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This morning/afternoon, I have somehow managed to finish sewing two more pairs of Christmas pajama pants as well as make two batches of Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
Chocolate Peppermint Bark is easy to prepare, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind...
...first, commercially prepared (chocolate) peppermint bark uses tempered chocolates which gives the bark that beautifully shiny appearance, crisp breaking ability, and lack-of-melting factor.
That being said, commercially prepared (chocolate) peppermint bark is expensive. So, if you don't mind your chocolatey-bark goodness melting in your hands and you have a way to keep your bark refrigerated, why not create a homemade version?
- Dark Chocolate baking squares or melts (NOTE: All of the recipes out there recommend not using white/chocolate chips since chips have a different melting point. I used chips in my recipe and the bark turned out fine!)
- White Chocolate baking squares or melts
- Candy Cane
- Before melting your chocolates, have your candy canes crushed. I used a gallon size zip lock baggie and a meat tenderizer mallet.
- Over a double boiler melt 1/2 of your chocolate squares/melts. I started with approximately 6 ounces. As chocolate begins to melt, remove from heat and add the additional chocolate squares/melts. At this point, you can add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cooking oil to give your chocolate a shiny appearance. Stir rapidly for approximately 5 minutes.
- After chocolate squares/melts have been stirred, spread quickly using a rubber spatula on a tinfoil lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Next, melt white chocolate squares/melts over double boiler. Follow the same procedure as you did for the chocolate squares/melts. When white chocolate is ready, pour over the hardened dark chocolate and smooth with a rubber spatula. At this point, you will sprinkle your crushed candy canes on top of the white chocolate.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After refrigeration, break apart into chunks similar to peanut brittle.
I am using my Chocolate Peppermint Bark as part of gift bags for my kiddos' teachers at their school. I went with a "peppermint" theme this year for faculty/staff gifts (my children go to a really tiny parochial school). I purchased $5 Peppermint Hand Sanitizers from Bath & Body Works, added the Chocolate Peppermint Bark and a candy cane. Voila...support staff Christmas gifts!
Needless to say, I've been a busy bee...not too much free time tonight as we have our children's Christmas Program at 7:00 PM. (Nester the Christmas Donkey...we can't wait. We think we will have one of the cutest barnyard/manger animals as well as one of the most adorable angels in the program...but we might be biased!) ;)
Tis the Season...for Christmas Programs...Polar Express Pajama Parties...and Baking! Have a wonderful evening!
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