Peppermint Bark

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Ahhh the Holidays are upon us….

Candles, lights and sparkle are far and wide, while evergreens and pine trees are abundant with “snow”. Stores and eateries feel warm and cozy, even when it’s cold and snowy. Cities, lakes, mountains and homes glisten in twilight after the snow. Trees decorated in every city, poinsettia’s and snowflakes make everything pretty. Tinsel, ornaments, and gift baskets aplenty; cookies, cakes, and chocolate galore, give us a reason to celebrate more.

Tis the season for those of us, like me, who love to bake!

As many of you know by now, I’m hugely addicted to Pinterest as it allows me to express the things I like and want to make in pictures pinned to virtual bulletin boards. This post is inspired by a blog I came across while doing a search for holiday cookies. While it’s not a cookie, the unique way this peppermint bark is created, makes it a very elegant addition to your cookie trays. I’ve always wanted to try making my own chocolate and I have a few times, however, I usually have horrible luck when it comes to making chocolate in “molds.” This recipe looked very easy so I decided to give it a whirl. Let me say that these look and taste fantastic! If you are a fan of peppermint bark and you have the time, making it at home is the way to go.
Finished Bark 2

Here is the link to the original recipe that I utilzed in case you want actual measurements of the ingredients: http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/2010/11/peppermint-bark/

The ingredients are simple: Dark Chocolate, Shortening, White Chocolate, Peppermint Candy and chocolate molds, or cookie cutters.

Ingredients

Crush up the peppermint candy into small pieces you definitely don’t want it powdery as the texture is much nicer when you can see the peppermint pieces throughout the chocolate. Mix some shortening in both the White and Dark Chocolate. This will help melt it down nicely. Using your microwave in 30 second intervals melt down the dark chocolate. Once it’s melted just pour into either cookies cutters or small chocolate molds and sprinkle some of the crushed peppermint pieces.
Place this in your fridge until the chocolate becomes solid again (about 20 minutes). Repeat the same process with the white chocolate and then refridgerate again. You’ll need to keep it in the fridge a little longer the second time as White Chocolate takes a little longer to solidify.
Layers 1 and 2

Once you are done unmold the chocolate and voila! Kudos to the cookie cutter idea. I wasn’t sure it would work but the results are awesome!
Finished Bark 1

By the way did anyone watch the 12/12/12 Sandy Benefit Concert? Who else thought that seeing Bruce and JBJ on the same stage was totally awesome and totally Jersey? I loved it! Also loved seeing Chris Martin perform with Michael Stipe. The rendition of Losing my Religion they did together was fantastic! Great idea and great concert so kudos to those who planned it and those who were lucky enough to attend.

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