Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Photo 2015-11-21, 1 45 16 PM
Photo 2015-11-21, 1 45 16 PM

Do you know what day it is? It’s National Chocolate Bark Day! Uh. Not really but it should be a holiday on the Instagram calendar dontcha think? I’m beyond excited to be working with my friends over at the FeedFeed and Williams Sonoma to bring you this new recipe using their nostalgic peppermint bark. #barkyeah !

Photo 2015-11-21, 1 42 28 PM
Photo 2015-11-21, 1 42 28 PM

Here’s a little bio on this bark and some of my thoughts on the process:

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Photo 2015-11-21, 1 43 25 PM

It’s handmade from custom-blended Guittard premium chocolate, infused with natural peppermint oil, layered with creamy white chocolate and finished with a snowfall of crisp handmade peppermint candy bits.

-An original Williams-Sonoma recipe and their beloved holiday tradition – They had me at original recipe and I’m all about traditions especially when it comes to chocolate! -Prepared using time-honored confectionery techniques – I want to learn what a confectionery technique is….in my kitchen I’m happy when something doesn’t fall apart. -Master candy-makers pour semisweet chocolate onto a confectioner’s table, then add a layer of creamy white chocolate. A sprinkling of crisp handmade peppermint candy bits offers an inspired contrast to the rich, velvety smoothness of the world-class chocolate – I need a table, A BIG TABLE in fact. Why? To pour chocolate on of course! Can you imagine slathering chocolate all over your kitchen table? A Willy Wonka’ish dream come true.

Photo 2015-11-22, 1 35 38 PM
Photo 2015-11-22, 1 35 38 PM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 33 06 AM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 33 06 AM

I could definitely spend hours and hours in Williams Sonoma.  I’m obsessed with everything in their store and I have a wish list the length of my arm for anyone that is interested….nudge nudge…hint hint.

Photo 2015-11-22, 10 31 20 AM (1)
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 31 20 AM (1)

My problem is, I go into this store for one item and end up leaving with at least 10 things to add to my collection. Honestly? THE BEST solution for me is to just live at their store….perhaps in the food processor section. No one would even notice, right?

Photo 2015-11-22, 10 28 33 AM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 28 33 AM

Two of my most used Williams Sonoma purchases are below. My beloved KitchenAid Stand Mixer and my stemless wine glasses that I DON’T drink wine out of…..because, as you know, I don’t like wine. They sure are nice to use for just about anything….especially sweets!

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image23

So what’s so great about this peppermint chocolate bark? It’s sweet yet simple. It’s chocolatey and smells like a peppermint candy cane. Best of all, it’s SO STUNNING and you know how I feel about pretty things.

Photo 2015-11-22, 10 34 01 AM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 34 01 AM

If Williams Sonoma has an original recipe for bark, well that calls for a Simply Beautiful Eating original dessert recipe. I hemmed and hawed at several options here and then just let my hands do the grabbing at the market.

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Photo 2015-11-22, 10 29 27 AM

Here’s what ended up in my shopping cart:

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Photo 2015-11-22, 10 08 26 AM

A box of candy canes (there’s a story about these….just wait)

CHOCOLATE – in fact, loads of chocolate – to make mini brownies and two special sauces

A box of candy cane cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies

So far this sounds pretty easy, right? Well. It is.

Okay, you were waiting so patiently for the candy cane story, so here ya go.

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Photo 2015-11-21, 1 59 03 PM

I purchased a box of mini’s and opened them only to find that 99.9 % were BROKEN!!! Not having enough time to run out and get another box, I just used what I had and as you can see they are missing the curved cane part. Double Ugh. My hubby Steve is ALWAYS stepping in to lend a helping hand. He’s actually my “fix it” hero. He said “gimme your canes”. Next thing I know he’s trying to stick the candy canes together with Krazy Glue. I’m not joking here. This is who I live with. After a few moments of silence I hear this….”they’re not holding”.

Um. Was I surprised? No. But…..

He thinks he can repair everything and usually does. A+ for effort Steve…. A+

Photo 2015-11-22, 10 35 10 AM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 35 10 AM

The best recipes can really be simple ones and this Peppermint Bark Trifle fits the bill.

Photo 2015-11-22, 10 30 00 AM
Photo 2015-11-22, 10 30 00 AM

Cheers to Steve for trying his best to do surgery on the candy canes and to theFeed Feed and Williams Sonomafor giving me this awesome opportunity to work with you!

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Photo 2015-11-21, 1 27 12 PM

Have a safe, happy & healthy holiday season!

PEPPERMINT BARK MINI TRIFLES

1 recipe baked brownies - you can use mine below or a boxed mix is fine too 3 oz of white chocolate - I used Ghirardelli 3 oz of semi- sweet or dark chocolate - I used Ghirardelli ½ box Peppermint Chocolate Bark - Williams Sonoma 1 package creme filled sandwich cookies - I used candy cane flavour 3 tablespoons butter (divided) 1½ cups half and half or cream (divided) ½ cup sugar (divided) 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup (divided) 1 teaspoon espresso powder 2 cups whipping cream ¼ cup powdered sugar Garnishes: Additional Peppermint Bark and Candy Canes

INSTRUCTIONS -Start by making the brownies. You can either make them in a 9 x 13 pan OR do what I did and make them in mini muffin tins so you end up with teeny brownie bites which are cuter than cute. Remove brownies from the oven and cool completely (if you are in a hurry ....like I ALWAYS AM, just stick them in the freezer). -If you made them in a large pan, cut the brownies into bite-size chunks and set aside. -Meanwhile, for the two sauces, in two separate saucepans (one for the white and one for the dark) combine chocolate and the divided butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. -Stir in the divided half and half or cream, the divided sugar, and the divided corn syrup. In the saucepan with the white chocolate add in the teaspoon of espresso powder. Bring each saucepan to a gentle boil over medium heat. Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced to just over 1 cup each. Remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two, until it stops bubbling. If you are not into making two flavours of sauce just forget the dividing and make one chocolate sauce - no one will judge you for not getting fancy shmancy. -Cool to room temperature; mixture thickens as it cools. (Freezer or fridge if you are in a hurry works as well). -For the whipped cream, in a chilled mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid Standmixer from Williams Sonoma) combine 2 cups whipping cream and powdered sugar. Beat with the chilled whisk beater on medium speed until soft peaks form. -Assembly line: In 6 to 8 stemless wine glasses (mine are from Williams Sonoma and I prefer eating sweets out of them than drinking wine..haha) alternately layer brownie bits, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, mocha sauce, whipped cream, crumbled cookies and Peppermint Bark ending with whipped cream, a good chunk of Peppermint Bark and a candy cane for garnish. Serve immediately. -If you want to do this all in one trifle bowl, go for it.

Photo 2015-11-21, 2 02 02 PM
Photo 2015-11-21, 2 02 02 PM

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL EATING'S FAVOURITE BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS 4 ounces of a combo of unsweetened & semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped - I used Ghirardelli ¾ cup butter 1¾ cups sugar 3 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder - I used Ghiradelli ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS -Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray or line with liners. My Wilton Pan never needs spray...it is awesome. -Place the coarsely chopped baking chocolates and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. -Heat on HIGH power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Stir in sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and cocoa and stir well. Add salt and flour and stir carefully. -Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out only slightly chocolately from the center of the brownie. -Remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack. -Store at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months. This recipe makes about 40 - 48 mini's.

xo,

debi, @simplybeautifuleatingwww.simplybeautifuleating.com