I couldn’t be more last-minute with this being it’s Christmas week and now, only now, am I sharing this chocolate peppermint bark (!). Sigh. I know, I know… snail mail pace … but hey, the good news is this super fast & easy for your last-minute homemade gift giving. Yesss.
Have you had those moments where you were like “Ugh, I wish I can eat that & why don’t they make it gluten and dairy free?” Those days of wishing the beautifully packaged red and white tins from the gourmet food shop didn’t contain gluten, dairy, and/or soy are over baby – have your chocolate peppermint bark and eat it too!
These days cacao butter can be found in most health food or baking supply stores as well as the coconut milk powder – the stuff that makes this white chocolate creamy and dreamy – leaving no excuse to treat others and yourself. Not a chocolate peppermint bark fan (whaaaat??) …
Then check out this dark chocolate truffle recipe, a quick and easy homemade gift idea that’s also gluten free, dairy free, egg and soy free, and nut free to cover all those allergen bases when gifting.
So pardon my slow manners in sharing this post with you but there’s still time for more sugar madness, isn’t there? I hope so because these will make a wonderful little last-minute gift or keep for yourself.
We can cut the sugar out in January… or never.
- Makes one 8 x 8 inch square pan, for thicker chocolate peppermint bark or use a 9 X 12 inch pan for thinner bark
- Dark Chocolate Layer:
- 1⅓ bags (12 oz) dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life) or Valrhona Guanaja 70% dark chocolate, if soy tolerant
- ¼ teaspoon coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- White Chocolate Layer:
- 4 ounces cacao butter (organic, food grade. I use Navitas brand sold on Amazon or Whole Foods)
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
- 1½ teaspoon “milk” powder (I use Native Forest dairy free, vegan coconut milk powder, sold at Whole Foods)
- 1½ teaspoons peppermint extract
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy pieces (Kencraft brand is soy free, India Tree brand contains soy lecithin)
- PREP TIME INCLUDES CHILLING TIME.
- Cut two pieces of parchment paper (slightly less than the width of the pan) into an 8-inch (or 9X12-inch) square pan lengthwise and crosswise without it scrunching up in the corners. Set aside.
- Before beginning the dark chocolate layer, have powdered sugar sifted and cacao melted before since cooling the dark chocolate takes less than 10 minutes.
- For the dark chocolate: heat a small saucepan with about two inches full of water, when simmering place a medium heatproof bowl over the saucepan (making sure the simmering water doesn’t touch the bowl - glass bowls are perfect for this) to use as double boiler, or microwave in 30-second increments, then add dark chocolate and coconut oil, stir occasionally then remove from heat when almost melted. Add peppermint extract. Let it cool for a minute or two then transfer into the prepared pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 7-9 minutes, until it has slightly firmed up but not solid, otherwise, the dark chocolate and white chocolate layers will separate. The *chilled* chocolate should appear a little wet.
- Meanwhile, for the white chocolate: add cacao butter to a small bowl and melt in a toaster oven for 4 minutes, or microwave in 30-second increments until melted. Let it cool 2-3 minutes then add sifted powdered sugar and coconut milk powder; whisk vigorously to remove any lumps before peppermint extract; whisk again to combine. Quickly pour white chocolate across dark chocolate then quickly shimmy the pan to evenly distribute, if needed. I say quickly here because white chocolate seizes up very quickly when it hits a cold surface. Chill for exactly 5 minutes in the refrigerator then take out and sprinkle peppermint candy pieces evenly across the bark. Put it back in the refrigerator and continue to chill for about an hour before breaking into pieces.
- Will remain fresh stored in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Note: You will notice my peppermint candy pieces on the bark are not bright red,more of a muted red, because I use dye-free (beet colored) candy to keep all this sugar and chocolate gift giving as healthy as I possibly can. If you prefer a bright red color use red food coloring peppermint candy pieces instead.
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