This year, I decided to give some tins filled with sweets out to a few people for the holidays. I don’t normally do this because I am not big on baking, and most of our friends have moved out of the city and/or travel around the holidays. But, I got bit with a little baking bug, and I opted to make a few manageable things without going overboard.
Peppermint bark is one of those things that most people like and it’s so easy to make. As a plus, it can be made in advance of all the baked goods, which helps you keep on schedule! The two chocolate components of my goodie tins are bark and truffles: two things that can be made a little early and hold up well in the fridge and in tins (or during shipping).
1 lb. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (I use a combination), coarsely chopped
1 lb. white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract (optional)
6 oz. crushed peppermints or candy canes
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
In a double boiler (or, in my kitchen, a large bowl over a not-as-large pot with an inch or so of just simmering water), heat the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread the mixture evenly with a spatula or offset spreader. Let the chocolate set, on the counter or in the fridge, until it’s firm.
Melt the white chocolate in the double boiler, and stir in the extract, if using. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the firm bittersweet chocolate layer. Spread evenly, and then sprinkle with the crushed peppermints (if you want, mix the peppermints in with the white chocolate instead). Set the bark in the fridge and break into pieces when cooled and firm.