate that you can afford. Use chocolate chips or discs to avoid the messy task of having to chop up the hard chocolate bars. I got some Callebut Belgian chocolate discs from Surfas.
1/2 pound of dark chocolate chips
1/2 pound of white chocolate chips
1-2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
1/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
1. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray and line with wax paper. Spray more nonstick spray on top of the wax paper. Set aside.
2. In a double boiler melt the dark chocolate until the chocolate comes off your spatula in a nice stream.
3. Pour dark chocolate onto cookie sheet, using your spatula to spread a thin, even layer.
4. Rest the melted dark chocolate in the freezer for 5 minutes.
5. In a double boiler melt the white chocolate and peppermint extract. Take out the frozen dark chocolate sheet.
6. Pour white chocolate on top of the frozen dark chocolate, gently spreading into a thin, even, coat.
7. Sprinkle crush candy canes all evenly over the top of the melted white chocolate and freeze.
8. When the bark is completely frozen, remove from the freezer and remove the wax paper.
9. Using a sharp, knife, cut the bark into chunks.
10. Place the bark into a nice box, tin, or cello candy bag.