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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peppermint Bark



Then



Now




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Once upon a time there was a city that had a street that held a store that had a restaurant where the world's most beautiful Christmas tree stood. It happened that each year a parade was held to welcome a visitor from the polar region to the store that held the tree. Once inside, the old and red-robed guest held court in a kingdom where he had a throne surrounded by a train in which the young could ride, and an assembly of gnomes and fairies and candy canes that danced at his command. His council was sought by the well-dressed young and he was in great demand. There would, of course, be a private visitations, but before that could happen there were blocks of decorated windows in need of review, and a lunch to be had in that huge room with the magical tree. It was a day wondrous in every way and it is remembered so, even to this day.

My lovely memory of Christmas past was rudely jarred this past weekend and I'm putting Santa on report. I don't want to hear the world has changed or that times are different. Santa has clearly dropped the ball and some attitude adjustment is in order. What happened to the dress code? How can one pour out their collective soul to someone in pajamas and suspenders? That's not the worst of it. With a line that stretched clear to the high dessert, Santa decided to take an unscheduled coffee break, over and above the ones that are mandated by his union. The line, already packed with bored and tired tots, turned really ugly and Santa got exactly what he deserved on his return. I'm told photo sales for the day were down.

I needed something to sweeten my disposition after our outing and I had a new recipe for peppermint bark that I wanted to try. It uses light and dark chocolate and it sounded more interesting than the recipe I've been using. Bark is one of the easiest recipes in the Christmas repertoire. It is nothing more than melted chocolate into which peppermint candy is pressed. Over the years I've learned a trick that makes it really easy to make. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to every ounce of chocolate makes it easier to spread. I'm told that butter or margarine, because of their water content, cannot be used in its place. Melted chocolate will seize if it comes in contact with liquids. Chocolate that has seized can sometimes be brought back by using shortening as well. I really like the new bark recipe and if you make candy for the holidays you might want to give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Peppermint Bark...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of ChefsCatalog.com

Ingredients:
12-oz. high quality semi sweet chocolate
1 pound white chocolate (with cocoa butter)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup candy canes or peppermint candy, crushed

Directions:
1) Place candy canes or peppermint candies in mini-food processor and pulse until in
small pieces. Set aside.
2) Line a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan with foil, letting it hang over the sides. Grease foil
with nonstick spray. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat.
Pour evenly into jelly roll pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with 1/4
cup peppermint candy. Place in refrigerator until cold and firm.
3) Heat white chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat until chocolate is
almost melted. Remove double boiler insert from pan and stir until completely melted.
Stir in extract. Cool slightly. Pour this over chocolate layer, and, working quickly,
spread to cover. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed candy. Lightly press it in.
4) Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy.
Peel foil from bottom of peppermint bark. Trim edges. Cut into 2" squares. Yield: 2 pounds.









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48 comments :

Lenia said...

It looks amazing!Have a lovely day,dear Mary!

Angie's Recipes said...

Beautiful and festive barks! Angie

Alessandra said...

Mary, would you like a laugh? When I was reading my mouth dropped! Suspenders????

Then I went back to the photo... how could she see that he was a cross-dresser? And then I remembered that in American English suspenders are braces (British English), for us here in NZ suspenders means garter belt!

So now you can think that your Santa could have been even worse :-)!!!

Ciao
Alessandra

Hovkonditorn said...

Looks so delicious!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Things are not what they used to be!!!
That Peppermint Bark looks quite delicious Mmmmm Diane

Rambling Tart said...

I'm glad you had something so delicious to brighten your day after that fiasco. :-)

Erika K @ Best Food Processor Info said...

I'm sorry to hear things didn't go well with Santa :( But hey, making peppermint bark wasn't such a bad thing in the end.

I'm also glad to hear about your tip on adding shortening to melting chocolate. We've had a few dessert disasters that probably could have been fixed with a tip like that!

Your bark looks delicious and would put anyone in a more festive mood.

Cuisinart 12 cup food processor

Heavenly Housewife said...

I understand, I can get so upset when things don't live up to my expectations. I do hope that beautiful bark cheered your mood.
*kisses* HH

Foodycat said...

I love peppermint bark! I have to try this!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I am dismayed that Santa would show up in his PJs and then take a union coffee break!! Sad. Sad. Sad. So sorry, Mary.

The tree and the bark and the precious children are all delights to the eyes!! blessings ~ tanna

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Mary, I'm sorry you were disappointed with your Santa trip :-(
Your bark looks great.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

My feelings exactly about our "new" Santas. But of course your peppermint bark saved the day and who's day wouldn't be more perfect with chocolate and peppermints.
Sam

Stephanie said...

Very festive. I'm loving the start of all the holiday posts I'm seeing.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Santa in pajamas?!! What a rip! Ah well, at least the peppermint bark is sure to perk anyone up! I've made it before and adore the look and taste of it. Appreciate the tip of adding shortening to loosen it up. Have a great day!

Kim said...

This bark is perfect to feel the magic of Christmas for sure!

Jenn said...

Suspenders? Really? I'm with you Mary - Santa not in a his jolly red suite? Something is seriously wrong. BUT, I do love love love peppermint bark, so I might be able to forget all about suspenders! lol

What's next said...

Looks amazing, it may be on the list for a little party I'm having soon! Thanks

The Café Sucré Farine said...

This would sweeten anyone's disposition - maybe you should send a box to that non-conforming, unruly, self-centered Santa!

From the Kitchen said...

I just came across the last special shopping bag from that special store that held the most beautiful tree--SOB!! I'm going to hang it on the door knob as a reminder of what was and what should be. A piece or two of your Peppermint Bark would lighten my mood I'm sure.

Best,
Bonnie

Priya said...

Bark looks super amazing and festive.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Great story, Mary---you'd think with unemployment so high they could get their pick of top notch Santas!
I will try your trick with the shortening, especially with the white chocolate that sounds like it would be a help. I just love peppermint bark, it's my all time favorite.

Clint said...

Santa was prolly takin' a break to get a little nip o' gin. You just can't get good help any more.

But seriously, taking the kiddies to see Santa can truly be a monstrous experience. Ha.

blackheartbetty said...

I am going to have to stop reading food blogs! I am so hungry right now!! =)

Judy@SavoringToday said...

Peppermint Bark is about the only way to console one's self after a pajamas and suspenders Santa. Can't believe folks stood in line for that.

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

Oh yum, your peppermint bark looks delicious and so colourful too.

June said...

I would agree that Santa got and definitely deserved his just desserts. Your peppermint bark looks wonderful and once again, you've given me ideas.

Terri @ that's some good cookin' said...

Peppermint Bark--oh the sweet memories. Santa in pajamas--seriously? That's one low class Santa.

teresa said...

aw bummer! i'm sorry your visit to santa wasn't the best, and i agree, santa needs to be in his regular suit!

LOVE the peppermint bark, delicious!

cocinamarroqui said...

Merry Christmas! Today, Morocco is the party of "Ashura". An equivalent to the Christmas party in the Arabic world.
A celebration of children, equivalent to Santa Clauss. Congratulations

tasteofbeirut said...

That is one candy I always looked forward to for Xmas! why did I not try to make it? this recipe is going to be my guide!

laurie said...

lovely treat, yummo, so pretty!

Ginny said...

They need to hire another Santa! Of course, it's not the Christmas spriit to fire Santa, but nevertheless...

Rachana said...

Beautiful and delicious barks.

laurie said...

I just made a batch this weekend, but in Christmas tree shapes. Yours looks awesome!

FJK said...

Dear Mary,
Nice to make your acquaintance. Lovely blog and I really like you sensibilities. I'll be back.

re the peppermint bark - I haven't tried it with shortening -- I'll have to give that a try.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

I know, Santa has gotten a little disappointing. Where we used to live he wore a Hawaiian shirt!! Seriously, that is NOT Santa. I am hoping in our new town it is back to classic Santa.

You can never got wrong with Peppermint bark though. I love all things peppermint in December!

lea said...

A coffee Break? Sorry it spoiled your day. Was driving through your neck of the woods over the weekend and would have loved to cheer you up with my new unhousebroken Great Dane puppy! Love your pumpkin pecan bread....consuming some right now!

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

My mouth was watering as I read the method for the Peppermint Bark. My Auntie makes white bark every Christmas, I will share your recipe with her, as I am thinking she might enjoy it too. I pray Christmas & Santa is returned to us, in days long gone by when there was that twinkle in many of a child's eye.

A Canadian Foodie said...

What beautiful photos - this recipe would blow Ghiradelli's Pepperment Bark right out of the park!
:)
Valerie

Joanne said...

Pajamas? Really? what is THAT all about?

Your peppermint bark is needed to get that Christmas spirit back. Quick!

hobby baker said...

Ah, that's too bad your Santa was less than professional. Glad you had a delicious treat to cheer things up. We do have a right jolly old elf Santa that wears red velvet knickers and suspenders with a patterned shirt each year and I've always loved him and thought that he was much less intimidating to the little ones than the big red suit. But everyone has their own personal preference. ☺

kitty said...

At least you had a happy ending to your Santa saga, for the peppermint bark sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing your expertise, Mary.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I love peppermint bark . . . did it help get over the shock of a lazy Santa?

Merry Christmas.
Glenda

Claudia said...

I am now grateful for our Minnesota Santas with real beards,. proper North Pole clothes and twinkling eyes. I'm also grateful for your peppermint bark - it makes all things merry and bright.

Christy said...

Such a festive idea; and it looks amazing too!:D

Amalia said...

I've been meaning to make peppermint bark for quite some time now, and this just pushes me forward to do it! It looks perfect :)

All Things Yummy said...

Oh No, Santa needs to get his jolly back.

That Girl said...

What is up with the sketchy Santas this year?

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