When I made that peppermint bark that has been spreading through the domestic goddess blogosphere like some kind of virulent (but minty fresh) disease last Christmas, M declared it "the best candy in the whole world" and insisted that's what he wanted in lieu of a cake for his next birthday. Neither of us forgot this declaration, but by Friday morning, before we left on our camping trip, when I finally had time to assemble the ingredients, I could not find the recipe in the kitchen and did not want to blog-hop through the internets in search of the original recipe, so I winged it (wung it?), making a few modifications to both reduce the arduousness of the process (all that chopping of chocolate and unwrapping of candy canes!) and to add that certain je ne sais quio that I felt the original recipe lacked (namely a crunchy cookie-ish layer in the middle).
Here is my modified version of the BEST CANDY IN THE WORLD (according to M).
- Cover a small cookie sheet or medium cutting board with parchment paper (you may want to secure it in some way to keep it from ooching around when you spread your first layer...I did not do this and though it was annoying, it was not fatal).
- Pour two bags of white chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli) in a pan placed over another pan of simmering water.
- Bash up a package of peppermint candies (candy canes are scarce in May, so I used these naturally-flavored, artificially-colored Claey's Peppermints, which have the added advantage of not being individually wrapped) with a rolling pin and dump most of the crumbs into the white chocolate, reserving a few tablespoonsful.
4. Spread half the white chocolate-peppermint mixture on your parchment paper and place in fridge.
5. Pour one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips into another pan and place over simmering water.
6. Bash up one package chocolate Bunny Grahams with a rolling pin. Add to melted chocolate, along with a couple tablespoons of cream and about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon mint extract or flavoring (mine is a combo of peppermint and spearmint and when used in excess, tends toward the toothpastey end of the taste spectrum, so I go with the smaller amount. Straight-up peppermint would be tasty at the higher amount, I think). Spread over firmed layer of white chocolate and return to fridge.
7. Place remaining half of white chocolate-peppermint mixture back over simmering water to re-melt. Spread over firmed layer of chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining peppermint bits and return to fridge.
8. Break into hunks, place in an airtight container and go camping.
Yes, I did serve my children peppermint bark and hot chocolate right before bed, because who wouldn't want to sugar-up three boys before herding them into a ten-foot by ten-foot nylon enclosure and attempting to get them to stop tackling each other and put on their pajamas. In the dark.
All weekend long, whenever I bit into a hunk of bark, I had to say, "M---You're a genius!" Because it really was the perfect, yummiest camping treat ever. And, sweet kid that he is, he said, "You deserve some of the credit, Mom, for making it." What a guy. Although, I do have to say, with, ahem, a cough of false modesty, the addition of the bunny grahams was sheer genius.