Peppermint Bark

#HolidaysWithHeinens: Peppermint Bark

The recipe and photography for this post were provided courtesy of Cleveland blogger, Diane  of Goodbye Bread and Cheese. 

We’re only a few days into December and I’m already feeling the Christmas pressure! The house is decorated, the shopping is almost done, and I’m trying to get the mess cleaned up so I can just slow down and enjoy the season. I have a feeling this may be our last year for having two “believers” in the house so I’m feeling the pressure to make it the Best. Christmas. Ever. Then, I remind myself that I’m being silly because any Christmas is the best ever when you’re a kid, am I right?

We also spent some time over the weekend doing some holiday baking, starting with our very favorite treat: Peppermint Bark! There are a lot of reasons I love this recipe. First and foremost, it’s so easy, and with the exception of handling the hot bowl from the chocolate, the kids can pretty much make it on their own. It’s also so easy to customize to accommodate pretty much any and all dietary restrictions!

When I’m trying to be sensitive to allergies, Enjoy Life chocolate chips are my “go to” brand and the star of the show here, and I can always find them at Heinen’s. They’re free from gluten, dairy, nut, and soy as well as other top allergens!

You can also use whatever type of chocolate sandwich cookie you prefer. I typically use Glutino or K-Toos, which can also be found at Heinen’s. If you’re not avoiding gluten, Back to Nature is another great option with real ingredients, and of course, traditional Oreo’s will work in this recipe as well.

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dark chocolate (I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mega Chunks)
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil or 2-3 drops peppermint extract
  • 8-10 mini candy canes, crushed
  • 4-5 gluten/dairy free chocolate sandwich cookies

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a glass bowl placed over a medium pot of simmering water.
  2. Stir until melted and whisk in one drop of peppermint oil.
  3. While the chocolate is melting have your kiddos crush up the cookies and candy canes in small plastic bags with a meat mallet. TIP: Place a few cookies and candy canes in separate bags so each child has their own to pound, which will help to avoid fighting over it!
  4. Spread melted chocolate in an even layer over a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and cookies and gently push cookie pieces into the chocolate.
  6. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden.
  7. Once chocolate is hard, break it apart with a knife into pieces and enjoy!

A Great Gift

I like to wrap a few pieces in cellophane and tie it with a festive ribbon to give to others as hostess gifts/teacher gifts/office gifts/etc. I find that a little peppermint flavor goes a long way and I think people enjoy receiving a little treat without being given dozens of cookies. My son also takes a lot of pride in giving his teacher and bus driver something he actually made.

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