I've been trying to make as many of my holiday gifts as possible this year. For one thing, I enjoy baking and crafting immensely (way more than I enjoy going to the mall). Homemade gifts are also more heartfelt; they convey effort, thoughtfulness and care. But perhaps most importantly, DIY gifts ensure that someone like me (read: a broke twenty-something) doesn't have to show up empty-handed to all the holiday festivities.
My dad's a big fan of the Williams Sonoma peppermint bark, but since it's unreasonably expensive, I went out and bought the ingredients to make it myself. Hopefully he'll like it just as much.
Peppermint Bark adapted from Martha Stewart
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
About 10 miniature candy canes, crushed
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Temper the semi-sweet chocolate (either using the double-boiler method or microwaving in 30-second increments on 50% power) and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Then pour melted semi-sweet chocolate onto the lined baking sheet and smooth it out. Allow the chocolate to set completely, about 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, temper the white chocolate. Once melted, add in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract and pour white chocolate over the set semi-sweet chocolate layer. Smooth it out to cover the bottom layer and sprinkle the top immediately with the crushed candy canes (it sets quickly). Allow the top layer to set completely and then break into large shards with your hands. Place bark in cellophane bags or a container of your choice and place in the fridge until you're ready to gift it!