Peppermint Bark.

Oh, peppermint bark! I started making this easy recipe with my mom a few years back when we both got addicted to Williams Sonoma's version (you know how they hand out those samples? We used to eat a lot of samples...) So we decided to start making it ourselves and would whip up an enormous batch of this stuff, giving it out to my dad's clients and family and friends. This year, I was really itching to make some more, and even though Christmas is right around the corner, my mom and sister dropped what they were doing for the chance to spend some time making this favorite old recipe. There's nothing like goofing off in the kitchen and making yummy treats with your kinfolk. I hope you get a chance to make this one over the break with your loved ones!

- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate (Ghiradhelli melts the best for this recipe)
- 1 bag white chocolate (again, get Ghiradelli if you can)
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint oil, divided
- crushed peppermints
- Optional: a drop of olive oil

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Melt the semi-sweet or dark chocolate in a double boiler over the stove. This is a pretty active method, so you don't want to step away from the stove, even for a minute. Be ready to stir continuously and monitor the chocolate so that it gets perfectly melted and not burned. It's a timely activity, so stay in the moment!

Note: If you don't have a double boiler, you can achieve the same effect by placing a saucepan on the stove with about an inch of water in it, then placing a heat-safe bowl over the top of the saucepan. Place the chocolate in the bowl, not the pot, and allow it to melt slowly in the bowl.

3. Once the chocolate is almost completely melted, add in 1/4 tsp. peppermint oil and stir continuously until thoroughly mixed.

Note: if the chocolate is starting to get chalky, add 1 drop of olive oil and continue to mix.

4. Once fully melted, immediately remove the chocolate from the heat by pouring it into the lined baking sheet. Spread out the chocolate with a spoon, so that it's a very thin layer of chocolate that covers the entire sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for about an hour and prepare for round two.

5. Quickly rinse out the darker chocolate and prepare the double boiler for the white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate over the stove the same way, adding another 1/4 tsp. once the mixture is almost completely melted.

6. Once melted, remove the chocolate from heat and pour over the top of the darker chocolate (you will have to pull this out of the freezer, but it should be fine at this point for the white chocolate to go on top). Smooth out the white chocolate with a spoon. Add the crushed peppermint by sprinkling a liberal amount over the top.

7. Return the bark to the freezer for at least another hour.

8. Once completely frozen, break into 1-inch piece and enjoy! You could share it. Or not. :)

Have so much fun with this holiday treat! I hope you're having the merriest of all Christmas weeks :)