And if the other people who brought things to sell are anything like me, they've got leftovers from what they made at home already and the last thing I need is to buy more sweets to bring home. I was seriously hoping we would be able to set up our table on the sidewalk outside our building. We're right on a high-end retail strip in Berkeley and I'm sure the sweets, not to mention the cause, would be well received. I'm not sure why we didn't though I'd wager money that permits and health codes factored into it.
Since I knew a bake sale would mean lots of breads/cakes/pies/cookies and the like, I tried to mix it up a bit and took spiced nuts and these Peppermint Bark-y Patties and I tried to package things so that they could be gifted. One co-worker told me she gave a package of nuts to her son's teacher and I thought that was awesome. I'll get the nuts recipes up tomorrow.
Instead of the irregular pieces that you usually get with peppermint bark, I decided to try making these little cups using a mini cupcake pan. I really like the way they turned out.
Peppermint Bark-y Patties
- 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips
- 6 full-sized candy canes, crushed
- Peppermint extract
- Melt the white chocolate over indirect heat with a few drops of peppermint extract and spoon into the cupcake pan. You'll need to let the white chocolate set up before moving to the next step—10–15 minutes in the refrigerator should do it. (I learned this the hard way. Though Scoob was happy because he snacked on the rejects.)
- While the white chocolate sets, unwrap the candy canes and place in a plastic zippy bag and crush. The smashing/crushing part was great for getting out some frustrations! Be sure to use the freezer-style zippy bags—the thicker the plastic the better, those candy cane shards are sharp and rip right through a regular zippy bag. (Another lesson learned the hard way. I had so much [sticky] candy cane dust on the counters I thought the Candy Cane Fairy had been here.)
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate over indirect heat and spoon into the cupcake pan, completely covering the white chocolate and spreading to the sides of the cups.
- Before the semi-sweet chocolate sets, place the crushed candy canes in a sieve and shake the fine candy cane dust over the cupcake tray. Then place the larger pieces into the cups. You may need to press down a little so the chocolate gets a grip on the pieces.
I did 2 batches of these (24 patties per batch) and one thing I noticed while making them is that the semi-sweet chocolate melts to a thinner consistency than the white chocolate. So while a 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips barely made it through 24 cups, I had extra semi-sweet chocolate. (What a crying shame, I tell you. Don't worry, no chocolate was wasted.) Oh, be sure to add the extract to the white chocolate and not the semi-sweet, otherwise the semi-sweet will seize and have a grainy texture. (Thankfully mom warned me about this before I started so I didn't have to learn that lesson the hard way.)
I turned the cupcake pan upside down on a sheet of waxed paper and a few taps on the back of the pan was enough to free the cups.