How to Make Vodka-infused Peppermint Bark
By Laura Fagan Published December 2021
If you’re like us, the holidays bring you visions of sugarplums and sweet treats dancing in your head. That warm feeling isn’t just the holiday spirit, it’s also the oven filled with your favorite recipes just in time for the season. Cooking and treat-making are holiday pastimes, and they are even better when you are baking with booze. ABC’s Chef Macy graciously shares tips for working with chocolate along with a recipe for vodka-infused peppermint bark that is sure to become a new wintertime treasure. If you have ever worked with chocolate in a kitchen, you have probably found that it can be quite a cheeky and temperamental ingredient. It likes to seize and scorch; but, armed with a bit of knowledge and helpful pointers from Chef Macy, you’ll be busting out boozy peppermint bark with no problems at all.
Tips to melting chocolate and liquor like a pro:
Melt chocolate slowly and avoid constant heat – if rushed, the chocolate molecules will be disrupted causing it to become grainy and stiff.
Use a double boiler to slowly melt and temper chocolate or, alternatively, melt chocolate using 20-30 second increments in the microwave making sure to stop and stir with a rubber spatula in-between microwave time.
Never add water, it will cause the chocolate to seize and the chef to cry.
To melt liquor with chocolate – you will first need to note the percentage of cocoa solids. The higher the ratio, the more liquor you will need to incorporate all the cocoa particles and avoid your chocolate forming into a lump. Generally, 55%-60% chocolate will require ½ ounce of liquor and 60%-70% will require ¾ ounce of liquor.
Vodka-Infused Peppermint Bark
1 cup dark chocolate, chips or small pieces
3 ounces 1941 Vodka
1 cup white chocolate, chips or small pieces
1/3 cup peppermint candy, crushed and divided
Place dark chocolate and 2 ounces of vodka into small heatproof bowl (glass bowls work best), stir until chocolate is evenly coated and set aside.
Fill a small pot ¼ full with water and heat on medium. Once water starts to steam, place bowl of chocolate and vodka on top and allow chocolate to melt. Once chocolate reaches a malleable consistency, making sure not to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the bowl and start to stir, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula. Once completely melted, pour onto parchment paper and spread out to desired thickness.
Allow dark chocolate to set slightly (6-8 minutes depending on your room temperature) before melting the white chocolate.
In another small bowl add white chocolate and remaining vodka and stir until coated. Repeat the same melting process with white chocolate. Once white chocolate is melted through, add half of the crushed peppermint and fold until mixed.
Add white chocolate and peppermint mixture to the top of the dark chocolate layer. Spread carefully to cover the top.
Sprinkle remaining crushed peppermint on top and allow to set completely. Refrigerate to speed up the firming time and store until ready to serve.
Click here for microwave method.
Want to swap out vodka? This recipe can also be used with bourbon or Irish cream.