Monday, December 16, 2013

Peppermint Bark

I've been having a really hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. As Colbie Callait says, "It's not Christmas if the snow don't fall", and I have to wholeheartedly agree. While it's awesome wearing a t-shirt in December, I greatly miss everything about a New England winter at the moment. There's something special about the smell of fresh snow, and the beauty of snow-covered trees.

Of course, I'm sure I'll remember how much I hate the cold once I'm home, but that's a different story.

One of my roommates has no trouble getting in the spirit--she's really into the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family. I swear I've seen The Grinch about four times and I'm starting to get sick of it. Therefore, I decided that I needed another way to get into the holiday mood.

Enter peppermint bark, stage left. Stupid easy and really, really tasty. Like, I glanced at a recipe to make sure my intuition was correct (it was) and that was that. It took about half an hour to make... that's it. And there are only three ingredients. So what are you waiting for?

You will need:
 -One bag of chocolate chips (milk or dark, your choice)
 -One bag of white chocolate chips
 -A few candy canes

And you don't even need the oven! It's a Christmas Miracle!

Start by lining a baking sheet with tin foil. Parchment paper would probably work just as well! This just makes for easy removal.

Next, get a bain marie going. You can read more about how to do that here, but basically boil water and melt the chocolate in a bowl over the steam.

Stir frequently to ensure even melting. It's ready when it's shiny and smooth.

Pour it onto your prepared pan and spread it around. It will all get broken up eventually, so don't be worried about making it touch the edges or whatever.

Also, you can make it as thick or as thin as you choose! Mine was pretty thin, about an eighth of an inch maybe? Just try and make it one nice even layer. Once it's spread to your satisfaction, pop it in your fridge to solidify.

Now, prepare the candy canes. Pop them in a plastic bag and (gently!) bash with a hammer to crush into little pieces.

Combine them with the white chocolate chips as you melt them in the bain marie! This way, you'll get peppermint throughout the chocolate.

Take the solidified milk chocolate out of the fridge and spread the melted white chocolate and peppermint over it. Your milk chocolate may re-melt a bit, but it's not a big deal. Spread what you can, then sprinkle more crushed candy cane over the top. I would suggest pushing some of the bigger pieces down a little bit, since I didn't and some of mine fell off... womp womp womp.

Set it back into the fridge to solidify.

After it's all solid, take it out of the fridge and slightly lift up the tin foil. Get under the bottom and break it into pieces. It may get a little soft in your hands, so work quickly!

Once it's all into pieces, store it in your fridge and sneak little pieces every time you're in the kitchen. Or, you can do as I did and try and give as much away as possible! There's nothing like making a holiday treat to get yourself out of a Grinch-y mood.

Next time I blog, I will be back at home in the beautiful snow! I can't wait to get back in time for Christmas goodies and the holiday spirit.

Good luck on the rest of your finals, and I'll be back with you soon from a different timezone!

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