Unicorn Bark vs. Peppermint Bark
My husband is a big fan of the traditional treats that come along with the holidays. I too enjoy some of them, but like my pink Christmas tree, I'm really excited about creating new colorful traditions for my daughter. His big request was for me to make Peppermint Bark. A fairly simple treat that is readily available and promoted by all of the gourmet retailers. Even the big box stores are selling it by the truckload. A thin layer of dark or semi-sweet chocolate is topped with an even more sinful layer of white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermints or in our house, mini-candy canes. Easy enough to make in a short period of time. You can even use a microwave if you want to melt the chocolates that way. Homemade always tastes better because it is made with love.
This year I also wanted something fun, out of the ordinary and colorful. Unicorn Bark is the perfect treat! My pantry has no shortage of sparkles, sprinkles, candies, and marshmallows, sometimes even home made! It was an easy on-the-fly creative process for this one! Just add sparkle and texture. That is part of the joy of Peppermint Bark, the silky chocolates with the crunch of the crushed peppermint candies. The concept and base of Unicorn Bark is the same, it's the multitude of textures and flavors that makes it magical.
To make the barks you will need chocolate, both dark and white or one of each of those packages that say Almond Bark in vanilla and chocolate flavor. It is easy to use but I definitely prefer the real stuff. Tempering chocolate is an art form, and not for the faint of heart, so go ahead and use the Almond Bark packages or a refrigerator to help set your chocolate if necessary.
I used 12 oz of dark chocolate and 16 oz of white chocolate but the amount can vary for the batch size you choose to make. For a complete half sheet pan you will want 20-24 oz of each of the chocolates.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and over a bain-marie (double boiler) or in the microwave, melt the dark chocolate slowly, stirring until it is smooth. When it is about half melted I like to remove it from the heat and stir it until smooth. With an offset spatula, spread the chocolate out on a the parchment line sheet pan in a thin, even layer. Allow to set for 30 minutes (use the fridge or freezer if necessary).
Then melt the white chocolate in the same manner. Slowly over a bain-marie or in the microwave making sure to remove the chocolate when it is half melted and using clean dry utensils to stir it. Any amount of water will cause you some issues, as will overheating the chocolate.
At this point, you will want to have you peppermints or candy canes crushed and/or your Unicorn toppings ready for decoration.
Pour the white chocolate over the dark chocolate and smooth into an even layer using a clean, dry offset spatula. Immediately top with crushed peppermint for Peppermint Bark, or Marshmallows, sparkling sugars, colorful chocolate candies, sprinkles, edible star glitter, etc. The more colorful you make it, the more magical it becomes. Allow it to set again for 30 minutes or until firm. Use a knife or just break it into shapes the size you would like. Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Home cook, Mom, wife, and crafty creative, Mandy is from California and has traveled the world and lived in lots of places. She has fallen in love with Dallas, TX and calls it home.