Get ready for more Christmas yummies (already!). Today, I made Peppermint Bark from the December 2005 issue of Everyday Food.
The recipe list is short: 1 pound of chopped white chocolate (NOT chips), 2 cups of Rice Krispies, and 7.5 ounces of peppermints. I started by prepping a baking sheet. I sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray and then lined it with a piece of wax paper. (The cooking spray helps the paper adhere to the pan.) Next, I unwrapped about 45 peppermints, put them in a doubled resealable plastic bag (one inside the other), and pounded the heck out of them. This was the hardest part of the recipe, really. You need a decent amount of force to break those little disks, and there’s really no way around the noise. (My cat was alarmed.) Once they were crushed, I put the pieces in a sieve to remove the fine powder and set them aside.
Next, I put the white chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. (This is my version of a double boiler, which is one item I haven’t added to my collection yet.) I stirred the chocolate occasionally until it was melted, about 5 minutes. I removed it from the heat and stirred in the Rice Krispies.
I transferred the mixture to the lined baking sheet and spread it to the edges with a spatula. I sprinkled the crushed peppermints on top and then gently pressed them into the chocolate with a baking-sheet-sized piece of wax paper. I chilled the bark for 25 minutes in the refrigerator and then broke it into 2-inch pieces. Done!
This peppermint bark is addictive, seriously. The bark itself is softer than I expected, but the peppermints provide a nice crunch. Someone decided to buy out all of the Baker’s white chocolate in the three grocery stores near my home, so I ended up using Ghirardelli baking bars. I’m sure the use of quality chocolate contributed to the “yum” factor.
TIPS: The recipe says to use a rolling pin or a skillet to crush the peppermints. I found that the smooth side of my meat mallet worked best. If you don’t have a sieve, you could use a colander to separate the candy pieces from the powder.
Also, from the sound of the recipe, keeping your cooling time between 20 – 30 minutes is essential. Apparently, the moisture in the refrigerator will ruin the peppermints if the bark is stored there for too long. If you put the bark in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature, you should be able to enjoy it for a week.
Recipe link: Peppermint Bark