If you have wandered into a chocolate shop or a gourmet foods store lately, you may have noticed a display of dark chocolate peppermint bark eyeing you from the window. Rich dark chocolate is layered with buttery white chocolate and topped with red and white striped candy to form this classic holiday candy. While this chocolate bark might lure you into the store, the price tag will more than likely send you in the opposite direction. One pound of peppermint bark can easily cost you upwards of $30 dollars a pound. Instead of spending an arm and a leg on sweets, you can make peppermint bark at home for half the cost and double the amount. You can wrap them up in cellophane bags to create the perfect homemade gift.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
6 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 ounces high quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies (like candy canes)
Step 1: Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil, making sure the foil comes up along the sides of the pan. Smooth out any wrinkles and set aside.
Step 2: Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate in 15 second intervals and stirring thoroughly with a spatula between each interval. You can also do this in a double boiler on the stove top. If you choose this method, make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl or else it can scorch the chocolate.
Step 3: Once chocolate is completely melted, stir in peppermint extract. Pour the melted dark chocolate into the prepared baking tray, spreading into an even layer with a silicone spatula. Tap the baking tray on counter top several times to settle chocolate and remove any air bubbles. Place pan in the refrigerator or for 20 minutes or until completely set.
Step 4: After the dark chocolate layer has completely set, move onto the white chocolate layer. Melt the white chocolate as you did the dark chocolate, in the microwave or on the stove top. Pour melted white chocolate directly on top of dark chocolate layer, gently spreading with a spatula into an even layer. Be careful not to disturb the dark chocolate layer on the bottom, as it will melt a bit once the hot white chocolate hits it. Once again, tap the tray on counter top several times to settle chocolate and remove any air bubbles.
Step 4: Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top and tap the tray on counter one last time to settle everything. Place pan in the refrigerator or freezer until completely set. Once entire pan is completely hardened, remove bark from the pan and peel off the foil. Break up the bark into desired size pieces or cut squares. If you choose to cut into squares, allow pan to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then cut using a very sharp knife. Bark should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 3 weeks.
*You do not want to use chocolate chips in this recipe because they have stabilizers in them that won't allow the chips to melt into a smooth consistency.