Candyfest 2011 Kicks Off with Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Have you come for The Festival?

Welcome to Candyfest 2011! This is the first of four installments chronicling my friend Paula and I as we create approximately 50 boxes filled with a total of 18 pounds of candy for our friends and family.

I’ll start this year with a Holiday candy classic, Peppermint Bark. Making candy bark is awesome because it is virtually idiot-proof. And as you may recall from last year’s post on Chocolate Pecan Toffee, the path to candy success doesn’t always run smooth. Chocolate Bark, however, is an easy way to melt and drizzle your way to candy happiness.

Simple and elegant photos and directions drew me to the recipe for Peppermint Bark at Taste of Koko.  She made it look so easy and, frankly, it was. I was a little concerned that the only source of peppermint was the candy canes, but I was needlessly concerned.  These are plenty minty! Dare I say just minty enough.

Paula and I quadrupled the recipe, but chances are you won’t need quite so much, so here is the recipe in a more reasonable size.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Adapted from a recipe from Taste of Koko

    • 6 oz milk chocolate
    • 12 oz white chocolate
    • 3 tsp vegetable oil, divided (plus more for aluminum foil, optional)
    • 1/3 crushed candy cane pieces

Line the bottom and sides of an 9″ x 9″ square baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil (or aluminum foil lightly sprayed with canola oil), smoothing out any wrinkles.  I find that extra-large heavy-duty aluminum foil works very well for this.

Melt the white chocolate and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. The oil changes the bark so that it breaks well and melts oh so nicely on the tongue. Don’t skip the vegetable oil. Immediately pour approximately half of the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and spread in the pan to make an even layer.

NOTE: I was surprised by how thinly the first layer covered the bottom of the pan. In fact, I probably used more than half of the white chocolate on this first layer to ensure that it was thick enough. Have no fear, however, for by the time the bark is all done, overall it will be a very pleasant thickness.

I find that knocking the pan on the counter a few times evens out the chocolate and eliminates any little bubbles in the chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Melt the milk chocolate and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and spread to make an even layer. Again, a couple of good knocks on the counter helps to even it out. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Repeat with the remaining white chocolate…pour, spread, knock on counter…you get the idea.

Sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the white chocolate. Be generous because this is where all of the peppermint flavor comes from. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and cut our break the bark into smaller pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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