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Learning how to make peppermint bark at home is easier than you think. The secret to getting it just like the store-bought kind is in the crunch!
Prepare one large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper to fit along the inside of the short edges of the baking sheet with 2 extra inches overlapping each of the long edges. Press parchment to fit snugly against the bottom of the baking sheet, then pin the long edges over the sides to hold the parchment into place.
Crush the candy canes by putting them in a resealable sandwich bag and hitting them with a rolling pin or a hammer. Make sure the pieces are small enough, but not too small, about 1/4 inch or smaller. You will notice a fine whitish powder result when you smash the candy, this is good! Once the candy is broken up, pour the contents of the bag into a flour sifter. Separate the chunks from the powder by sifting the contents over a medium bowl until only the medium and large chunks remain in the sifter, then pour them into a second bowl. Keep both the chunks and the powder, they will both get used later.
Melt about a quarter of the dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Once melted, add a little more of the dark chocolate and stir until the chunks disappear. Keep adding more chocolate, little by little, until all of the chocolate is melted. This will take a little while; don’t rush it by turning up the heat or adding too much chocolate at a time. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the top of the double boiler containing chocolate and stir in 4 drops peppermint essential or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Pour the dark chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula until it is about 1/8 inch thick. To remove any air bubbles, tap the baking sheet vigorously against the countertop several times, keeping the sheet flat. This is necessary because it will also even out the chocolate into a smooth, consistent sheet. Allow the chocolate to cool and become solid, but not completely hard. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. You will know it is ready when it is tacky, but not coming away on your finger when you touch it.
Melt the white chocolate using the same method you used to melt the dark chocolate. Take out the top of the double boiler, then add 4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract) and stir throughout the chocolate. Slowly add the powder from the peppermint candies to the white chocolate and stir until mixed through. Don’t feel like you have to add all of the powder, you just want to add enough to make the chocolate crunchy, but not so much that the chocolate is no longer smooth. (Stop if you see the chocolate become clumpy as you stir.)
Spoon the white chocolate onto the dark chocolate little by little, but quickly. Don’t pour it all at once! You want to carefully and evenly spread the white chocolate over the dark chocolate without remelting the dark chocolate. Remember; spoon, then spread. Keep repeating until all of the dark chocolate is covered by the white. Again, remove the air bubbles by tapping the baking sheet against the counter until the chocolate is smooth.
Let the chocolate cool for 5–10 minutes, then sprinkle the chunks of peppermint candy over the bark, distributing evenly. Using the bottom of a glass or other flat container, gently press the candy into the chocolate to set it into place. Don’t press too hard!
Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature until firmly set and hard, up to 2 hours. Pop the chocolate out of the baking sheet, remove the parchment paper, and break the bark into bite-sized chunks. Serve this homemade peppermint bark on a large holiday-themed platter, fill decorative cookie tins with it and give as gifts, or just keep the bark on hand for you and yours.
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