I think this is the fourth year I've made this. Always a double batch. This and the peanut butter blossom cookies are the two things my people request this time of year. (peanut butter cookie with a hershey kiss in it.) Me? I like the bark. But I want toffee. I'll be testing this one out this year. And also these. Which is funny because they're both boozy… when what I am really after is the gingery caramel flavor of them.
But back to the bark. I originally found the recipe here. I've gone back to it each year since. But now that I have changed the recipe a tiny bit, I thought I'd post it here. Most changes are due to me picking up ordinary ingredients at the grocery store. No fancy chocolate…. even though I am certain it would be a worthwhile splurge. I also use peppermint oil now, instead of extract. And my dark chocolate layer is bigger, white chocolate layer smaller. Last year the bark was not kid friendly peppermint-y because the oil is so much stronger! This year it is. I must admit to liking last year's batch the best, but see the boozy things I picked out up there? I guess I like treats that will knock your socks off or something….. Anyhow, the bark was restored to it's original peppermint-ness due to my youngest asking me to please make it right because he wants to like it. That's hard to argue with, you know?
It's perfect for giving. And perfect to hide in an inconspicuous container in the back bottom corner of the fridge for sometime in mid January. Not that I would ever do that. Ahem.
8 ounces of white chocolate (must contain cocoa butter, I use no frills baker's, 2 boxes)
2 boxes candy canes (12 ounces or so, crushed, but not powdered)
10 ounces dark chocolate (I use ghiradelli bittersweet)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp peppermint oil (depending on how brave you are, my kids like less, I like more)
8 TBSP heavy cream
*The trickiest part of this whole thing is melting the chocolate over low heat. Some people use a double boiler method & I admit to being too lazy for that. I do it over the lowest heat on my stove, watch it carefully and stir often. Double boiler is defintiely the safest way to go though.*
Cover a baking pan or large cookie sheet with foil. Eyeball or mark an 8×12-ish spot on it. Melt half of the white chocolate. Spread the white chocolate quickly and thinly over the area, use a spatula or icing knife if you have one of those. Cover the white chocolate with half the crushed candy canes. Put in the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate & cream over low heat. Stirring often until smooth. If it seems to get oily looking, add another TBSP of cream. Stir in the peppermint oil. Remove the white chocolate layer from the fridge… and again working quickly, spread the dark chocolate layer over the candy cane layer.
Cool until firm. 25 minutes or so in the fridge.
Melt the last 4 ounces of white chocolate. Working quickly, spread the white chocolate layer over the dark chocolate layer & top with remaining candy canes. Cool for 15 minutes, peel off the foil layer & slice into whatever shape suits your fancy. I like triangles.
*do not add cream to the white chocolate. ever. i tried this once, it all turned into a dough consistency.
*if the dark chocolate layer isn't cool, your top layer will melt together with it making sort of a marbled effect. just so you know.
*you can use those little peppermint hard candies too, i could just pronounce all the stuff in the candy canes, so I chose them. plus they're just so festive.
*speaking of candy canes, if your sweet man gets a little crazy crushing candy canes, sift the dusties out with a fine mesh strainer. the dusties make the layers not stick together as well. add them to cocoa. or vodka. if you're a grown-up, you can add the candy cane vodka to your cocoa.
Enjoy! Happy giving. And eating.