Epic Peppermint Candy Bark

Epic Peppermint Candy Bark

Homemade Christmas bark with semi-sweet and white chocolate topped with a ton of chopped peppermint candy. Scattered over the top are peppermint and mint m & m’s, peppermint patties, Andes peppermint crunch thins, Andes mint thins and Junior Mints peppermint crunch. That’s a lot of peppermint. Epic.

Almost every type of peppermint candy I could find on the candy aisle is on here! Except actual candy canes or any other type of crunchy candy. In place of candy canes I used finely chopped peppermint Andes mints. With their red and white colors they give it the same pretty appearance that candy canes do without the crunch.

Before you go thinking I have something against candy canes or crunchy candy. . . I don’t. I just wasn’t feeling it this year and wanted something different.

{It could be because I made myself sick last year eating an entire family size bag of crunchy peppermint bark all by myself in a very short period of time.}

Peppermint Candy Bark

You can include any type of peppermint candy you want in your version. It’s completely up to you! You can include crushed up candy canes or lots of soft peppermint candies or a combination of both. That is the beauty of it. Versatility.

Peppermint bark. Every Christmas should have some.

It’s tradition.

Peppermint Christmas Bark

Epic Peppermint Candy Bark

Rating: 51

Prep Time: PT H40M

Epic Peppermint Candy Bark

Homemade Christmas bark with semi-sweet and white chocolate topped with a ton of chopped pepper mint candy.

Ingredients:

8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (I like Callebaut or Guitard )
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons melted vegetable shortening, divided
3 - 4 cups peppermint and/or mint candies like m & m's(leave whole), peppermint patties(cut like a pie), Andes peppermint & mint thins(chopped), Junior Mints peppermint crunch(leave whole)

Instructions:

  1. Turn an 11 x 17-inch baking sheet upside down and place a sheet of parchment paper on top. Chop up all the peppermint candy and set it near the baking sheet.
  2. Melt all the semi-sweet chocolate but 1/3 of a cup. Use a double broiler or your microwave set on 50% power. Using a microwave bowl set it for 1 minute at a time and stir in between. Once it is smooth and completely melted add the 1/3 cup chocolate you set aside and stir until completely melted and smooth - it may take a minute or two. If you find the chocolate won't melt all the way microwave for 10 more seconds and continue stirring until it is completely melted. Stir in 1 teaspoon of shortening.
  3. Pour onto the middle of the parchment and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment leaving a 1 - 2 inch border all around. Let set 5 - 10 minutes then refrigerate 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Melt all the white chocolate using the same method (don't leave any out). Once it is smooth and completely melted mix in the shortening. Pour over the chocolate and spread to cover from edge to edge, working quickly. Some of the semi-sweet chocolate might melt and mix in - that's ok.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped peppermint Andes all over the top. Sprinkle with the rest of the candy, working quickly. Once it is completely covered in candy gently press it into the chocolate using your hands. Let it set 10 minutes then refrigerate 10 minutes. Place it in a cool, dry place for 1 hour or overnight to set completely.
  6. Break it up into irregular sized pieces using your hands or with the help of a knife. Store tightly covered with parchment paper inbetween the pieces in a cool, dry place up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/epic-peppermint-candy-bark/

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry and Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles. My entry in the “Blueberries Meet Their Match” blogger recipe contest being held by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

The challenge was to use blueberries with coconut, balsamic vinegar, rosemary or bananas. Being I had six bags of shredded coconut (stocking up for Christmas baking) on hand it was an easy choice.

How I came up with this combination of flavors and the idea to make them into truffles is a complete and utter mystery. Sometimes the ideas come to me out of the blue, exactly like a lightning bolt from the sky. Sometimes they’re bad ideas and I dismiss them immediately, other times I take notes. This was an “other” time.

Truffles weren’t my first choice. I confess. There may have been a batch of blueberry bars using these very same flavors that didn’t make the cut. Everyone loved them but I just didn’t think they were good enough. . .

The thing I love most about these is how all the many flavors come together to make one delicious bite but at the same time there will be a solitary standout. You may taste the zinginess of the ginger in one bite while the next one is all about the macadamia nuts. One thing I do know is the subtle hint of blueberry permeates them through and through and the toasted coconut is a stand out.

Wish me luck.

Blueberry Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Yield: about 34 truffles

 White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut (I like Woodstock Farms )
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
a pinch or two of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
16 ounces white chocolate from a block or bars, chopped (I like *Callebaut )
2 tablespoons heavy cream, half & half or whole milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus a little more if needed, to roll the truffles in

Instructions:

  1. In a medium skillet set over medium heat toast the coconut until golden, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat cook the blueberries with the brown sugar and a pinch or two of salt until they release their juices and start to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Use a hand blender to puree them right in the pan or add them to a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, put the macadamia nuts in a ziploc bag, place them on a cutting board and cover them with a kitchen towel. Pound them into fine crumbs using a meat mallet or small frying pan. Alternately you can use your food processor but I found this works better for such a small amount.
  4. Before you start the next step be sure you have everything lined up and ready to mix in because once you melt the chocolate you have to move quickly before it sets up.
  5. Pour the blueberries back in the pan over medium heat, once it starts to boil stir in the cornstarch. Continue cooking about 3 more minutes, stirring often until the blueberries thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the ground ginger and crystallized ginger. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, set aside 1/3 cup of the chocolate and melt the rest with the milk over a double boiler or in a large microwave safe bowl using the chocolate setting. If microwaving check every 20 seconds - white chocolate can easily scorch - and stir it. Once it's melted stir in the 1/3 cup of chocolate you set aside along with the coconut oil until it's smooth and creamy.
  7. Immediately mix in the blueberry mixture - the chocolate may start to thicken fast - add the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. Combine well using a metal spoon to work it into the chocolate - it should be very thick at this point but still pretty soft.
  8. Once everything is combined allow to cool off for 10 minutes on the counter then refrigerate 15 minutes - no longer or it will harden too much.
  9. Scoop up slightly rounded tablespoons and pat into a rough-shaped ball (about 1-inch in size), using your fingers to pack it together and shape it. Set on a wire rack and repeat until all the mixture is used.
  10. Roll them in confectioners' sugar. Store tightly covered up to one week - these do not do well in the refrigerator because they harden up. For longer storage you can freeze them. If they do get too hard to eat you can microwave them for 5 seconds before eating.

Notes:

*I use Callebaut White Chocolate Blocks. Look for it by the deli or near the artisan cheese section.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/blueberry-and-toasted-coconut-truffles/

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