Monday, December 15, 2008

Peppermint Crunch Bark

I am a day late with my Sunday Sweet Treat. I had a post all set to go, nice photos, good write-up but when I went to taste my creation it was a total bust! What was even worse than missing my Sunday deadline was that the treat was meant for a friend I was visiting today. A friend who lives in a wheat-free home, thus I needed a wheat-free treat and let's be honest with sweet things that's not the easiest to come by. Luckily the Food Network Canada had posted a tasty looking recipe for Peppermint Crunch Bark that is completely wheat-free and something I could whip up this morning! It's also a part of their Monthly Cooking Club Challenge thus giving me the perfect excuse to start participating. Recipe below, my comments are in red.

Peppermint Crunch Bark
from Food Network Canada

17 oz white chocolate (Valrohna), finely chopped (I used Green & Black's Organic White Chocolate)
30 candy canes, coarsely crushed (about 6 ounces) (I used 20 candy canes)
7 oz bittersweet chocolate (Valrohna), chopped (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
6 tbsp whipping cream
3/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional) (I omitted this)

1. Turn large baking sheet bottom side up. Cover with foil.
2. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is melted and smooth (chocolate will feel warm to touch). Remove from over water. Pour 2/3 cup melted white chocolate onto rectangle on foil. Using offset spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture over white chocolate rectangle. Using offset spatula, spread chocolate in even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.
4. Re-warm remaining white chocolate in bowl set over barely simmering water to 110 degrees F. Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer; spread to cover. Immediately sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.
5. Lift foil with bark onto work surface; trim edges. Cut bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips, and each section diagonally into triangles, or simply break into large chunks! Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Chill in airtight container. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Thank god this turned out perfectly! And look at how nice it looks gift wrapped with some seasonal cellophane and big gold bow.

I highly recommend this for any last minute hostess gifts you have in the next week or so. It takes about an hour and a half to make, but only 30 minutes of active cooking time. It looks good and tastes good and is the perfect Christmas treat.

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