Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kicking Off the Holidays a Sucre Peppermint Chocolate GIVEAWAY...and a Recipe for Peppermint Bliss Bark

It's December, our first truly cold snap of the winter is on the way starting tomorrow...and that means one thing to me: time for all things peppermint! To me, nothing reminds me more of the holiday season than peppermint. To kick off the holidays, I'm going to share a really great food find with you that's perfect for giving your foodie friends or business associates this holiday season: Sucre's Hint of Peppermint Chocolates! Sucre is a fantastic bakery and sweet shop located in New Orleans, and they recently sent me a box of these yummy peppermint artisan chocolates to try...and they're going to give one of YOU a 15-piece box as well!! 

This candy is the real deal: single-bean 65% Dark Madagascan ganache with a hint of peppermint. It's sinfully rich and has just enough peppermint flavor without overwhelming the dark, flavorful chocolate. Each piece is one or two makes a perfect after-dinner treat! The box arrived on my doorstep, and I couldn't wait to open it!! Inside were 15 bite-sized pieces of rich dark-chocolate ganache topped with white chocolate tiles decorated to look like peppermints. The mint flavor is very subtle...but it's definitely there. If you love hand-crafted artisan chocolates, look no further!

If you'd like to win a 15-piece box of these peppermint-infused chocolates, it's really simple to enter. First, go visit Sucre's online holiday gift guide. Then come back here and tell me how you would most enjoy eating these chocolates during the holiday season. Would you share, or would they be your guilty pleasure? Please make sure to leave your e-mail address with your entry. If your number is chosen, but I don't have your e-mail? Sadly, I'll have to pick another entry...because I won't be able to find you! I'll accept entries until Wednesday, December 7th. The winner will be announced via Twitter and Facebook on Friday.

While we're on the subject of peppermint, I want to share a really quick recipe for Peppermint Bliss Bark. It features semi-sweet and white chocolate, mini Oreos, marshmallows, and lots of peppermint pieces!! This candy is super-simple to make and really yummy. I made a batch today to take to a work potluck on Monday, and it was all I could do to only snag one piece for myself. It also makes a great hostess gift...or a little something to serve for those unexpected guests who stop by. It's downright addictive despite being so very simple. 

Peppermint Bliss Bark
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Step 1:  Add a 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to a mixing bowl. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent scorching. When the chips are melted, add the following ingredients: 1 cup mini marshmallows, 1/2 cup chopped peppermint pieces, and 1 cup mini Oreos. Stir gently to combine.  Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet that's been topped with parchment or non-stick foil.

Step 2:  Place 4 ounces white chocolate in a small bowl. Melt in the microwave, making sure to stop to stir every 30 seconds. This is very important...white chocolate scorches very easily! Imagine you're Jackson Pollack and drizzle the white chocolate on top of the semi-sweet bark mixture. Swirl the white chocolate into the dark a bit if you like. Sprinkle an additional 1 cup of peppermint pieces on top of the white chocolate.

Step 3:  Place the pan in the fridge for an hour so it can harden. After an hour, break the bark into pieces and place on a festive serving platter. Sneak one piece for "quality control" and store the rest in the fridge covered by foil until serving time.

Oh man, is this bark YUMMY!! Every bite has a little something different: a bite of crunchy cookie, a soft marshmallow...and lots of peppermint. It's all held together by the creamy chocolate duo. This would be a great cooking project to do with the kiddos...they can help stir in the goodies and sprinkle the peppermint on top. If you love peppermint as much as I do, I hope you'll try this blissed-out bark this month!!

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