How to Make Perfect Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Chocolate peppermint bark is one of my favorite Holiday treats. Hands down! It is readily available for purchase but is so easy to make – and so much fun for the kids to participate – that it is worth the effort! It is also a great inexpensive gift for you to give out this season!

Here’s a few tips for a successful final product:

1. When melting the chocolate you can either do it in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water. I prefer the latter as it helps me control the process without running the risk of burning the chocolate. If you pick this method make sure the bowl overlaps the edges of the pot so that it is not floating and you can effectively stir the chocolate as it melts. You do not need to stand there and stir constantly but you will need to stir often.

If you decide to use the microwave, you need to be VERY careful. Chocolate will burn very easily and fast in the microwave. So, place the chocolate in a microwave proof bowl and zap it for 15 seconds at a time. Remove it from the microwave, stir it and zap it again for another 10 to 15 seconds. Stop when the chocolate is 90% melted and briskly whisk it so that the remaining solid chocolate melts with the hot chocolate around it.

2. You need to use a rimmed cooking sheet to make this candy. Make sure you butter it well and place a piece of parchment paper on top of the butter. This will ensure easy removal once the candy has hardened and is ready to be broken apart.

3. You need to spread the chocolate into a thin, even layer. Make sure you spread it evenly as you do not want paper thin pieces next to globs of chocolate!

4. Finally, when you are getting ready to package your candy, layer it between pieces of wax paper. Refrigerate it until you are ready to pack it. If you are giving it out as a gift buy yourself some pretty cans at Big Lots or Michael’s, for example. Finish up your product with a nice ribbon and bow. I am pretty sure you will impress anyone you present this with!

So here is what you need to make this delicious treat:

1 pound bittersweet chocolate
6 peppermint patties
2 cups hard peppermint candies

o Butter a rimmed cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.
o Melt chocolate and patties in a bowl over simmering water, mixing often.
o Crush candies in food processor.
o Spread melted chocolate on baking sheet. Spread it evenly and into a thin layer.
o Evenly distribute the crushed candy on top of the chocolate. Press down softly with the back of a spoon.
o Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into pieces.
o Pack in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.

Make a Peppermint Candy Wreath Ornament

It wasn’t until I started working at the preschool that I heard about these candy ornaments, a co-worker had told me how to make them. I liked the idea so I tried to make some at home just to see how they would turn out and I loved it. You can either turn your candy wreathes into ornaments for your Christmas tree or put them in stockings as stocking for a tasty suffers treat on Christmas morning. Just make sure not to put any glue on them if you plan on eating them. Follow these few easy steps to make your own peppermint candy wreath ornament.

Start by preheating the oven at 250 degrees, do this before you start so the oven will be warm when you are ready to use it. I like to use both the red and green peppermint candies to add more color and design to my wreath ornament. First open about four of each color candies out of their individual wrappers so you will have four red and four green. The number will depend on the size pie pan you are using so you may need a couple more or less. I use the mini pie pans which makes the perfect size ornament. Take the mini sized tin pie pan and place it on a cookie sheet then put the candies in the pie pan about a half inch from the edge of the pie pan. Alternate the green and red candies in the pie pan to create a pattern.

Now place them in the oven for about three to five minutes or until the candies have melted together creating a ring shape. Once melted together pull out of the oven and allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes. When the wreath has cooled if you plan to eat it use icing to make a bow at the top and it’s ready to eat. For ornament use spray it with a clear cote hi-shine glaze on both sides then let dry. This will create a seal around your candy wreath. Take some ribbon and a bow and a loop then glue the bow on the top center of the wreath and the loop on the back of the top center of the wreath ornament. Now your ornament candy wreath is ready to be hung on your Christmas tree.

For a bigger wreath you can just use a full sized pie pan. Also if you want a quicker project just leave the wrappers on the candies and glue them together instead of melting them.

What you Need:
Mini pie pan
Cookie sheet
2 bags of peppermint candies one green and one red
Clear cote hi-shine glaze

Eight Ideas for Holiday Candy Cane Decorations

When the candy canes come out, it’s a sure sign that the holidays are near. Unlike nowadays, there used to be just one type of Christmas candy. These candies, colored red and white striped and peppermint flavored, are always a wonderful holiday treat.

More so than being delicious, candy canes were also hung on the Christmas tree and eaten when the job of opening presents was done. Now this Christmas treat has become decorations for many other places, and are much more than just tasty snacks. Listed below are eight of the best ways we have seen to decorate with candy canes.

1) Design a wreath made of candy. If you’re looking for a change from the usual green boughs and red ribbons, make a peppermint candy wreath for your front door of your home or office. Small peppermint canes are the best choice for this as they can be bunched and hooked together to form a circle. Our favorite peppermint treats are always a nice addition to a traditional wreath made with almost any material.

2) Use them as a centerpiece! The vivid colors of candy canes make them fine decorations for any table or desk. A nice jar with a few treats sticking out would make a fine holiday centerpiece. You’ll have a few disappear, so have some spares around.

3) Add decorations to the candy canes – they are the basis for many Christmas craft projects; turn them into reindeer with a pipe cleaner, some felt, some glue, and googly eyes and they’ll fit in just about anywhere!

4) Create a holiday tree garland. Candy canes can go onto your tree in many ways, not just hanging from the branches. Several candy sticks and some ribbon will make a wonderful garland for your Christmas tree.

5) Candy canes are a great for “Santa’s sleigh” made of gingerbread. They have the right shape to make great runners for St. Nick’s sleigh

6) They can also make good aisle markers. Candy canes are available in different flavors and in various sizes. Purchase two in the largest size available, and they can become posts for an entranceway, a path, or a hallway.

7) Candy canes can be great parts of a gingerbread village. They have many uses when they are included in a gingerbread village. They are also ideal for making lamp posts, fences, trees, or even road borders.

8) Make a “Welcome Bowl”. At the office, remember to have the welcoming bowl of small Christmas treats. Everyone loves the peppermint taste, and the sweets bowl helps remind people of the giving spirit of the season.

There are so many different ways to use candy canes throughout the season. This list barely covers the possibilities! Sweet delicacies like these are also a major part of any decorating plans for the holidays.