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Peppermint bark: Better with each bite
Peppermint bark: Better with each bite

A ccording to Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell in 2003’s “Elf”), candy canes are one of the four main food groups — along with candy, candy corn and syrup.

For the month of December, let’s embrace all that is elf-like and get into the holiday spirit before the stress of finals makes us all resemble the Grinch (before he steals the yodeler’s clothes).

Candy canes are a classic seasonal treat that come in many different sizes and flavors, but there’s no arguing against the fact that the red-and-white peppermint original will always reign.

It’s often paired with coffee or alcohol, but the most common duo is chocolate and peppermint. Chocolate makes everything better, and it’s even been said that the antioxidants in it have health benefits. Add peppermint to that and it just tastes like Christmas.

Chocolate peppermint bark is the culmination of all the above and surprisingly easy to make (only three ingredients!) As both exams and cold weather loom over us, baking offers a much-needed escape.

This can be made as something to look forward to during a study break or as gifts for your neighbors (put pieces in cellophane bags and tie with holiday ribbon).

Peppermint Bark

12 ounces milk or dark chocolate (or 2 cups of chocolate chips)

12 ounces white chocolate (or 2 cups white chocolate chips)

Around 8 candy canes

*For even more flavor, you can add a little peppermint extract into the white chocolate mixture.

Break the candy canes into pieces, then place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them (using anything you have, like a rolling pin, beer bottle, etc.) into as small of pieces as desired. Set aside in a bowl.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt the dark/milk chocolate according to directions in the microwave, then spread into the bottom of the pan. Place it in the refrigerator to harden slightly (anywhere from 15-30 minutes).

Next, melt the white chocolate. Once it’s melted, stir in about half of the crushed candy cane pieces and pour over the other chocolate in the pan.

Sprinkle the rest of the candy cane pieces on top and put back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

When it’s hardened enough, break into pieces and enjoy!

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