Peppermint Bark and Why I Still Believe in Santa

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My parents always made Christmas special, always.  I remember one Christmas in particular when I was old enough to start doubting the existence of the ol’ fat man in the red suit.  I had it all planned out.  Right before I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I put a note on the Christmas tree that challenged Santa to use his magic.  I knew full well that the request would be hard to fill without magic, being that he had such late notice and that all the stores would be closed (this is back when stores actually closed for Christmas).  My note asked Santa for a tube of chap stick in a black tube.  I know, how crazy!?!?  But that’s what my creative little mind came up with.  On Christmas morning, I raced down the hall to see if my wish had been granted.  Dumping out my stocking, I didn’t find the chap stick.  But when I glanced over to the tree, there in the exact place I left the note, was a tube of chap stick in a black tube.  I was enthralled.

A few weeks ago, I celebrated by 29th birthday.  I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love on Facebook, but one message got my attention.  It simply read: “Happy Birthday man! Today, I was listening to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” I’m sorry that I told you Santa wasn’t real. I hope you forgive me.”  I sat there and stared at that message for what seemed like an eternity.  I replied back and told her that I had forgiven her, of course, but I’ve thought about that message every day since then.  The thing is, I never stopped believing in Santa.  Sure, maybe he’s not that jovial, rosy-cheeked fella we see in Coca-Cola ads, but Santa is just as real as love, faith, and innocence.  We can’t see any of those things, but we all know they exist.  Christmas is such a magical time of year.  The magic may not be the same for each and every person, but we should all work hard to find a little Christmas magic.  In the crazy hustle and bustle of every day life, I urge you to slow down a little and enjoy your friends and family this year.  Unfortunately, this year I’ve been reminded about how quickly those opportunities can be taken from us.  Stop and smell the cookies, the fresh evergreen trees and the peppermint.

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

Oh yeah, about the peppermint…

MY OTHER RECIPES

This seems like a long recipe but it really is super easy.  I was just really detailed with my description and step-by-step breakdown.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 24 oz vanilla almond bark
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 pkg peppermint candies
  • red and white sprinkling sugar

Directions

  1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave using 30 second intervals.  Stir frequently. 
  3. Spread the chocolate on the waxed paper in a thin layer.
  4. Allow to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, unwrap the peppermint candies and place in a zip top bag.
  6. Place the bag with candies between a dish towel and crush with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
  7. Be sure to break up candy, but do not completely crush.  The big chunks of peppermint make the bark so pretty.
  8. Once the chocolate is set, melt the vanilla almond bark in the microwave using 30 second intervals stirring between each.  Have patience when melting.  If this stuff scorches, you’ll be sorry.
  9. Once melted, add about 1/3 of the crushed candy and peppermint extract to the melted bark.  Lightly toss to coat, but don’t over mix or your white bark will turn pink.
  10. Pour white bark mixture over chocolate layer and spread thin.  Work quickly so the chocolate layer won’t melt through.
  11. Top with remaining crushed candy, being careful to use the chunks and not the finely crushed powdery stuff.
  12. Sprinkle with red and white sugar crystals.  (This step is not necessary, but it sure makes this stuff sparkle.)
  13. Chill in the refrigerator until set.  Then break into pieces.
Peppermint Bark
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 24 oz vanilla almond bark
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 pkg peppermint candies
  • red and white sprinkling sugar
Instructions
  1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave using 30 second intervals. Stir frequently.
  3. Spread the chocolate on the waxed paper in a thin layer.
  4. Allow to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, unwrap the peppermint candies and place in a zip top bag.
  6. Place the bag with candies between a dish towel and crush with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
  7. Be sure to break up candy, but do not completely crush. The big chunks of peppermint make the bark so pretty.
  8. Once the chocolate is set, melt the vanilla almond bark in the microwave using 30 second intervals stirring between each. Have patience when melting. If this stuff scorches, you'll be sorry.
  9. Once melted, add about ⅓ of the crushed candy and peppermint extract to the melted bark. Lightly toss to coat, but don't over mix or your white bark will turn pink.
  10. Pour white bark mixture over chocolate layer and spread thin. Work quickly so the chocolate layer won't melt through.
  11. Top with remaining crushed candy, being careful to use the chunks and not the finely crushed powdery stuff.
  12. Sprinkle with red and white sugar crystals. (This step is not necessary, but it sure makes this stuff sparkle.)
  13. Chill in the refrigerator until set. Then break into pieces.
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Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of chocolate and mint mixed together. But I received a gift of white chocolate and mint…..I LOVE white chocolate! And since I do I decided to try the white chocolate mint. I love it! I may have a sooner visit to the dentist than I intend. I love how this recipe looks. It is pretty. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Is the peppermint extract supposed to go in the almond bark?

  3. Stacey, this was a sweet, heartfelt post and I loved it. We’ve become friends via blogging, being foodies and loving our Southern roots. I think if this had not happened, our paths still would have crossed and we’d be buddies. From me and my boys, Merry, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure.

    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

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