Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Playing with Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark is one of those seasonal items that should really be year round. Egg nog, now that stuff I can happily kiss goodbye as soon as January rolls around. Mostly because a glass of the stuff requires a minimum two hours of pilates to burn it off (check the label, I think a glass of puréed bacon has fewer calories!). Of course, I would never actually do two solid hours of pilates so that stuff needs to be off my grocer's shelf ASAP, lest temptation strike. Yikes, I'm rambling on about egg nog in my peppermint post... Back on topic.

Peppermint bark never really loses its appeal and I thought I could work the flavors into some of my other run-of-the-mill baked chocolate treats in an attempt to make them a little more 'festive'... and yummy. So, I decided to whip up some peppermint bark brownies and peppermint white chocolate topped devils food cupcakes.

I've started with basic, totally ordinary chocolate cupcakes and brownies--I'm going to write up recipes for basics, they're not hard to find--and tarted them up with the following:

White Chocolate Peppermint Butter Cream:

5 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4-6 drops peppermint oil
3 oz white chocolate melted and cooled for a few minutes
heavy cream

2 tablespoons piping gel
red food coloring

Mix a generous amount of red food coloring (5-6 drops) with the piping gel and set aside.

Cream the butter in your mixer and add the chocolate and peppermint. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix on medium speed until moistened. Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition, until you reach the consistency desired to frost the cupcakes.

Outfit your piping bag with a large open star tip and line the bag with stripes of the red piping gel.

A small paintbrush works just fine for this, or a small squeeze bottle equipped with a piping tip

Then add your butter cream carefully to the bag, trying not to disturb the stripes more than necessary and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

I topped my cupcakes with a sprinkle of red luster dust and either peppermint candies or little white/dark chocolate whirly-bark things with crushed peppermint bits (yes, that is my technical term for them).

Moving on to the brownies!

Peppermint Barked Brownies:

6 oz white chocolate
5-6 peppermint candies
4 drops peppermint oil
8 oz dark chocolate
red food coloring

Crush the peppermint candies and set aside. Melt the white chocolate and flavor with the peppermint oil. Divide the chocolate into two containers and tint one with red food coloring.

Turn your completely cool brownies out onto a cutting board and remove the parchment. Sprinkle the brownies with the crushed peppermint candies and then dollop on the red and white chocolate. Smooth the chocolate over the brownies swirling the colors together gently. Move the brownies to the freezer to quickly set the white chocolate. After about 10-15 minutes the chocolate should be set enough to pour on the dark chocolate.

Melt the dark chocolate and pour over the brownies. Give the brownies about 10 minutes on the counter for the chocolate to set up slightly and then cut with a warm knife into pieces. Allow the chocolate a few hours to set completely and they are ready to eat.


  1. you really have a way with frosting.. and a great picture! inspires me to try the old pastry bag again. thanks for the great post!

  2. Mmmmm I love Cup Cakes!
    I just happened to come across your blog and might I add that this is a great blog!


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