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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Peppermint Bark Brownies

For the holidays this year I wanted to do brownies for my family and friends, with a wintery twist.  One of my favourite winter treats is peppermint bark.  I worked at a chocolate shop in college and come December I'd be anxiously (and impatiently) waiting for the first bath of peppermint bark.  Personally, I think peppermint bark should be a layer of dark chocolate, then white chocolate, and topped with the peppermint.  So this year I made my own peppermint bark and created my own perfect seasonal brownie.  Chunks of peppermint bark spread throughout the brownie, then topped with white chocolate drizzle and crushed peppermint candies...these brownies were irresistible!  I was really glad I had to bag them up as gifts otherwise I would have eaten way too many!  For this recipe you need my Brownie Bliss Recipe, plus this recipe for Peppermint Bark below.

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Peppermint Bark Ingredients*
- 16 oz 60% cocoa Ghiradeli bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bars)
- 11 oz white chocolate (I mixed Ghiradeli and Nestle) plus extra for the drizzling
- 1-2 standard bag Starlight Peppermint Candies (typically around 3 or 4 ounces) OR you can also use Candy Canes

*This recipe is for a full 9''X13'' pan.  I made a 9'"X13'' pan AND a 9''X9'' pan and I still had some extra peppermint bark.  Which I was totally fine with!  And actually gave two little bags as gifts too.  So if you're making less brownies, just but this recipe in half...or make it all and have a lot of extra delicious peppermint bark!

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Crush the peppermint candies in a food processor.  Don't grind it too fine if you like nice chunks of peppermint in the bark like I do.  Set them aside for now.
Line the pan with tin foil.  Place the dark chocolate in an even layer at the bottom of the pan. 

Melt in the oven for about 3 minutes.  Be careful the chocolate doesn't burn!  It may still be in "chip form," but if you take it out and mix it a bit you'll see they've actually melted.
Sprinkle some of the peppermint dust (not the chunks) onto this layer while it's still wet.

Now, you can either let the dark chocolate completely cool or mostly cool.  If you're just making this for peppermint bark, it's prettier if you let the chocolate completely cool and the pour the white on top you get nice crisp, clean looking bark.  But since we're using this to chop it all up and put it in the brownies, I just did it the following way.

Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Poor as evenly as possible over the dark chocolate.  Use a knife or toothpick to spread it so it's evenly distributed over the dark chocolate.
Sprinkle the peppermint chunks on while the white chocolate is still wet.  Completely cover it in the peppermint.  Make sure to save some for the top of the brownies!

Allow this to completely cool in the fridge.  It may take an hour or so to set.
Pop out of the pan by lifting the foil.
Cut and break apart the peppermint bark.  You want to make pretty small chunks to mix into the brownies.  Now you're ready for the brownies.
Follow the ingredients and instructions of this recipe here: Brownie Bliss Recipe.

Once the brownie batter is done being mixed, mix in the peppermint bark chunks.  I used 1 1/2 cups of bark for a 9X13 pan. Pour into the pan and bake per the instructions on the Brownie recipe.

Sprinkle the top of the pan with peppermint dust as well.

Once they're done baking allow them to completely cool.    Cut into desired sizes.  The best way to cut these brownies is to chill them, then used a hot knife to cut into them to get nice clean cuts. 
Then fill a pastry bag or parchment cone with melted white chocolate and drizzle each brownie with the white chocolate.  Top with peppermint chunks immediately while the white chocolate is still wet.

These brownies are peppermint bark taken to a whole new level.  The rich chocolate brownie, topped with white chocolate and peppermint  is enough to make it be a brownie form or peppermint bark, but mixing in those chunks of the actual bark will give a nice surprise burst of extra peppermint bark flavor!

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