Welcome to Friday Feast in the tavern!
The festive holiday season is in full swing in the Morgan’s castle and kitchen. Though this year’s holiday baking is getting off to a slow start, I’m planning (well, hopefully) to do Christmas baking this weekend. Now years ago, I started my holiday baking in September. Yes, you’ve read correctly. September started with cookies, candy, and fruitcake. Cookies and candy were stored in the freezer, and the fruitcake in the pantry, where I would pour generous amounts of brandy or rum every ten days or so. This ritual of early preparation was inherited from my mom. She started her holiday baking in the fall, too.
Spin the calendar ahead to 2023. I no longer begin prepping in September. My cookie and candy list has slimmed down, and I’m the only one in the family who enjoys a slice of delicious fruitcake. At least I think I’m the only one. Sadly, my dad has departed this world. He loved my spiked fruitcake!
One of my treats, Peppermint bark, remains my favorite—along with so many others. Even though I can find this candy throughout the year, I savor it the best during the holidays. In my humble opinion, there’s something magical about the combination of chocolate and peppermint. I’ve been known to snip a peppermint leaf from my garden and sandwich it between two small squares of dark chocolate.
For this treat, I’ve renamed my recipe in honor of Eve Brannigan from A Magical Highland Solstice. This Highland holiday romance was my first in the series, A Tale from the Order of the Dragon Knights. As readers will know, Eve worked for a bakery in San Francisco. She entered a baking contest and won. Her prize was to cater a Winter Solstice event at Craig Castle in Scotland. To find out what happened to Eve along her journey, you’ll have to pick up a copy of the book. Of course, there’s magic, baking, mischievous Fae, and a sexy Highlander. Lots of romance, too!
To learn more about these Highland holiday romances, take a peek HERE!
Eve Brannigan’s Festive Peppermint Bark
8 oz. premium dark chocolate (over 80%)
8 oz. premium white chocolate
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Crushed candy cane pieces (approximately ¼ or more depending on your preference)
1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
2. Put dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir well. Return to microwave and heat for another 15 seconds. Stir well and repeat for another 15 seconds until melted. Stir in peppermint extract.
3. Using a spatula, spread dark chocolate into pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Put white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir well. Return to microwave and heat for another 15 seconds. Stir well and repeat for another 15 seconds until melted.
5. Spread white chocolate evenly over dark chocolate layer.
6. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane pieces.
7. Place pan back in refrigerator or allow to harden at room temperature for several hours before breaking apart into pieces.