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Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

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Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  ander217 on 12/14/2010, 8:00 am

There's no way to tie this recipe to gardening unless you make your own peppermint extract, but it's such a quick and easy holiday candy recipe that I'm passing it along anyway. People are always asking me for the recipe which was passed to me from a good friend.

Easy Peppermint Bark

2 10-oz. bags Andes creme de menthe bits (Wal-Mart carries them)
a few drops peppermint extract (optional for mintier flavor)
1 24-oz. package almond bark
crushed candy canes or peppermint discs (I wrap them in cloth and beat with a hammer)

Spread about two feet of aluminum foil on table or countertop and butter the foil well.

In a double boiler (or heat-proof mixing bowl placed over a saucepan with two inches of boiling water) melt Andes bits. Stir in peppermint extract if desired. Pour onto buttered foil and spread to an even thickness. Allow to cool until completely firm.

Melt almond bark in double boiler and pour on top of chocolate, gently spreading to edges, taking care not to mix chocolate and bark layers. Working quickly sprinkle top with crushed candies. Allow to firm. Break into serving-sized pieces. Store in lidded container.

(This is an easier adaptation of the recipe which calls for a top layer of white chocolate which must be tempered. For those of you who don't have pre-packaged Andes mint bits available you can use melted chocolate with plenty of mint extract added, and make the top layer of white chocolate.)
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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  happyfrog on 12/14/2010, 8:07 am

you know, it would be SUPER easy to make peppermint extract!!

and can you imagine the varieties one could make?!

thanks for sharing this recipe. if you like peppermint, you'll have to try my peppermint cheesecake recipe. Smile i created it a couple weeks ago when i was in a peppermiint mood.

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peppermint extract

Post  ander217 on 12/14/2010, 9:53 am

I never considered making my own peppermint extract, but I googled and found how to do it here. (It's not much different from making one's own vanilla.) The articles I found said homemade extract isn't as strong as the commercial kind which is made through a distillation or chemical process.

How to make peppermint extract

I can just imagine this recipe using extract of chocolate mint.

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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  miinva on 12/15/2010, 5:39 pm

happyfrog, I did a quick search of the site and didn't find your recipe... would you please share? Smile

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Unbelievable Chocolate Bark

Post  Megan on 12/15/2010, 8:30 pm

I don't have a peppermint bark recipe, but here is a REALLY awesome one for chocolate bark that was given to me a while back by a dear lady who is a teacher. The ingredients are a little expensive, but OMG!!! Shocked This is completely swoon-worthy.

Unbelievable chocolate bark

1 cup whole, salted, roasted cashews
6 to 7 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 to 7 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
1/2 cup dried cherries (dice if they are large)
1/2 cup finely diced dried apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins (dice if large)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a pencil, draw a rectangle that is approximately the size of a standard sheet of paper (8-1/2 inches by 11 inches) on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan, then turn the parchment paper over.

Spread the cashews in a single layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, until just toasted. Set aside to cool. (You will not need the oven after this.)

Place the semisweet chocolate and half the bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwave on high power for 20 to 30 seconds. Stir with rubber spatula. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted. Immediately add the remaining bittersweet chocolate and allow It to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly into the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly in the following order: ginger, cashews, cherries, apricots, raisins. Set aside for 1 to 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 18 to 20 pieces and serve at room temperature.

Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place for several weeks.

Yield: 18 to 20 pieces
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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  camprn on 12/15/2010, 8:48 pm

It sounds divine! Meg I am assuming that the chocolate you buy has to have the sugar in it, or did I miss something? I think I will like to try this. Wish I had some just now What a Face
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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  Megan on 12/15/2010, 8:55 pm

Semisweet and bittersweet are varieties of sweetened chocolate. You will find them in the baking section of your supermarket. Do not use unsweetened (Baker's) chocolate, though!

Let me know how it works out for you! Very Happy
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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  camprn on 12/16/2010, 8:31 am

Megan (Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:55 pm) wrote:Semisweet and bittersweet are varieties of sweetened chocolate. You will find them in the baking section of your supermarket. Do not use unsweetened (Baker's) chocolate, though!

Let me know how it works out for you! Very Happy

OH, Now I remember what I was missing, my nap. Look, it says it right there on your recipe, semi-sweet and bitter sweet. D'OH! Thanks Megan :!:
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Recipe origin

Post  ander217 on 12/16/2010, 9:50 am

Megan, I made that recipe last Christmas. It's from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Back to Basics page 200.

It's called French Chocolate Bark, and I agree it is fantastic. Not too sweet.

Here's a link to the recipe online which includes a photo.

French Chocolate Bark

(I just noticed that her recipe online omits the dried cherries and golden raisins that are listed in the book recipe. The online recipe is dated 2007 while the book is dated 2008. Apparently she added the extra fruits to the recipe by the time the book came out. Her photo in the book shows the bark spread much thinner than the online photo, too. I guess she continually tweaks for improvement like the rest of us.)
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Re: Easy Peppermint Bark recipe

Post  Megan on 12/16/2010, 4:12 pm

Thanks. I didn't know it was an Ina Garten recipe. My friend told me she got it from her Weight Watcher's group. Wink

My bark spread out a bit thinner than that photo, I think.
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