Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Chocolate Bark

My 5 year old daughter, Paige Leigh, is my sole inspiration on this delicious holiday treat.  She absolutely loves peppermint-almost to a point of it being borderline unhealthy.  And since I traditionally make chocolate bark for Christmas Day, I thought that not only would she completely adore this special little indulgence made especially just for her, but she would also love the simple process of making it together with me as well.  She is a born kitchen fairy just like her Momma.  As soon as the holiday season begins to roll in, she is on high alert at the store for the presence of the old-fashioned candy canes, packed neatly in their open-front red boxes.  The good old red and white striped, hooked stick of peppermint hard candy-that never quite make it for more than a few days on our tree.

1- 12oz. bag of Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 T. of canola oil
1 standard-sized peppermint candy cane

-First and foremost, line a large baking sheet with waxed paper (the larger the pan-the thinner the bark); set aside. Technically you can use a double-boiler for this recipe, but since I have never owned or used one, this recipe will be wrote for those of us without one.  Place a medium sauce pan, that is filled 1/3 of the way with water, over a medium-high flame on your stove top.  Place a small sauce pan inside of it so that it floats in the water-not touching the bottom and has no water inside of it-the little saucepan.  Pour the chocolate chips and canola oil into the dry, floating little saucepan.  Using a wooden spoon, continue to constantly stir the chocolate as it begins to melt (you cannot save melted chocolate once it has begun to burn-it ruins all of it).  Meanwhile, remove the wrapper from the candy cane and place the candy cane inside of a ziploc sandwich baggy; seal well.  Making sure to work over a wooden cutting board, smash up the candy cane into small shards with a rubber mallet, meat tenderizer, un-opened canned good, rolling pin or like me with a toy wooden hammer from your kids room ;)  Once the chocolate has completely melted through, stir in the crushed candy cane.  Quickly pour the mixture onto the center of your wax paper-lined baking sheet and spread it out evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Place the entire pan into your fridge to set up and chill for about an hour.  Once it is completely hard, you can remove it by lifting up on each side of the waxed paper.  Using your hands, break it apart into palm-sized hunks and store in an air tight container.  Serves 10.  Enjoy!

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