Last week I jumped head-on into peppermint season with a Peppermint Brownie Cake, and I just can’t shake the visions of candy canes dancing through my head. So I decided we needed something simple but delicious this week: peppermint bark.
Yes, we’re all staying home a lot more in 2020. But does that mean we want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen? Not necessarily. Sometimes you just need something sweet to help you through the day and you do NOT have the time or energy to make it. Or you could be in a scramble looking for a present last minute. Who doesn’t want a thoughtful, hand made gift for friends? Desserts are perfect for that, but some take a while and others don’t ship well if you’re making the holidays merry for someone far away.
Peppermint bark is the solution to all of your problems. Quick, painless, requiring no actual baking skill or knowledge – all you need to do is not burn the chocolate. Simple, right? I thought so. The last thing you need during this hectic year is a hectic holiday dessert plan. Slip the loved ones some chocolate, maybe a cookie or two, and call it good. I mean who has money for Santa’s list this year anyways??
So the only key we need to talk about is not burning the chocolate. You could of course use a bain-marie and melt it in a bowl over some simmering water on the stovetop. I’m going for the lowest common denominator here though and using the microwave method. Quick, efficient, less mess. Is it refined? No. Am I? As hard as I try to convince myself, no. I may make full puff pastry on occasion, but I’m equally down to use a cheater’s method.
When you use the microwave method, BE CAREFUL. Your chocolate can burn faster than you can say “cocoa.” So it’s key to do it in 30 second increments and stir well between stints in the microwave. The first 30 seconds won’t visibly change the chocolate, but STIR ANYWAYS. What we’re doing is making sure the chocolate in the middle doesn’t burn and leave you with a ruined mess. If you burn the chocolate on this one, it’s ok, just start again. I am professionally obligated to say I will not judge you.
Other than that, it’s a simple matter of spreading the chocolate, cooling until set, and breaking into shareable pieces. Or, if you’re so inclined, eating the whole slab yourself. Again, professionally obligated to not judge. You do you. While you enjoy that, I’ve got some other great holiday recipes on the way, so stay tuned. Until then, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living!
- 10 oz dark chocolate
- 10 oz white chocolate
- 1 tsp canola oil (divided)
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 12 mini candy canes
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp of the canola oil. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring between times in the microwave, until it is melted and smooth.
- Line an 8"x11.5" pan with parchment paper (I realized as I was writing this recipe that this size pan is a bit odd…an 8×8 or 9×9 square will work, you might just get a little thicker bark). Pour the dark chocolate over it and smooth with an offset spatula. Make sure your layer isn't too thin – if it doesn't fill the whole pan, it's fine. Set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes until just before it is truly set.
- Meanwhile, in another microwave-safe bowl, add the white chocolate and another 1/2 tsp of canola oil. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time. When it has melted, add the peppermint extract and stir so that it's well-incorporated.
- When your dark layer is right before the point of setting, take it out of the fridge and add the white chocolate, using your offset spatula to smooth it over. Crush the candy canes and sprinkle on top, then put it back in the fridge to set fully (this should take about 20-30 minutes – you can also use the freezer to set it faster).
- Break it apart by dropping it into the pan repeatedly, and portion it out to share. Spread the cheer this season by giving some to friends and family!