white chocolate

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

One of my favorite holiday candies (I love everything candy cane!), this peppermint bark is ridiculously easy to make.  The double layers of white chocolate, crushed candy cane, and the soft peppermint chocolate center make these delectable treats a festive addition to the potluck table!

Having just purchased a few 10 oz. bags of Atkinson’s Crushed Peppermint Candy for Baking (I will never crush my own candy cane again!) at World Market, I needed to make up some quick holiday treats and didn’t want to make a trip to the store for supplies.  Since I had an excess of white chocolate chips and all of the other ingredients on hand, I decided to attempt Peppermint Bark.

This is a variation of the recipe listed on the back of the crushed peppermint candy bag.

Ingredients:

3 – 10 oz. bags of white chocolate chips

1 – 12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

6 T. heavy cream

1 tsp. peppermint extract

1 cup crushed candy cane

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Using a double boiler with barely simmering water, melt 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips until smooth.  Spread as evenly as possible on the foil (don’t worry each layer will be a little uneven and that’s fine).  Top with 1/2 cup of crushed candy.  Then, chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While the first layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, and peppermint extract in a double boiler also with barely simmering water.  Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.  Spread evenly over the chilled white chocolate/candy cane layer and then put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes or until set.

Melt the remaining 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips over the double boiler (again with barely simmering water) until smooth.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Spread evenly over the semisweet chocolate layer.  If the white chocolate melts the semisweet chocolate a bit and it swirls, that’s fine.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane.

Chill in the fridge until set.  Trim off the edges of the bark and cut into squares.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Serve the bark at room temperature.

 

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Sweet and Saltines – Holiday Version

Sweet and Saltines - Holiday Version

 

This is our holiday version of Sweet and Saltines.  You can use white chocolate or semisweet chocolate.  And they taste as lovely as they look!

Ingredients:

35 to 40 Saltine Crackers

2 sticks (1 cup) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 ozs. semisweet or white chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

Crushed candy cane

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 1 large or 2 small jelly roll pans with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer.

In a medium pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.  Put the jelly roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until just bubbly, watching carefully.  Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers.  When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. Then sprinkle candy cane on the top.

Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold.  They will form one big sheet.  Break up into pieces.  Store in an airtight containe