Tis the season for peppermint bark
December 17, 2013
By Maria Nelson
If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just about overwhelmed you and the thought of making one more treat or wrapping one more gift is more than you can bear, I hear you.
Every year, with the best intentions, I set out to make and bake an ambitious list of treats and goodies. Every year, I fail miserably to accomplish even a fraction of what I intend. Life, work, holiday merry making and all the other responsibilities just simply get in the way.
I’ve made peace with doing less over the years, and as my children have gotten older I’ve realized that really the most important thing is just to make a priority of enjoying the season. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way for us to do that.
For years, despite the busyness of our December schedule, we’ve always made the time to make this delicious, easy treat. The fact that Peppermint Bark is simple, easy to make and very festive pretty much ensures that it’s a recipe that will forever remain in our repertoire.
Crispy rice cereal lightens up the bark making it a bit less rich than traditional recipes, and a bit easier on the teeth as well. Minty white chocolate is pretty much the perfect sweet treat in my mind, but if white chocolate is not your thing, there is absolutely nothing that should prevent you from making this with a good semisweet or even dark chocolate. You can even layer half dark chocolate on the bottom and white on the top if you desire to combine the two flavors.
It’s perfect for gift giving to neighbors, teachers, hostesses or serving with other desserts for holiday parties. It’s ease and simplicity make it perfect for nonbakers, teenagers and just about anyone to master. So, dive in, make some with friends or family and check one more thing off your list.
Crispy Crunch Peppermint Bark
- 24 ounces white chocolate or almond bark, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 2 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 large candy cane, crushed or 1 1/2 cups crushed peppermints
Bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add chocolate to a heatproof bowl and place over the saucepan. Melt the chocolate, stirring periodically.
While chocolate melts, line a rimmed quarter sheet pan (9 1/2 inches by 13 inches) with parchment or waxed paper.
Once chocolate is melted, add the peppermint extract and stir to combine. Add the cereal and continue to stir until all of it is incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. An offset spatula works best. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the top and gently press into the chocolate.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes only. Avoid refrigerating longer as the peppermints will turn soft. Allow to firm up at room temperature. Break apart into pieces.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Maria Nelson is a blogger and food photographer living in Issaquah. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Relish Magazine, Buzz Feed, Daily Candy and other online publications. Find her at www.pinkpatisserie.blogspot.com.