Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Star shaped peppermint bark
I used to buy peppermint bark and then I figured out how easy it is to make it. I felt kinda foolish for not making it sooner. Then I began experimenting with all kinds of bark. My favorite is still peppermint. Now I mix dark (or milk) and white chocolate and top with crushed peppermints. Lovely. Yummy. Joy.

The hardest part is melting the chocolates and making sure that you don't get any water mixed in with the chocolate. I decided to try making peppermint bark different ways this year. We bought a plastic candy molds and silicon molds and I am going to use them to make shaped bark.

Peppermint Bark
Milk Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate Bark
Peppermint Candy, Crushed

Melt the chocolate chips and white chocolate. I used the microwave by heating the chocolate at 15 second intervals, stirring during each interval, until melted. The chocolate can also be melted in a double boiler. Be very care with the white chocolate because it scorches easily.
Melted chocolate and crushed peppermint
For regular peppermint bark, spread the milk chocolate and white chocolate on a piece of parchment paper and run a knife through the chocolate to swirl.
Swirling chocolate 
Top with crushed peppermint.
Chocolate topped with crushed peppermint
Refrigerate for 45 minutes and then break into pieces.
It is easy to break the bark into pieces
The silicon mold was easy to use and created pretty star shaped chocolates. I place crushed peppermint in first and then topped with white chocolate.
Putting the crushed peppermint in first
I refrigerated it for 45 minutes and then topped with milk chocolate.
I made a couple of chocolate stars with  a layer of white chocolate (refrigerate for 45 minutes), a layer of peppermint, and then milk chocolate.
Topping with crushed peppermint
Finally I had a layer of white chocolate (refrigerate for 45 minutes), a layer of milk chocolate, and a layer of peppermint. Finally I had a layer of peppermint, a layer of milk chocolate, and then I swirled a layer of white chocolate (no refrigeration needed between layers). To swirl place a bit of white chocolate on top of the milk chocolate and take a tooth pick and swirl.
Swirling chocolate
To remove the chocolate just turn over and press down on the back of the mold and then pull the mold away from the chocolate while pressing on the back.

The plastic mold was also easy to use. I layered white chocolate into the mold.
A layer of white chocolate
After 45 minutes in the refrigerator, I added a layer of milk chocolate and then topped with crushed peppermint. To remove turn over and press lightly. The chocolate pops out.

Chocolate Christmas trees
The bottom line: I enjoyed using the molds but my favorite is still the free-form bark.

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