Friday, November 22, 2013

Peppermint Bark: Trying to beat Russell Stover's at their own game....

The hard thing about working in retail is that there is always soooo much candy to tempt me. Personally, Russell Stover's caramels are usually my downfall--the ones that are available seasonally. Caramel Hearts, Caramel Pumpkins, Caramel Santas, Caramel Eggs.... really, Russell Stover's makes the best caramel. (The really unfortunate thing is that my boss is aware of this, and I swear he buys extra for every holiday because he knows I'll eat it.) 

However, one of my coworkers is basically addicted to their Peppermint Bark Snowmen. When I've wanted something sweet at work lately, I've got either that or the Peppermint Bark Candy bars. 

Really, don't they look yummy? I know those are poor quality pictures (just what I found online), but trust me--they are amazing. Fairly addicting too, and I think those might be my new favorite. (I had a caramel pumpkin that got  too close to my stove this fall, and the chocolate tasted funny, so now I'm off caramel for awhile.) The only problem was that I was convinced that I could make that at home, even if not quite to that caliber.

So, I got some candy coating, peppermint extract, candy canes, and went to work.

First experiment was a flop, in my opinion. I discovered that I really don't care for peppermint extract. The other people that I shared it with (coworkers, family, etc) thought it was great, but I couldn't get past the flavor of the extract. It wasn't close enough to the Russell Stover's candy, and there's just something about the taste that bothered me.

Second experiment was much better, but I made the mistake of buying Log House candy coating vs the Meijer brand that I had bought before. The texture was... funny. I don't really know how to describe it, it was just off. (And no, in case you were wondering--I am not the only one who thought so.) I would recommend against buying that brand, unless it's the only one available. 

For the second experiment, I tried using about 1/4 dram of Lorann Peppermint Oil. (The kind you use for making hard candy.) That, combined with the candy canes, gave it a wonderful peppermint flavor. Next time I might try toning it down a little, but we'll see.

We all agreed that the second try was much, much better. However, this is like the Candy Bark I made around Halloween.... you can't really go wrong! Play with it, see what you like! Try adding different types of candy canes (have you seen the flavors of candy canes they have??? I had to search to find normal ones at Meijer!), different oil flavors (obviously making sure it's the edible kind; Lorann makes a ton), etc. Have fun with it! 

Let me know what you do! I love to get different ideas. :)

Remember, comments are love!


Peppermint Candy Bark

  • 8 ounces chocolate candy coating
  • 10 ounces vanilla candy coating
  • 1/4 dram peppermint oil
  • 3-4 candy canes, broken into small chunks

  1. Melt chocolate candy coating in a double-boiler.
  2. Meanwhile, place aluminum foil in a 8”x8” baking pan, going at least 1” up all sides. Ounce chocolate is melted, pour into pan. Refrigerate while melting vanilla.
  3. Melt vanilla candy coating in a double-boiler; add peppermint oil once melted. Remove from heat, stir in candy canes.
  4. Remove pan from fridge; carefully pour vanilla over chocolate, small sections at a time. (Chocolate will not be completely hard.)
  5. Let harden, then break into small (or large!) pieces. Enjoy!

30 minutes

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