Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cookie Week Day 1: Layered Peppermint Bark

In preparation of Christmas next week, this week is going to be Christmas Cookie Week on The One Behind the Apron. I am going to share five of my Christmas cookie and candy favorites. These are a few of the Christmas classics I grew up with and enjoy with my family each year. All of these recipes have been passed down from the ladies of my family. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you have family traditions that you look forward to each Christmas, leave them in the comments. I would love to hear about your favorites! First up, layered peppermint bark with brown and white chocolate.

Recipe yields 12-15 pieces

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz white chocolate chips
20-25 mini candy canes
2 tsp canola oil

Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. As chips begin to melt, stir the chips to remove any clumps and have a smooth bowl of melted chocolate. Stir in 1 tsp of the oil. This helps the chocolate stay shiny when it hardens and not have a dusty look.

Line a pan with tin foil or wax paper. Pour in the melted chocolate. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the chocolate and fill it into all the corners. Place the pan in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.

While the first layer is in the fridge, prepare your candy canes. Unwrap all the candy canes and place them in a ziploc bag. Using some sort of hammer (I used the handle of my scissors) crush the candy canes into tiny pieces.

Now it is time to melt your white chocolate. Follow the same procedures as with the semi-sweet chocolate. Once all the chips have melted, stir in the other tsp of oil.

Remove chocolate from the heat and add half of your crushed candy canes to the bowl. Mix well to incorporate the pieces in the chocolate.

Pour the white chocolate in the pan on top of the semi-sweet chocolate. In the same manner, use an offset spatula to create an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining half of the candy canes on top of the white chocolate. Use the back of a wide spatula to gently pat the pieces into the chocolate to ensure they stick. Place the pan back in the fridge for about an hour or until all chocolate has completely hardened.

Remove the bark from the pan and peel off the tin foil. Crack the bark into personal sized pieces. Pack up and give as a gift or place on a dish to serve at a party. When not enjoying it, keep the bark in the refrigerator to help it stay. Enjoy!