Homemade Layered Peppermint Bark

yield: Makes 36 pieces

don't be tempted to use cheap white chocolate (like Nestle's).  Your results will not be nearly as good as if you use a good quality white chocolate

ingredients

  • 16 ounces good-quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli), broken into pieces
  • 30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed, about 6 oz. (I used already crushed Peppermint Snow from Williams Sonoma)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet)
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract

instructions

Turn large baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil. Mark 12 x 9-inch rectangle on foil. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is just melted and smooth. Do not overheat.  I take the chocolate off the heat before it is fully smooth and then use a whisk and stir it until it is completely smooth.) Remove from over water. Pour ⅔ cup melted white chocolate onto rectangle on foil. Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate rectangle. Using icing spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate in even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.  Make sure your chocolate at this point is thoroughly chilled because, if it is not, the next step will not work right and you will end up with a chocolate streaked white chocolate layer on top!

Rewarm remaining white chocolate in bowl set over barely simmering water. Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer; spread to cover. Immediately sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

Lift foil with bark onto work surface; trim edges. Cut bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slide bark off foil and onto work surface. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections and each section diagonally into 2 triangles. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Chill in airtight container.) Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Be sure to store this in the refrigerator - storing at room temperature does not work for this candy. It gets too soft and the pieces will stick together.

slightly adapted from Bon Appetit/Epicurious

 The Italian Dish

theitaliandishblog.com