December 12, 2012

Dairy Free Double Layer Peppermint Bark

I'm not going to talk much today -- mostly because I'm stuffing my face with peppermint bark. I love Christmas, but I can't wait until the New Year. Then I will be able to replace all this sugary indulgence with alcohol. Just a little. Champagne is a requirement for bringing in the New Year. For me, it is. You don't have to agree.

Dairy-Free Double Layer Peppermint Bark

Last week, or whenever that was, after I made my almond pomegranate bark, I reminisced about the good old days (you know, a few years ago) when I ate creamy, crunchy peppermint bark. I wanted to make some. Dairy-free, of course. But I didn't feel like making chocolate. If you didn't know, you can totally make chocolate -- white chocolate without dairy. You just have to buy food-grade cocoa butter. I have cocoa butter, but I have plans to make lip balm. So while I will be licking it off my lips, it won't be in the form of chocolate (unless I make a chocolate lip balm...).

This is not real white chocolate, but it is a great replacement.

But you don't want to leave this out long. Because a) it will get eaten very quickly and b) it will melt eventually (especially if in a warm area). So unfortunately -- or fortunately -- I don't recommend shipping these to someone. So if you eat it all yourself, no one will ever know...

Dairy-Free Double Layer Peppermint Bark

Double Layer Peppermint Bark (Dairy Free)  
Printable Recipe

What you need:

1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is gluten/dairy/nut/soy-free which you can get here or here.)
1/2 - 1 tsp peppermint extract or flavoring oil
3/4 cup coconut butter (or homemade coconut butter*)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1-3 tbsp powdered sugar* (optional) (or warmed honey)
4 candy canes (or about 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy)

How to make:
  1. Make your coconut butter or place the whole (closed) jar of coconut butter in warm water to soften.
  2. Melt the chocolate. (I used half Enjoy Life chips and half semi-sweet bakers chocolate.) Use a double boiler or create your own with a glass bowl (for the chocolate) over a saucepan of simmering water. Don't let any water touch the chocolate or it will seize. Melt slowly and stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted.  
  3. Add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (I used Frontier oil-based peppermint flavor) to chocolate if you'd like. This is optional. Spread the chocolate out on a parchment/wax paper lined baking sheet, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Stick in the the refrigerator to harden.
  4. Put your candy canes (I used organic ones without corn syrup or artificial colors) in a ziplock bag and smash them to pieces. Use a rolling pin, meat mallet, the bottom of a cup (whatever works for you) to crush the candy into pieces. I smash mine pretty well, leaving a few larger chunks for the top. Divide into two parts (about 1/4 cup each) and set aside.
  5. The coconut butter should be melted at this point. Put about 3/4 cup in a bowl and stir in the coconut oil and sugar (I used organic cane sugar that I powdered myself). If needed, you process this in food processor to fully incorporate the sweetener. Add 1/2 tsp (more or less to taste) peppermint extract and 1/4 cup of crushed peppermint (try to save the larger pieces for the top). Stir well and allow to cool slightly to thicken (refrigerate for faster cooling).
  6. If the chocolate layer is hard, remove from refrigerator. Spread the coconut butter mixture in a layer on top of the chocolate. I pour all of it in the middle and spread quickly to the edges. 
  7. Top with 1/4 cup crushed peppermint if desired.
  8. Refrigerate until completely hard, approximately 30 minutes. Then break into pieces. 
  9. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
*You can make coconut butter from coconut flakes or shredded coconut. Here's just one recipe. I haven't made it myself. I don't have a great blender. And if I used my food processor, I would have to stand there for 15 minutes, holding down that button. It doesn't run hands-free. Someone please tell me why I bought that thing...

Dairy-Free Double Layer Peppermint Bark

  • For these to be completely dairy-free, you will need to use dairy-free chocolate chips, such as the Enjoy Life brandEnjoy Life is gluten/dairy/nut/soy-free which you can get here or here.
  • *For sugar: Make powdered sugar from organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, sucanat or whatever type you want to use by processing it in blender, food processor, or coffee grinder until powdered.
  • You can buy coconut butter online HERE or HERE or at health food stores. But if you haven't tried coconut butter before, beware -- it's good. Right-off-the-spoon-good.
  • You can make this without any sugar at all. And even without the chocolate layer. Your choice.
Dairy-Free Double Layer Peppermint Bark

This is the only holiday treat recipe (though you've probably already seen plenty of peppermint bark) that I will be sharing. I do hope that, if anyone is following this blog, you will forgive me. I'm gearing up for the Whole30, again, in January (wanna join? ;) ) and all these sweets are just no good. I still plan to enjoy some cookies or other treats for the holidays, but most of what I plan to make, I'm giving away. And because there are already so many great holiday recipes out there, I'm using those this year.

Like these biscotti from Elana's Pantry.

Or these truffles from The Civilized Caveman.

Or any of these delicious options from Cheeseslave.

There are plenty more, but I think it's time for me to block all websites with any type of sugar or cookie or other treats from my computer. Now, off to finish tasting this peppermint bark...


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