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Come Christmas time, I know what my Grandma Maizie is up to. My mouth salivates at the prospect of wolfing down as much of her Peppermint Bark as possible, despite the fact that we are generally relegated to a mere two ounces or so. This year, I decided that her measly portions were simply not enough, and I tasked her to show Smile Politely the recipe and better yet, let me watch her make it. She agreed. I was off to her new digs on East Colorado Drive in Urbana.


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This recipe is so simple. The key is to infuse the peppermint into the melted chocolate pieces. I have never been a fan of white chocolate, and I always wondered why I never cringe when I eat this tasty winter treat.

Tools:

Double boiler
Cookie sheets
Rubber scraper
Roll of aluminum foil
Mallet
Plastic bags

Ingredients:

2 – 14-ounce bags of Wilton’s white melts (find at Michael’s art supply)
1 – Joy-Brite peppermint candy stick (find at Walgreen’s)

Here’s how to do it:

Lay out aluminum foil on cookie sheets. Bring water in the double boiler to a low heat, and start to melt the white chocolate pieces down. Meanwhile, bash the hell out of the peppermint stick inside of a bag. Make sure there are some bigger chunks of peppermint as well as some pieces that have been pulverized. You’ll need both. Separate the two different sizes of peppermint to create two bags: one of pulverized tiny sand like pieces and one of bigger chunks. Thumbnail image for DSC_0015.JPGWhen the chocolate is fully melted, infuse the pulverized peppermint into the hot melted chocolate and mix it in thoroughly. After it is fully infused, pour the mixture onto the aluminum foil in the center of the pan and spread it around so that it is a thin layer. That is very important. If it is too thick, it will not be pleasurable to eat. Too thick and it will lose flavor.

After spreading it well, place the bigger chunks of peppermint candy on top of the mixture, equally distributing it around the layer. Pop it into the freezer for about 15-25 minutes, or until it is frozen through. Take the candy out and gently tear it away from the foil; it should come off easily. Take the mallet and use a knife to act as a wedge and bash it into bite-sized pieces. Best peppermint candy in the league. Thanks Grandma!

Photos by Justine Bursoni