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Tonight I'm making Homemade Peppermint Bark for my boyfriend's mom, who confided that she loves it. Couldn't be easier...4 ingredients: white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, smashed candy canes, peppermint extract. If you can't find the extract, skip it...still good. I'm using this recipe from About.com (Mahalo to Rita for the tips at the end). To wrap, put it in a goody bag, a cute coffee cup, a reusable tin...whatever you got, and add a ribbon. Yum!
12 oz chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed
Preheat oven to 250. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, letting it hang over the sides. Spray foil. Pour the chocolate chips in an even layer on the foil. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until almost melted. Remove from oven, smooth with an offset spatula or knife. Place in refrigerator until cold and firm, about 20 minutes.
Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over simmering water (don't let bottom of bowl touch water), until chocolate is almost melted. You can use your microwave for this if you're brave! Remove bowl from water and stir until completely melted, stirring in extract. Let cool a little bit so it doesn't melt the chocolate layer when you pour it on top. Pour this over chocolate layer, and, working quickly, spread to cover. Sprinkle with crushed candy.
Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy. Trim edges. Cut into 2" wide strips. Peel bark from foil and cut each strip as desired. Chill in covered container. Makes about 2 pounds.
Tips from Rita's Kitchen for Perfect Bark:
1. Don't make the layers too thin as this can cause the layers to separate.
2. Take the bottom layer out of the frig a few minutes prior to spreading the top layer. Sometimes if the bottom is too cold, the top will set but may not bond completely with the bottom.
3. If there's condensation on the bottom when you remove it from the frig, sometimes this prevents the top from sticking to it, as well.
4. I use white chocolate chips that contain cocoa butter, which are good quality chips. Read the label as the kind of white chocolate you use may affect the bonding. I also use a good quality (Kroger brand) semisweet chocolate chips - again, read labels - the label should say they are real chocolate, not "chocolate flavored". I have used the white and chocolate flavored "barks" that are sold in blocks with success when I make a one layer bark. For multiple layer barks, I like to use real chocolate.
5. Let the bark sit out a few minutes before you try to cut or break it apart.