Lessons in Making Peppermint Bark

Looking and Tasting Good

So I have currently made three batches of peppermint bark this week. Each batch has been a adventure of its own, here are a few of the things I have learned from the process.

1. The quality of chocolate does make a difference. (as much as I prefer Nestle in cookies, 60% cocoa Ghirardelli is superior for melting)
2. A double boiler works MUCH better then the microwave. (even if it is a makeshift one from two pots)

My double boiler

3. Adding anything to your perfectly melted chocolate will alter its consistency. (ie. water from a too full double boiler and the peppermint extract the recipe calls for will both make the chocolate a bit chunky/thicker then it was)
4. Stir constantly and be patient, the chocolate will burn otherwise. (and you microwave users be extra cautious about under-stirring)
5. Peppermint and Mint extract are different. (do not let the sales associate at the grocery store tell you otherwise, just try a different store)
6. Be careful when crushing your candy canes or peppermint. (of you may end up with a broken ziploc and peppermint pieces all over your kitchen like me)
7. White chocolate does not melt as well as other chocolates, and the peppermint extract should not be added to the whit chocolate. (peppermint makes white chocolate a chunky mess)

Marble Effect: 2nd Batch

8.Spread the white chocolate with care. (it easily melts the chocolate underneath and you may get a more marbled looking bark if not done very carefully)
9. Press the peppermint into the chocolate, and use lots of peppermint. (the back of a spoon works well and a lot of the peppermint falls off when you break the bark.
10. Even if it does not look as you may have hoped, once it is broken it will taste just the same…DELICIOUS!!!

I used this recipe and altered it a little. I used about a half bag of dark chocolate and half a bag of white chocolate chips, and I highly recommend adding the peppermint extract only to the dark chocolate (see #7). Although this took several tried before I was satisfied with the outcome it was a learning experience and fun to make. I would now say that I am on my way to becoming a professional chocolate melter.


Quack Quack

Today I finally got to make my nieces’ christmas presents. I while ago I ran across this tutorial and thought these towels would be the perfect addition to their duck themed bathroom. I also added their initials so there wouldn’t be any fighting over who’s is who’s.

Rub a dub dub a duck in the tub

Crafting the Night Away

Saturday I decided to try making these tea towels, and I am quite pleased with how they have turned out. I think they will make a great gift for really anyone with a kitchen.

I also got creative with scrabble tiles after seeing these coasters. However I decided that any true scrabble player would much appreciate if the words were placed as if you were really playing a scrabble game. So here’s what I made for my scrabble fanatic sister, and I thought I might as well spiff up a picture frame while I was at it.

At this point I was on such a roll (that and I had way to much time on my hands since my work had to close due to a water main break) I also decided to put some googly eyes all over a plane wood frame. I figured it was just the thing my little cousin would get a good laugh out of.

Googly Eyes

That was all I managed to do today since I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to make links like I wanted here. But I have mastered it now and think I will tackle my next big craft tomorrow…hooded bath towels. 🙂
A little something like this.

Peppermint: The Key Ingredient

My roomate and I decided to kick start our winter break with some baking…so long as it involved some peppermint. Peppermint bark, peppermint gluten free sugar cookies, chocolate chip peppermint cookies and peppermint rice krispies.

The peppermint bark was delicious but I will have to make it again for the regular chocolate to the white chocolate ratio was  bit off. We used this recipe.

For the peppermint gluten free sugar cookies, we used a basic sugar cookie recipe, substituting for gluten free flour and adding crushed candy canes. And for the chocolate chip peppermint cookies we just added crushed peppermint to a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Now…the peppermint rice krispies were my favorite. A few weeks ago we bought peppermint marshmallows for our hot cocoa, then decided they would be the perfect substitution for regular marshmallows in rice krispie treats, and well, we were right. (Although you will need a few more then 40 peppermint marshmallows)

The Final Products

Hello world!

I have spent the last few months scoping out different blog sites looking for fun crafts. After several hours of procrastination at it’s finest I had developed a LONG list of crafts that I wanted to make as christmas gifts. Well now it is winter break and I have tons of time to work on all my crafts. So I decided I should probably start my own blog so that I could track all the sure to be amazing, or at least unique crafts I plan on making this winter break.