You know what else is great about this season. Shopping? Yes, of course. But also the very seasonal sweets available everywhere - Fruit cakes, Candy canes, Eggnog, Gingerbread, Pies etc. And the hero of this post as well - Mint! Found these bags of Dark Chocolate & Mint morsels at my store and I just had to buy these. What a wonderful combo.
I actually wanted to bake brownies with these first but then came across this 2 minute recipe from one of my favorite sites - Nestle's Very Best Baking site.
Tell you the truth - there is no recipe here. No measuring anything. No mixing anything. No blending anything. Just cut, spread, bake and swirl. All of it takes about 3 mins..including the baking time! Magic Really! But it does make a really pretty little thing to get your hand on.
The other great thing about this is that it is an absolute perfect chocolate dish to cook with your kids. Get those little munchikins around you and get baking and spread the joy. They can do the whole thing except for sticking it in the hot oven and taking it out when ready. And the sense of pride and accomplishment that follows a bite of the mint bark that 'they' made is priceless.
I also added white chocolate to the dark chocolate and mint mix. And I made a lot of quantity as I was making these as gifts for a very special group of people I was meeting - more foodies like me. Our first local LA Area bloggers meet was planned over the weekend. I met 4 other fun gals and we had a really fun time chatting up. And these were little gifts for them. Thank you gals for a very memorable time!
So let's get on to the barks..woof woof..
Here are the morsel packs..like you can't see.
Take your favorite baking sheet and line it with a layer of aluminum foil. Pour the chocolate morsels on here and press it down so that they sit next to each other and form one layer.
This one was extra curvy at the top - must be the model of the batch!
Move the baking sheet into a pre heated oven at 350F and heat up for about 3-4 mins. You'll see the chips getting soft and shiny. Time to take out.
Using a toothpick, swirl around the morsels - this is the fun part.
And here's a little tip - if you want your barks to look more minty - just swirl them and leave it to set. If you want them to look chocolatey like mine does - use a small spatula and even out the top - the dark chocolate moves across and it makes the whole thing look more chocolatey - then, swirl one last time to get the good lines and patterns.
Can you see that the part of the left side of the baking sheet has been swirled with little fingers? Oh yeah..she had a lot of fun - but before she would do more- she wanted to lick the toothpick! So much for little chefs!
Drag the toothpick from one side to other and you can create these fun patterns.
Let the baking sheet cool down to room temperature. Then, move it to the fridge for at least a couple of hrs. I made these late at night and hence left them in the fridge overnight.
And I woke up the next morning to the smell of mint and chocolate. Side note - they taste great with coffee too.
You can see that its completely set and at this point, its just a thick sheet of chocolate.
Using a strong knife - try to cut lengthwise into wide strips - the bark will break when you cut but that's totally fine.
And then just snap and break the wide strips into little squares. Done.
How easy was that?
But wait a min - what is that in my bark? A bird? Can you see a little bird there?
How about now? This looks like a little bird with its long beak. Wow - this bird found the right bark to come settle down! Maybe its one of my ancestors..
I packed some of these in little lollipop sacks with a pretty little bow. For the girls.
I think these would also make a wonderful return gift if you are hosting a bday party or baby shower or something. Won't it?
Oh well..here's a jug full of Magic minty barks - Enjoy the season and spread the joy!
Enjoy! Peace Out!