There is something diabolically good about combining dark chocolate with some peppermint flavor. And adding some white chocolate to the mix makes it simply to wicked for words, and it also makes it into a winter holiday classic called Peppermint Bark. In a nutshell, peppermint bark is a layer of melted chocolate with some crushed peppermint candies mixed into it. The chocolate cools and sets with pieces of the peppermint candy poking out of it, giving it a tree bark sort of texture and appearance.
The fancy examples of the Peppermint Bark have two chocolate layers, one dark and the other white, and since it’s the Holidays I am going for the fancy here! Finding vegan dark chocolate these days is easy – even my large supermarket chain carries couple of different options. But, finding a vegan white chocolate is a bit trickier – read impossible at least in my ecosystem. So, I stepped up to the challenge and made my own perfectly silky vegan white chocolate. I suppose that makes me an accomplished chocolatier?
Well, that is to be determined, for now all I can say is that this Peppermint Bark will put a smile on your face. Best of all, no fancy baking required. All it takes is a microwave and lots of mixing because you’ll be melting the dark chocolate, then immediately afterwards the white chocolate, which is a mix of coconut butter, pea protein powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Finally, making of the Peppermint Bark comes with a tension and stress release valve, as it requires you to take a hammer to peppermint candy or candy canes, and give them some good whacking!!!
Other than that it’s all about waiting for the Bark to set, which may take couple of hours. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded with one of the holiday season favorites that you can enjoy, or better still share with your family, friends, neighbors… Ho, ho, ho!
And if you are up to trying something slightly healthier this holiday season, my Pumpkin Truffles, Squash Pie, or Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are a better option. The Peppermint Bark is pure indulgence.
Holiday Peppermint Bark
What you’ll need:
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks, vegan
2 cups coconut oil, melted (unrefined if you like a slight hint of coconut or refined if you don’t)
2 scoops pea protein powder
1/3 cup vegan shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup smashed peppermint candy canes, divided (8 – 10 peppermint candy canes, unwrapped, placed into a ziplock bag, and smashed with a can, or another heavy implement until broken up into small chunks)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or extract
What you’ll do:
- Line a 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) pan or a baking dish with a piece of parchment paper that’s cut to fit. Set aside.
- Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Microwave melting is straightforward but it does need hand holding an frequent checking on the chocolate. Keep an eye for any sign of overheating and stop immediately if chocolate starts to separate. Melt until 80% is smooth, then add the peppermint oil and continue mixing until everything is melted and smooth. Pour into the baking dish. Leave to set for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter or 5-10 minutes in a fridge.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil – I left my jar in a pot of hot water for an hour and that did the trick – with pea protein powder, shortening, vanilla extract, sugar, and 1 cup of smashed candy canes. Mix well to combine and pour over the dark chocolate layer. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of smashed peppermint candy canes on top. They’ll sink in as the white chocolate solidifies and give this treat it’s bark.
- Leave the Peppermint Bark in a fridge for 1-2 hours then slide out of the dish, peel off the parchment paper and cut into pieces. If you are a skillful chocolatier, which I am not, you can make both dark and white chocolate layers very thin and then break the Bark into pieces by hand. Either way ’tis the season to be jolly, and this is one jolly treat!!!
Copyright ©Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017