You can buy white and milk chocolate in big blocks at most supermarkets -- both of these are a little more than a pound
each, but will work out just fine. (Note: chocolate chips may not produce the same result).
Unwrap 9 of your peppermint sticks and put them in a large zip lock bag. Beat them with a big spoon, hammer or something
heavy until they're broken into bits. Put them in a bowl and set aside.
The best way I found to melt the chocolate was to grate it in my Cuisinart and melt it on low temperature in the microwave
for about two and a half minutes. At that point, all it needed was stirred to be creamy and spreadable. NOTE:
Your microwave may cook at a higher temp. than mine so be sure you WATCH THIS CLOSELY, open the door and stir your chocolate
|You can "make your own" double boiler if you'd rather not microwave the chocolate.
If you would prefer not to microwave the chocolate, you can use a double boiler. If you don't have
one, look around in your kitchen. If you have a medium sized sauce pan and a heat-proof glass bowl that will fit on
top of it, you DO have a double boiler and it will work just fine.
One thing to be very aware of is that melting chocolate CANNOT have ANY contact with the water,
whatsoever! So be very sure that no water splashes into the bowl of chocolate and I would even go a step farther and
have an absorbent dish towel handy and wipe all traces of moisture off the bottom and sides of the bowl before you attempt
to pour out the chocolate. Also don't cook it over water at a "rolling boil", just let the water simmer -- you don't
want the water to boil up and splash. Chocolate that gets moisture in it will "seize" and be very unappealing.
It will become grainy, firm up and be unusable. Therefore, it is important that everything you use is totally dry, that
you don't overheat the chocolate. One warning I read even said not to use wooden spoons because they may hold a little
moisture which could cause your chocolate to seize.
|If you use the "double-boiler" method, be sure to keep stirring.
Line a 15" x 9" jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet with waxed paper and then butter the waxed paper. Alternatively
you may use Non-Stick Parchment paper, UNGREASED to line your pan. Pour your melted milk chocolate on the waxed paper
and spread it out more or less evenly. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow it to set and harden.
Grate white chocolate, place in a microwavable bowl and melt. (Note: white chocolate scorches easily so watch
it closely and stir from time to time, removing as soon as it is melted!)
Pour melted white chocolate onto the cooled milk chocolate and spread evenly. It doesn't have to be 100% level or even --
close is good enough!
Sprinkle the crushed peppermint stick pieces all over the white chocolate while it's still warm and spreadable. Place in
refrigerator for 15-20 minutes until the bark is firm and cooled.
Invert the cooled bark and peel the waxed paper off. Break into pieces. You'll lose some of your peppermint pieces, but
that won't hurt a thing -- you can even dump the extra peppermint crumbs in with the bark to add flavor.
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