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Food For Thought: Peppermint Bark



Welcome to Food for Thought, a monthly article series where we will explore new ways to approach cooking while looking ahead to life after high school. Whether it's a dorm, an apartment, or a gourmet kitchen, these recipes, tips, and tricks will help you be a master of your kitchen! Be sure to come back each month for new recipes and tips!


Have you ever cooked for yourself before? If not, that's okay, I have your back, and if you are a senior going into college and you are worried about what you are going to eat, I got you. These recipes will be cheap, short, as well as healthy so you don't have to eat ramen or any other unhealthy foods, instead of eating those, make this recipe, and thank me later. I will also show you how to make this recipe and you can follow me.


Christmas to creeping up, Now here is your chance to have fun with friends and family on a really fun holiday.


Recipe:


Ingredients:

  1. 12 ounces (339g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped and divided*

  2. 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*

  3. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil or coconut oil, divided

  4. 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided

  5. 2–3 regular-size candy canes (24–36g total), crushed

Equipment:

  1. 8-inch or 9-inch Baking Dish or Baking Sheet

  2. Parchment paper, or aluminum foil

  3. Double Bowler or Microwave

  4. Heat Proof Bowl or Liquid Mesaseing Cup

  5. Silicone Spatula or spoon

  6. Rolling Pin or Spoon (to crush candy)

All ingredients:

Instructions:

1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with

parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Or use a

lined baking sheet. Set aside.

2. Bottom layer: There are a few ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use

a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The

microwave is a little more convenient for most, so my directions are for a

microwave. (If using a double boiler, follow this recipe, but melt the chocolate

layers in your double boiler over simmering water.) Place 6 ounces of white

chocolate in a small heatproof bowl or a liquid measuring cup. Add 1/2 teaspoon of

oil. Melt in 20-second increments, stirring vigorously with a silicone spatula

spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. White

chocolate and chocolate overheat easily, so it’s important to do this in increments.

Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour melted white chocolate

into the prepared baking pan, and, with an offset spatula or spoon, spread it into a

thin smooth layer. (If using a baking sheet, make it as thin as you’d like… I usually

spread it out to about 8×12 inches.) Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 10–

15 minutes or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers

could separate.

3. Middle layer: Place semi-sweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl or a liquid

measuring cup. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Repeat melting, just as you did with the

white chocolate in step 2. Once melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon

peppermint extract. Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate

layer and spread it into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the

refrigerator for 10–15 minutes or until almost completely set.

4. Top layer: Place the remaining white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl or a

liquid measuring cup. Add the last 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Repeat melting, just as you

did with the other layers. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth

layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.) Sprinkle evenly with crushed

candy canes. To crush, place the unwrapped candy canes in a sealed zipped-top bag

and roll or bang with a rolling pin or meat mallet until crushed.

5. Refrigerate the bark until completely set, about 1 hour. Once hardened, remove

from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break or cut into pieces as large or

as small as you want. If your bark is chilled in the refrigerator for longer than 3–4

hours, let it sit at room temperature for 10–15 minutes to slightly soften before

breaking/slicing. (Or else the layers might separate.)

6. Cover and store leftover bark in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The bark can

be left at room temperature for a few days in colder months, but it gets a little soft.


Finished Product:

Notes:

  1. Chocolate: Since there are so few ingredients, it’s important to use quality chocolate. Chocolate chips and white chocolate morsels are fabulous in cookies, but are not ideal for melting into bark. And while candy melts are great for coating cake pops, in a recipe like this, you’ll taste the difference between actual chocolate and candy melts. I recommend Ghirardelli, Guittard, or Baker’s brand bars of chocolate. You can find them in the baking aisle of most grocery stores and they’re usually sold in 4-ounce bars. (Guittard brand is usually sold in 6-ounce bars.)

  2. What is the purpose of the oil? Oil helps thin out the melted chocolate so it’s easy to pour and spread. It also helps keep the set chocolate on the softer side, rather than crumbly and hard.

  3. Can I temper the chocolate for this bark? I prefer melting the chocolate without tempering for this easy bark recipe. You can temper the chocolate instead if you’d like, which results in a harder chocolate bark with a little “snap” to it. Here is a helpful tempering chocolate tutorial. Do not refrigerate the layers or the finished bark; let the layers set at room temperature.

  4. Can I make this only 2 layers? Yes. Use about 8 ounces of each chocolate. Let the bottom layer almost set, then top with the other melted chocolate. Continue with step 5.

  5. Can I double or triple this recipe? Yes. Double or triple all of the ingredients. Use a large lined baking sheet. All of the instructions are the same, including the setting times.

Tips and Information:


Lactose intolerant Substitutions:

  • Ghirardelli Non-Dairy 52% Cacao Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips. Ghirardelli baking non-dairy dark chocolate chips

  • Moo Free UTZ Dairy and Soya Free White Chocolate Alternative (MFW004)

Vegan Substitutions:

  • Intense Dark 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Equipment Substitutions:


No Baking Pan or sheet? Just use parchment paper, silicone mats, or aluminum foil.


No Parchment Paper? Use Wax Paper.


No Silicon Spatula? Use a wooden spoon or a metal spoon.


Sites:


Sally's Baking Recipes:


Blog:


Visit my blog to get tips and tricks about how to Service High School or School in general.


Kallee's School Survival Guide:




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