One Fabulous Food of Winter

For several years now, we have been making peppermint bark for our friends and family for the Christmas holidays.  We send it to family far away – even my cousin when he was stationed in Iraq – as reminder of the love we have for them.  We give it to friends in appreciation of their friendship, camaraderie, and the laughs we share.  We also keep a supply on hand to take as hostess gifts for all those holiday parties.

Peppermint Bark - a holiday favorite from The William Miller House Bed and Breakfast

We have been getting rave reviews and comments on our version of peppermint bark and thought we would share our recipe as our gift to our blog and Facebook followers.

Tools you will need:
4 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper (ours are 14 inches by 16 inches)
double boiler or bain marie (we use a stainless steel bowl over water in a saucepan – copper, of course, from E. Dehillerin’s in Paris)
chocolate fork or a knife to break up the chocolate
offset cake spreader/angled spatula
kitchen scale

Ingredients
2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram of dark chocolate (buy the best you can afford, we use Callebaut from Belgium which we get in 5 kilogram/11 pound blocks)
2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram of white chocolate – again we use Callebaut
Candy Canes or Starburst Mints, unwrapped and crushed for topping

Spread the white chocolate in a thin layer over the dark chocolate

To make the bark:

  1. With chocolate fork or knife break 2.2 pounds of dark chocolate into pieces, the smaller the pieces the easier it melts
  2. Boil the water in the bottom of the double-boiler and then reduce the heat to medium
  3. Place all dark chocolate pieces in the top of the double boiler, place it over the water in the bottom of the double boiler and melt until smooth
  4. Spread one fourth of the melted dark chocolate thinly over each parchment lined cookie sheet
  5. Place cookie sheets in refrigerator until dark chocolate is set and firm, about 20  minutes or more
  6. With chocolate fork or knife, break 2.2 pounds of white chocolate into pieces
  7. Again, boil the water in the bottom of the double-boiler and then reduce the heat to medium
  8. Place all white chocolate pieces in the top of the double boiler (make sure it has been cleaned), place it over the water in the bottom of the double boiler and melt until smooth
  9. Remove each cookie sheet from the refrigerator, and spread one fourth of melted white chocolate in a thin layer over the firm dark chocolate

    Sprinkle crushed peppermint starburst mints or candy canes over the soft white chocolate

  10. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermint on the white chocolate layer and lightly press into soft white chocolate
  11. Place cookie sheet back in refrigerator until the bark is set and firm about 20 minutes.
  12. Once set and firm, break the chocolate into pieces, place in an airtight container to store. We keep ours in the garage, since chocolate should not ever be refrigerated.

To box as a gift, use a box about 7 inches by 4 inches by 3 1/2 inches tall.  It will hold about 1 pound of bark.  Line the box with food-safe cellophane cut to fit.  Tie a ribbon with a bow around the box for presentation.  We often cut up last year’s Christmas cards and use them as gift tags – a little way to be “green”!

To mail as a gift, we found that the small “If It Fits, It Ships” Flat Rate box from the US Postal Service holds almost a pound of bark.  We put the bark in a quart-size plastic zip bag, put the bag in the box, attach a label and off it goes – handled by USPS as priority mail.  The presentation is not as nice, but the box is more durable than a candy box!

Best of all, ENJOY!

After the peppermint bark has set, break it into pieces

Completed peppermint bark can be stored in an airtight container

Package the peppermint bark in one pound boxes as gifts for friends and family

A box, a kitchen scale, food-safe cellophane, and ribbon is all you need to package peppermint bark

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2 Responses to “One Fabulous Food of Winter”

  1. Celeste O. says:

    Thanks for the peppermint bark. Although I can’t say that I got very much of it…since Mark ate it all on me!!! What I did have was delicious! The perfect amount of peppermint and sweetness. No surprise there though. Everything that we eat at the William Miller House is PERFECT!

  2. Kitty Winkler says:

    This is the greatest culinary treat of the season. The fine Belgian chocolate and blend of the 2 kinds of chocolate make it uniquely wonderful. Forgive me if I don’t use the recipe but instead sit back and wait for delivery from my dear friends Pat and Mike! Like everything from their kitchen, this is an emphatic “10” on a 1 to 10 scale.

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