Peppermint and chocolate is a decadent combination sent from heaven itself. Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit like good old-fashioned homemade sweets, especially when they include peppermint. Spatula-licking good; here are the steps to making your own peppermint bark!
Picking the perfect peppermint.
When I am looking for peppermint candies I do my best to avoid unfavorable additives. For example, some peppermints are dyed using Red 4. Red 4 is created by grinding up insects. Another common colorant, Red 40, is tested on animals (as I’m sure many others are as well). I avoid red 4 and I do my best to avoid the later, but sometimes I find myself in situations where using it is unavoidable. Preferably, one might want to use natural peppermints dyed with fruit juices instead. Just something to keep in mind if you care about that kind of thing!
Did somebody say CHOCOLATE?
This week I was incredibly perplexed as to why it is so difficult to find vegan chocolate chips. I went to three (THREE!) different grocery stores; Shaw’s, Walmart, and Hannaford’s. They were even all out of the well-known / dairy-free “Enjoy Life” brand. I later ventured off to Marden’s and Reny’s. Luckily, I ended up finding two different brands of chocolate chips at Reny’s. The first one I found was called “Chef’s Select”, and admittedly I wasn’t a fan. It was incredibly waxy and flavorless; upon looking closer at the bag it appears that it is “chocolate flavored” and not real chocolate – woops. The second kind, that I actually used for this bark, is AMAZING! Not to mention it was cheaper than most vegan brands. Sweet, sweet chocolate.
Recipe Type: Candy, Chocolate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
What you’ll need
- Parchment Paper
- Glass Bowl & Pot, or double boiler.
- 2 cups Chocolate chips
- 2-4 Candy Canes
- Crush your peppermint candies. I like to use a sandwich bag and my meat tenderizer. Lindsy, smash!
- Lay out your parchment paper on the counter for later. Prepare your double boiler, or add a bit of water to a pot (1-2 inches) and bring it to a simmer. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot making sure it isn’t touching the water; the steam is what will melt the chocolate. If you don’t have a glass bowl big enough to sit comfortably in your pot, no worries, you can use a spaghetti strainer and a smaller bowl! Sometimes we have to be crafty to get things done – and that’s okay!
- Add your chips of choice into the bowl and stir the chocolate constantly with a silicone spatula. This will help it melt evenly. Continue to stir until there are no more clumps.
- Immediately pour your chocolate onto your parchment paper. Spread it out carefully, making sure not to make it too thin. It’s okay if it’s a little uneven, we’re going to smash it anyway!
- Sprinkle on your crushed candies. You can allow the chocolate to harden on the counter, or place it on a pan and toss it in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Put your amazing home-made candy in pretty boxes and gift them to friends and family, or treat yourself to some sweets and Christmas movies.