1. Food

Crunchy Peppermint Bark

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Crunchy Peppermint Bark photo
(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you like traditional peppermint bark, you'll love this crunchy variation! It has all of the usual peppermint bark elements--dark chocolate, white chocolate, and lots of crushed candy canes--plus a layer of crispy rice cereal, to add an extra "pop" to your bark.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 8 peppermint candy canes
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips

Preparation:

1. Cover a sheet tray with foil or parchment paper. If you are using real chopped chocolate, begin by tempering the white and semi-sweet chocolates separately, according to these directions. Tempering the chocolate will give it a good shine and snap, and will help it stay firm at room temperature. Chocolate chips cannot be tempered, so if you are using chips, begin by simply melted the semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips separately.

2. Stir the crispy rice cereal into the semi-sweet chocolate. Once it's well-distributed, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared sheet tray and smooth it into a thin, even layer a little less than 1/4-inch thick. It does not have to reach the edges of the sheet tray. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate.

3. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5-10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces but are not yet dust. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are the size you desire.

4. Add approximately half of the crushed candy canes to the melted white chocolate, and stir until they're well-distributed. Spread the white chocolate over the dark chocolate and smooth it into an even layer.

5. While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the entire surface evenly. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick. Place the tray back in the refrigerator to firm up for 20 minutes.

6. Once the peppermint bark bark is completely set, break into small, uneven pieces by hand. Tempered Crunchy Peppermint Bark can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for several weeks. If you have used untempered chocolate or chocolate chips, it is best to store it in the refrigerator unless your room temperature is quite cool.

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