02 December 2006

Holiday Peppermint Bark

I'm a big fan of that pricey white peppermint bark in fancy tins that appears at this time every year.  It's fairly easy to make yourself, and it's something a 6-year-old can do with minimal supervision. 

Spray a large cookie tray with non-stick spray and then line it with a piece of way paper.  Take several large candy canes or a bag of peppermint candies and crush them into small pieces.  (How much peppermint flavor you like should determine how many you chop up.)

On the stove, melt two bags of white chocolate chips at a low temperature.  When melted, add most of the crushed peppermint and stir it in.  Pour the mixture onto the cookie tray and spread over the tray until flat and even.  Sprinkle the remaining peppermint pieces on top, pressing them in with a spatula.

Let it cool.  Peel off wax paper and break into pieces.  Enjoy!

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As an alternative to this, instead of candy canes/mints, have the child break up a bag of Oreo cookies and use the white chocolate to make Oreo bark!

Or, melt chocolate chips, pour it on saltine crackers and sprinkle the candy cane crumbs on top. Mmmm! (btw, the microwave is a simpler way to melt chocolate)

My family is partial to the post-Christmas peppermint ice cream. We have an ice cream machine, but the ziplock recipe is great fun. I believe it was posted here previously.

also yummy is crushed lemon drops in white chocolate. Or a mixture of lemon and orange hard candy. Something different, too!

Add a layer of dark chocolate chips after refrigerating the white layer. MMMMM. FYI Trader Joes has super cheap white chocolate chips. My six year old loved this recipe last Christmas.

I've been making this all week as a nut-free alternative to almond bark.

My family does not have any food allergies to be concerned with, but members of my extended family do. I've been looking high and low for white chocolate that is not processed on machinery that is also used to process nuts, and it's been much harder than I imagined. (Nestle and ghirardelli are both a no-no for people with nut allergies.)

I'm hoping that my search will help others. Baker's brand white chocolate squares are safe for those with nut allergies. Hershey's chocolate chips are also safe, but I haven't been able to find white chocolate chips at any of the grocery stores I've gone to. Hope this information is helpful!

http://www.kraftfoods.com/bakerschocolate/

I'm going to try this with some round peppermints my son received, which I'm afraid are too much of a choking hazard. I shall use dark chocolate, though, since white chocolate is an oxymoron, IMHO.

Oh, and instead of melting the chocolate on the stove, try putting it in a glass bowl in the microwave. Take it out when it gets shiny--it may still have some shape to it, but will melt completely when stirred. If you have to use the stove, I recommend a double boiler to prevent scorching.

Candy Qwik also is a good alternative. Melt it, white (vanilla) or chocolate - add peppermint extract to taste and dip oreo's to coat. Ritz crackers with Peanut butter is also good to dip into the white Candy Qwik. Kids love to make this and it's always a favorite at our annual holiday cookie party.

I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate so in the past I've made it with a plain layer of milk chocolate, let it set up, then add the white chocolate/peppermint mixture on top with a spatula.

I start craving peppermint around Thanksgiving time but it seems like my local supermarket don't start stocking it until the last minute for Christmas. Anyone else have this problem?

Dana - the round peppermints are much harder than candy canes. They'll be harder to break up and harder in the end result. I was surprised at how different it was.

The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping all of those canes.

The easiest way to crush any of these candies is to put them into a plastic bag and hit it with a meat tenderizing hammer! Fun! Supervision recommended!

Looks delicious. I LOVE peppermint bark and it is so expensive to purchase so making it is a great option. If you are looking for a new way to use the bark try it in place of chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Check out the one on my blog: http://hiphostess.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/peppermint-bark-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Thanks for the post!

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