So. It’s Christmas Eve. Winter break started just yesterday, and I’ve got nearly two weeks of PJ wearing and lounging around to look forward to. Christmas is, naturally, tomorrow, though now that my family and I are getting older and more agnostic it isn’t as big a deal as it used to be. We’ll have some more of my mom’s tiramisu tonight, then we’ll exchange presents tomorrow, and then my grandparents will come over for dinner and we’ll eat more rich food because why the hell not, it’s Christmas and that’s what you’re supposed to do. And then we’ll have a week to sleep it off.
I guess you could say I have a lot to be grateful for.
I just want to wish you a merry Christmas. I hope that, regardless of your circumstances, you find some way to enjoy the season. And the eggnog (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, because hell, that stuff isn’t gonna stay in stores all year so you might as well pick some up now).
Me, I’m going to enjoy the season by making as many holiday-themed baked goods as humanly possible and singing Mariah Carey (you know which one) at the top of my lungs, very enthusiastically but very badly. And eating this peppermint bark.
|It's a mess, yes, but it's a beautiful mess.|
I’ve been wanting to make homemade peppermint bark for the longest time. Why pay top dollar for the kind that comes in a shiny box when you can just mix together some dark chocolate, some white chocolate, a drop of peppermint extract, and a shit-ton of crushed candy canes and get the same effect?
Then I spotted this recipe in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook.
This is probably the most Christmas-y candy ever made. It’s got all the chocolate-y, peppermint-y wonderfulness of traditional peppermint bark, plus crumbles of homemade, richly spiced gingerbread cookie dough, all mashed together in a weirdly delicious dessert hybrid.
And it works. I was skeptical at first, but the peppermint and gingerbread flavors actually don’t clash too much. Probably because I didn’t add too much peppermint extract to the white chocolate, so the flavor isn’t that notable.
|Who can say no to that?|
The best part? It’s super easy, so you can whip up a huge batch on short notice (say, the day before a holiday) and stick some in a box for a last-minute gift. Cough, cough. (I may have done that.) No baking needed either!
My only regret is that I didn’t have any cocoa butter (to make vegan white chocolate) on hand, so I was forced to use regular white chocolate (which has a bit of dairy). If you want to make this 100% vegan, be sure to use the recipe for vegan white chocolate—it’s super easy and tastes great, and I’m sure it would work splendidly here.
Now here’s how to make that bark.
Gingerbread cookie dough peppermint bark
Adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis
14 grams • coconut oil, melted • 1 tablespoon
40 grams • light brown sugar • 3 tablespoons
33 grams • molasses • 3 tablespoons
0.5 grams • allspice • 1/8 teaspoon
0.5 grams • cinnamon • 1/8 teaspoon
1 gram • ground ginger • 1/4 teaspoon
1 gram • salt • 1/8 teaspoon
102 grams • all-purpose flour • 3/4 cup
340 grams • semisweet chocolate, finely chopped • 12 ounces
340 grams • vegan white chocolate, finely chopped • 12 ounces
0.5 grams • peppermint extract • 1/8 teaspoon
40 grams • crushed candy canes • 1/2 cup
Whisk together coconut oil, brown sugar, and molasses in a medium bowl. Add spices and flour and mix just until a dough forms. Chill until firm enough to crumble into pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt semisweet chocolate in a microwave or on the stovetop and pour onto the prepared baking sheet; spread out into an even layer. Place in the fridge to firm up while you melt the white chocolate. Stir the peppermint extract into the white chocolate. Once the regular chocolate layer is firmed up, spread the white chocolate on top. Sprinkle crumbles of gingerbread cookie dough and crushed candy canes on top. Drizzle with additional melted chocolate, if you like.
|This bark is truly an exercise in excess.|
For more peppermint-y recipes, click the links below.
Peppermint mocha mousse cake. Messy, easy, and delicious.
Mint chocolate chip macarons. A miracle of vegan baking.
Chocolate chip mint julep cake. Because I can’t resist adding chocolate chips to things.
Peppermint mocha pancakes. Christmas breakfast, anyone?