Thursday, November 29, 2012

Simple Peppermint Bark (★ ★ ★ ★ ☆)

Today I'd like to talk about experimentation and making assumptions.

Because apparently, I have a major problem with both.  

Apparently, I think I'm the Baking Queen of the Universe.  
And that everything that develops in my pretty little head is sure to emerge from the oven to the sound of an angel's chorus.

And apparently, I assumed I knew enough baking basics to be able to double up a batch of brownies by simply adjusting the temperature and time.

Apparently, I was wrong. 
Here are just some of the sad pictures I took of the "Peppermint Bark Brownies," I concocted this week.
1) The obligatory "ingredients" shot
2) The artsy "look at my cool photo skills" shot of crushed candy cane pieces
3) The anticipatory "pre-oven" shot
4) The "I'm-such-a-dork-for-taking-all-of-these-photos-and-seriously-having-no-reservations-about-
    suspiciously-watery" photo

Needless to say, they did not turn out.

Unless, you consider a rock hard burned "crust" layer, an overly browned "cream" layer, and a goopey, soupy center, a delectable treat.

That'd be like that Gilmore Girls episode where Luke brings Lorelai a batch of brownies that he accidentally dumped triple the amount of cocoa in because he knew only she possessed such a superhuman chocolate tolerance...that, and he wanted her to let his punk nephew study with her angelic daughter...oh, ya, and he was secretly in love with her.

Ya, just like that.
Only not at all.
I'm just obsessed with the Gilmore Girls.

And with Peppermint Bark.
So obsessed that when my original idea failed, I switched to the tried and true.  

Simple.  Easy.  Plain ole'.  Peppermint Bark.

And ate half the sheet by myself.  In two days.  
Simple Peppermint Bark
adapted from Savory Sweet Life

1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Peppermint extract
1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
3 Candy Canes, crushed

Makes one small 7x11 pan (Double the recipe for a 9x13)
Parchment or wax paper for lining the pan
Approx. 40 Minutes Chill Time
 1) In a microwave safe bowl, heat 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in 30 second increments.  Stir
     well between heatings.  You want them to be just melted, not boiling hot.
2) Add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract, stir well.
3) Line pan with parchment paper and spread chocolate evenly into the bottom.
*Tip: You can spray a spatula with Cooking Spray to keep the chocolate from sticking.
Note: I did not line my pan with parchment paper.  I paid the price.  Assumption #348: "I can make
          simple peppermint bark without thoroughly reading through the recipe."  Getting peppermint
          bark out of a greased-only pan has a 76% success rate.  Get parchment paper, wax paper, I don't
          care!  Line. that. sucker.
4) Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
5) In a ziploc bag, crush candy canes into very small pieces.  A meat tenderizer works well.
6) Heat 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the same manner as before and spread on top of the slightly 
    hardened chocolate layer.  Spread quickly as the bottom layer will begin melting and mixing.  
7) Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces across the top and lightly press down to make sure they get in 
    the chocolate.  Do this quickly.  You'd be surprised how soon some areas harden because the pan 
    is cold.
8) Place pan in the freezer until completely set.  At least 30 minutes.
9) Once set, take the parchment paper out of the pan and peel off of the bark.  Break into pieces using a 
    large knife.  
 Because before you can build a fire, you learn to light a match.
And before you make boxed brownies you...
Oh.  Wow.  

Blame it on the hah hah hah hah hah holidays?


  1. Saw these on Tasteologie, came for the pictures. Stayed for the Gilmore Girls reference. I miss that show!
    These look great! Every year I do goodie gift boxes for friends and family, and these will make an excellent addition to the candy selection. I'm thinking about making small circles or ovals and doing them bite size instead of the sheet and breaking it up. Those tiny pieces are way too tempting to me!

    1. Aw, thanks so much for stopping by! Seriously, Gilmore Girls is the best show ever. Circles are a great idea! Because the big pieces really do go quickly. Cutting them after they are firm would be pretty difficult. Do you have a way of molding them into smaller pieces beforehand? Mini muffin pan maybe?

    2. I was thinking just spooning the chocolate onto a parchment sheet? Go for the rustic look. But you could also put the chocolate into a piping bag to create a more uniform look. I'm probably going to draw 3/4" to 1" circles on the back of the parchment too keep some sort of consistency in size. A mini muffin pan is a great idea! I was planning on packaging mine in mini muffin liners so that would be a little to big for my purpose.

    3. Oh ya, piping them is a great idea! Or lining the mini muffin slots with liners. Then they'd be prepackaged. Merry Christmas!