I know I’m odd, but not many sweet treats turn my head. I usually prefer to save my calories for French fries or a nice hunk of cheese.
I’m also not a chocolate-mint fan. Sweet + mint remind me of brushing my teeth.
I’m usually satisfied with a couple of biscotti or an ounce or two of bittersweet chocolate. Occasionally my sweet tooth comes to life and I’ll crave something really intense like lemon bars, pecan pie, or turtle anything.
But there’s this one little inconsistency. I’ve got a thing for peppermint bark. My friend knows about it and makes me a batch every Christmas. It’s my little indulgence.
Last summer when my assistant Kirsty of The Good Taste Guide introduced me to Salted Toffee Chocolate Bars—butter and brown sugar baked onto saltines and topped with chocolate and Heath Bar Bits—I couldn’t wait until the holidays to apply this technique to peppermint bark. And it’s a winner too.
In my Updated Peppermint Bark, chocolate graham crackers stand in for the saltines (and give it crunch) keeping this treat slightly less decadent than classic Peppermint Bark. The swirl of dark and white chocolates make it especially festive and the peppermint kisses—at least to me—are better than crushed peppermints which can get tacky over time.
With New and Improved Peppermint Bar, it’s a long, hard wait until late afternoon when I pull out a piece (OK two) to savor with tea. What are the holidays for, if not for this?
New and Improved Peppermint Bark
Makes about 2 dozen pieces
If you can’t find the candy cane kisses in the store, substitute with 2 ounces of chopped white chocolate and crushed 12 peppermint candies (to do this, place in a sealed bag and crush with a rolling pin).
12 chocolate graham crackers
1/4 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
4 ounces bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
4 ounces, about 24 candy cane kisses, chopped
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Line pan bottom and up and over the long sides with heavy-duty foil for easy removal. Grease foil with vegetable cooking spray and then line with crackers, sugar side down, cutting as necessary to fit pan.
Heat butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until simmering. Pour mixture evenly over crackers and working quickly, use a spatula to spread it.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn) Remove from oven and sprinkle both white and dark chocolates over hot crackers; let stand a few minutes and the spread chocolate with the back end of a spoon (or finger if you can stand the heat) in figure eights, creating a marbleizing effect. Sprinkle with kisses. Freeze until firm.
Using foil handles, remove bar from pan. Break into pieces and serve.