Food for Thought – December 8, 2015

Food for Thought December 4, 2015

Christmas is my favorite time of the year—“ugly” sweaters, that first fire in the fireplace, lots of social events, and my personal pick—those special recipes you only make once a year.

These are fairly easy, and combine two great flavors—chocolate and peppermint.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

6 squares (1 oz each) white baking chocolate

1 c (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

1 c crushed peppermint candies, divided (candy canes are perfect for crushing)

Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt white chocolate & chocolate chips (separately); stir until smooth. Stir 6 T of crushed peppermint candies into each bowl. Drop white chocolate & semisweet chocolate in alternating spoonfuls onto prepared pan.

With metal spatula, cut through chocolate to swirl, spreading to ¼” thickness. Sprinkle with remaining crushed candies. Chill until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Peppermint Mousse Cups

2 c semisweet chocolate chips ½ c white vanilla baking chips

1 c whipping cream ½ tsp peppermint extract

2 drops red food color

2 T crushed candy canes (about 6 mini candy canes)

Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper cups. Melt semisweet chips in microwave or on stove top, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2 tsp of the chocolate into each paper cup. With back of small measuring spoon, spread chocolate up sides to within 1/8” of the top. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until completely set.

Meanwhile, melt vanilla baking chips in microwave, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 3 T of whipping cream; microwave about 30 seconds longer or until chips are melted. Stir in peppermint extract & food color. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Carefully remove paper cups from chocolate cups.

In medium bowl, beat remaining whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. Fold melted vanilla chip mixture into whipped cream. Spoon or pipe whipped cream mixture into chocolate cups. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with candy.

Hint: You can make ahead and refrigerate the chocolate cups, so you only have to add the whipping cream mixture and candy before serving.