And, as promised, I’m sharing this absolutely delicious, rich, Paleo(ish) Peppermint Bark today. I say “ish” because there are candy canes in it. And candy canes, as far as I can tell, do not fall into the paleo diet. This recipe, however, is worth the minor cheat (if you’re a strict paleo eater, which I’m not), as the vast majority of what you’ll be biting into is pure, healthy, whole food decadence. I think you’ll love it. Everyone I’ve shared it with so far loves it, and I’ll be giving away 5 more boxes of it this afternoon. Crossing my fingers that it will be as big a hit today as it has been this last week.
As for packaging and decorating, I found these cute little glass boxes at a Japanese store called DAISO (it’s kind of like a dollar store) for $1.50 each. They’re microwave safe glass containers, and of course I busted out the paint pens again to make them festive for the season. You really can make awesome gifts on the cheap if you know where to look! And the contents inside are far from skimpy — believe me, this is a sweet, rich treat!
For more ideas on homemade gifts for the holidays, check out my homemade flourless rum balls, my homemade garlic herb salt, my homemade foot scrub, and my homemade lotion bars and hand salve. You’ll love them all! And just in time — one weekend left to get it all done guys!
Special Chocolate Care
I’ll be honest, this chocolate is somewhat high-maintenance. It needs to stay in the fridge or freezer, because coconut oil, while mostly solid at room temperature, is in no way hard like chocolate should be at room temperature. And coconut oil is the main ingredient. In chocolate you buy at the store, cacao butter is the main ingredient, and while using cacao butter was originally part of my plan (I have a big block if it at home and everything!), I chickened out on using it when I read that the temperature had to be monitored more closely during the heating and cooling process than it did with the coconut oil (read: SHORT CUT) chocolate that I ended up making. I’m fine with the special needs of this chocolate. It forces me to pick a piece and walk away from the refrigerator, which is a good thing for me when it comes to peppermint bark (it’s one of my favorite holiday things!).
But I do plan to experiment with the cacao butter after the holidays when I have more time for trial and error. This way, I can figure it out and perfect it in time to make a shelf-stable version next year. Then again, Christmas isn’t the only time for chocolate eating, so maybe chocolate-making will become a regular thing for me. After all, I am stocking up on silicone molds. My next chocolate project to tackle will be some sort of nut butter chocolate. I haven’t quite worked out how I want to do it, but the wheels are turning, so I’ll keep you posted!
Paleo(ish) Peppermint Bark
- Melt coconut oil on the stove in a saucepan until completely melted
- Add in the cocoa/cacao and stir or whisk until it's fully mixed into a homogeneous liquid
- Turn off the heat and add the other three ingredients
- Pour about 1/4 inch thick into a cookie sheet or a silicone tray like this one
- On a non-breakable surface, unwrap the candy canes and crush them. (I used the bottom of a thick glass cup and crushed them on a cutting board) You can decide how big you want the pieces to be
- Place the tray in the refrigerator for at least one hour
- When the bark is completely solid, remove tray from the refrigerator
- If using a hard, non-pliable cookie sheet, turn the tray upside down on a cutting board and bang on the back of it to release the bark. You might need to use a thin spatula to get underneath it to release it
- If using a silicone tray, simply peel it back and either break or cut the pieces as desired
- Store in the fridge or freezer
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