a little holiday cheer!
So, I have been meaning to post this for a while, but between avoiding a huge New England snow storm, packing up my entire room and moving out, and making it home safely to California and unpacking, things have been a little hectic. But a while back, I had a little potluck goodbye dinner to say goodbye to all of the girls in my sorority, since I won’t see them for at least a year. So I decided to make a holiday favorite….PEPPERMINT BARK & PEPPERMINT BARK BROWNIES!
Happy Holidays and keep reading!
It’s funny because I am not really a fan of white chocolate. Out of the three main chocolate groups (dark, milk, and white chocolate), it definitely ranks lowest on the list… but every time the holiday season comes around, I can’t help it, I just LOVE peppermint bark! It’s so festive and wintery, I could eat it by the truckload. So I have never attempted to make it on my own, and boy did I ever realize how easy it was and how few ingredients were needed. It’s basically just white chocolate and candy canes, how simple is that?! So here it goes…
This next part is the hardest step. You melt your chocolate in a double boiler, but I didn’t have one in the apartment, so I used a pot and a small glass bowl that fit into the pot, but was just big enough to not fall all the way down into the pot and I could still grab the sides to remove it. This should not take long at all (maybe like 3-4 minutes), I left mine in too long, so I didn’t get the smooth consistency I wanted, but I just ran with it. Then you combine your chunks of crushed candy canes into the chocolate mixture.
Peppermint Bark (courtesy of the grandma I wish I had, in addition to my own, Paual Deen)
-Enough candy canes so that when crushed, it will yield 1 cup (I used 1 box of 12 candy canes)
-2 pounds of white chocolate
– Optional peppermint flavoring (I didn’t use any and I still thought it tasted fantastic)
1. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
3. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.). Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm.
See…how easy was that? The perfect treat to bring to any party. I thought this wasn’t quite enough for my going away holiday party though, so I stepped it up and used my bark to make peppermint bark brownies!
Blend all of your ingredients together. Then I did this a little differently, but I already had my bark made, so I broke down my bark into tiny little pieces, enough to yield 1 cup, and put it into the batter for more texture. Then you just pour the whole thing into your baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes. You still want the brownies to be a bit gooey, since this is almost like a fudge brownie.
Then ta-da! Peppermint bark and peppermint bark brownies. They were quite a hit at the party. My roommates also took the brownies and paired it with peppermint ice cream to make holiday brownie sundaes!
Peppermint Bark Brownies (adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
- 1 cup butter, plus more for greasing dish
- 4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Line the dish with a piece of parchment paper that extends up beyond the edge of the pan on the 2 wide sides of the dish and lightly grease the parchment. The paper will serve as handles when you are ready to remove the brownies from the pan. I just buttered the dish and it was fine.
2. Combine sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla and stir to blend. Stir in the peppermint bark chunks and transfer to the prepared baking pan.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center just comes out clean – it’s ok if there are a couple of small fudgy crumbs adhering to the toothpick. It’s better to undercook these slightly than overcook them – these brownies are meant to be fudgy.
4. Let the brownies cool completely on a rack, and then cut them up to serve by themselves or in a sundae!
Happy Holidays everyone and enjoy all of this delicious holiday food while you can!