When I was at the dentist earlier this week, the hygienist asked me if I’m ready for the holidays. I immediately answered, “oh yes I am, more than ready!” She was quite surprised and said, “oh, so you’ve finished all your holidays shopping?” I paused for a few seconds and said I haven’t even started yet! I guess I’m mentally ready for the holiday and time off to hang out with my family. But the reality is that majority of people would associate the holidays with gifts and presents! I can’t blame them though, especially these days the holiday is pretty much commercialized.
It’s true that I still haven’t done my holiday shopping yet. Am I procrastinating? Maybe. Laziness is also part of it, too. Knowing that I can purchase pretty much anything online these days is another factor. Although I might have been influenced by something that I read recently. I don’t recall the exact wording but it means something like this, “I have the most because I needed the least.” That really got me into thinking twice over my priorities.
Will my kids still get gifts from me and Santa this year? Oh yes they will! But I guess the gifts will be practical or educational ones, rather than “luxury” gifts. After all, time spend together as a family is way better than anything that money can buy! It’s so true that the most precious things in life are usually free, such as love, family, friendship, health, etc. So, don’t get stressed out this holiday! Simply enjoy the time you have with your family and loved ones. But just in case that you are already stressed out, check out this Snowflakes Chocolate Peppermint Bark video at the YouTube link above and I have a tip for you to release some stress!
Back to these Snowflakes Chocolate Peppermint Barks! My Little Boy loves anything minty! I created these for him and he loved them so much. I used an adorable snowflake silicone mold for these peppermint barks (check out the link at the end of this post on where to get it). It makes these chocolate barks more festive and gorgeous. Isn’t it?
Please click here to read more on tempering chocolate, detailed in a post that I shared a while ago. This simple step will not only make your chocolate shines, it will also make your chocolate more stable at room temperature!
Simply put these peppermint barks in little treat bags and tie them up with a pretty ribbon. These peppermint barks make wonderful homemade treats for your friends and family. I always cherish homemade gifts and love sharing them as well.
Last but not least, I wish you all a blessed and Merry Christmas in advance. Stay tuned for more fun and festive treats for the holidays. And don't forget to enter the current Giveaways: $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway (Open to U.S. only, ending 12/31/2015)
Tools and ingredients used:
Snowflakes Silicone Mold (click here for more information)
Dark Chocolate (Click here for more information)
White Chocolate Chips (click here for more information)
Small White Cake Stand (see similar product here)
Small Treat Bags (Click here for more information)
Christmas Ribbons (Click here for more information)
Snowflakes Chocolate Peppermint Bark:
Makes: 6 large snowflakes chocolate
2 peppermint candy canes
8 ounces dark Chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces white chocolate chips
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint oil, divided
Place candy canes in a small ziploc bag, seal up and crush with a rolling pin. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat 1-inch of water until simmer, turn to low heat. Place 3/4 of the chopped dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place over the simmering water. Constantly stir the chocolate until almost melted. It is very important that you do not let the temperature of the chocolate to exceed 120 degrees F. Around 115 degree F would be perfect.
When all the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from heat. Stir in the remaining 1/4 (“the seed”) of the chocolate until all melted. The chocolate will start thickening as the “un-melted” chocolate will lower the overall temperature. When the chocolate has dropped to 82 degree F, place the bowl back to the saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly, and reheat the chocolate back to 88 degree F. Do not let the chocolate gets over 91 degree F or the chocolate will be out of temper and you'll have to start over again.
Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 teaspoon peppermint oil. Then evenly divide the melted dark chocolate into the cavities of your chocolate mold. Gently drop the mold on the countertop a few times (just a couple inches above the surface) to remove air bubbles. Let it set at room temperature.
Place 3/4 of the white chocolate chips in another clean heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and stir until melted (same process as the dark chocolate). Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/4 of the white chocolate chips. Stir until totally melted. Place bowl back to the simmering water until it reaches 88 degree F. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil.
Evenly divide the melted white chocolate on top of the set dark chocolate. Gently drop the mold on the countertop a few times (just a couple inches above the surface) to remove air bubbles. Evenly divide the crushed candy canes on top of the white chocolate before it sets. Let it harden at room temperature, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Gently push the back of the silicone mold to remove the chocolate barks from the mold. Enjoy!
***Tips: It’s important that all your equipment is dry. If you have water drops in the bowl or spoon, that might seize up the chocolate.