World’s Easiest Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Ok, I haven’t tried all the peppermint bark recipes in the world, but I can’t imagine one being easier than this. I have been asked for the recipe so many times and every time I respond with, “well, it’s not even really a recipe.” We have a tradition of making sweet treats for my in-laws every year for Christmas. This tradition started years ago before they were my in-laws and long before I knew how to cook or bake anything. So, the treats all relied on melting chocolate and dipping things in it or making things out of it. This peppermint bark is a great crowd pleaser if you need stocking stuffers, gifts for neighbors, or you’re throwing or going to a holiday party this year.

You’ll Need:

1 package of peppermint candy canes

24 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips

24 ounce bag of white chocolate chips

No really, that’s it

How To:

First, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Then, put 5 candy canes into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until broken into small pieces. This is a great way to work out some of the tension that always pops up during the holidays.

Then, melt the semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler being very careful not to get any water into the chocolate. You can make your own double boiler by boiling about an inch of water in a sauce pan and placing a glass or metal boil over it so the steam from the water heats the bowl. Low heat tends to be best and it’s important not to walk away for too long since chocolate can burn quickly. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. Once melted, just pour the chocolate into the cookie sheet and smooth it out. Let that sit until mostly hardened (about 45 minutes but this can be sped up by popping it in the fridge). Then, just repeat the melting process with white chocolate and stir in about ¼ cup of your peppermint once melted. Pour that over the semisweet chocolate and gently smooth and swirl it on top. Lastly, just top with the rest of your peppermint and let harden completely. Once hardened, break up your peppermint bark into any size pieces you like and enjoy!

Optional:

This is another easy recipe to dress up or down depending on how difficult or fancy you want to make it. It’s fairly simple to pour the layers of chocolate into candy molds or cookie cutters if you want to make some impressive shapes. You can also throw additional toppings on with the peppermint. We like using crystal sugar sprinkles to make it a little sparkly and little snow flake sprinkles are always a fun touch for holiday treats!

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Holiday Party or Game Night Idea: Popcorn Bar!

Once upon a time, two foodies were planning a wedding and thought it would be great to let their guests play with food and flavors at the reception. They spent months planning a beautiful popcorn bar with lots of toppings and lovely matching serving pieces. Then once all of the toppings were elegantly displayed and ready to go, the bride realized she forgot to bring the popcorn to the wedding…

Whoops!

Ah well, the popcorn bar was a huge hit when we saved everything and used it at our going away party before we moved. I think this would also work really well as a snack set up for a holiday or game watching party. It can easily be dressed up or dressed down to suit your occasion. For the wedding, the plan was to use multicolored vases to hold the cones and coordinated dishes for all of the toppings. It was easily “dressed down” for our picnic going away party by serving the popcorn in a beverage tub and the toppings in coordinated plastic dishes. Rather than having a bunch of bowls to keep track of and wash, we rolled multicolored scrapbook paper into cones and sealed with a sticker. For the holidays, you can use holiday scrapbook paper and for game night, printing the teams’ logos on regular printer paper for the cones would be nice touch.

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Then, just set out lots of popcorn and encourage guests to mix and match flavors. We’ve noticed that the seasonings will tend to stick to the popcorn better if you give the popcorn a splash of butter spray first. Here’s a list of suggestions for toppings that we used at our wedding, er, going away party: 

Chocolate chips

White chocolate chips

Butterscotch chips

Cinnamon sugar

Garlic salt

Sea salt

South African seasoning blend

Italian seasoning blend

Really anything you can throw on to popcorn will work. I’ve always loved the look of holiday M&Ms and if you have fresh herbs or chives around, those would work, too. The whole idea is to play with flavors and get creative!