Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fast and Easy Christmas Candy

You've said you like my 'fast and dirty' recipes... I first had this White Chocolate Peppermint Bark at my daugher-in-law's mother's house one Christmas morning brunch. Yummy, and FAR too easy!

The classic recipe calls for

2 lbs white chocolate. (PLEASE use real white chocolate... the first ingredient in the list must be cocoa butter. If it's not...put it back on the grocery shelf.) And the so called "almond bark" that's offered looks like white chocolate, but it has a good amount of paraffin in it and leaves your mouth feeling waxy...oddly enough.

Enough Candy Canes (or red and white peppermint candies) to give you a cup if you coarsely chop them.

Obviously you can use less of everything. I had in the house, and used:

7 ounces of White chocolate
12 Oz White chocolate chips.

and three medium sized candy canes. (They were three for a dollar, that's why three.)

and...for my version... the KEY... our Midwestern Peppermint Oil (the one that I say is sweet as candy, remember?) I used ONE ml for this amount of chocolate.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler if you have one, or a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. While it is melting, put the candy canes inside a HEAVY plastic bag, put that bag inside a second bag, and crush the candy with a hammer, a rolling pin, a heavy skillet...whatever striking instrument you have at hand.

Line a jelly roll pan or BIG cookie sheet with waxed paper or baking parchment.

When the white chocolate is melted, pour in the crushed peppermint, the one ml (approx 20 drops) of peppermint essential oil, stir well. Pour it onto the paper lined pan and spread it as thinly as you can.

EITHER... put the pan in the refrigerator at this point and let it sit for an hour or until hard

OR... while waiting for the white chocolate to set up, melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with a pat of butter, and swirl bits of this over the white chocolate. Smear that around a bit to marble the dark chocolate over the white.

THEN refrigerate the pan for an hour...or put it freezer for perhaps 20 minutes.

Once it's cold...break or cut into random chunks, put in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

The cook gets to lick the meling pan and the spatula.


Very addictive.

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