by Lisa


The highly successful chocolate-tempering experiment gave me courage, and fueled by my family’s expensive addiction to peppermint bark, I scrapped the plans for the chocolate-peppermint cookies and decided to make my own peppermint bark.

It’s a simple, if time consuming process, only because I made so darn much (as in, close to 3 lbs, but we had plenty to give away and plenty left for us), and it took a really, really long time to temper the chocolate.

But it’s basically delicious, stable at room temperature, and a deeply satisfying mix of chocolatey, minty goodness.

I tempered the bittersweet chocolate (heat to 105/take off heat, add more chopped chocolate/cool to 88-90), and let it harden overnight.  You can spread it thinner than you think you need to.  Then  I tempered the white chocolate (heat to 105/add chopped white chocolate/cool to 80-82) , and sprinkled it with a whole lot of crushed candy canes. I didn’t add extra peppermint oil, because I was afraid the chocolate might seize, but I might try this in the future.  Also, my husband’s cousin’s wife mixes the finest, powdery bits of candy cane into her white chocolate, which is a smashing idea. The trick is to heat the chocolate very very slowly so it doesn’t get too hot, which will prevent proper tempering, and to stir and stir, so it doesn’t bloom and get gray streaks. It’s not easy, but it’s not terrifically difficult if you’re working with chocolate that is tempered in the first place.

Don’t be afraid.  It’s worth it. Take it from Ella, who after one bite said, “This is heavenly.” Which is exactly what you want around this time of year.