It's Em-Effing Chocolate-Eating Time: Peppermint Bark

It's a Christmas miracle! No-bake treats that taste beyond delicious. All you need is a 11-by-17-inch cookie sheet, a hammer (sweet!), a freezer and a little patience at the stove. If you're no good at baking and you're really good at eating chocolate, this is the holiday treat for you.

Straight from Martha Stewart comes a fantastically easy recipe for peppermint bark. There's no temperature checking, no oven time -- it's one of the gloriously shortest recipes we've ever seen. Basically, it's buy, melt, hammerize, mix, freeze, eeeeeat. Sure, you could spend 209 bucks on the same peppermint bark at Williams-Sonoma and not have to make anything yourself. But, then you'd miss out on the fun of taking a hammer to a box of candy canes. And that would be dumb of you.

We particularly like this recipe because it lends itself to endless riffs. Basically, you can use any chocolate and pair it with whatever hard candy you like (heck, you could probably throw M&Ms, gummy bears and socks in there and it would work). Martha uses the classic white chocolate plus peppermint combo, which we made and loved. But we also experimented with a dark chocolate plus peppermint bark. It was admittedly less pretty than the white chocolate bark, but it was 10 times tastier.

Here's the ridiculously simple recipe:

Ingredients (Makes 2¼ pounds or one 11-by-17-inch sheet. If you eat the entire sheet yourself, it's the merriest Christmas of all.)

2 pounds white chocolate, chopped into ½-inch pieces. (White chocolate chips totally work, too. The bags aren't quite a pound each, but buying two worked out perfectly. Also worth noting: The cooking aisle at Walmart currently has a million different chocolate chip varieties. In addition to Ghiradelli white chocolate chips, we bought the Hershey Special Dark chips. Yums.) 12 large candy canes ½ tsp. peppermint oil (We could only find peppermint extract at the Wallymart, but it worked just fine. It's less strong than peppermint oil, but we weren't disappointed at all with the final product.)

Directions Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the top of a double boiler (or, if you're like us and you're not fancy enough to have a double boiler, just use a glass or metal heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water), melt white chocolate, stirring constantly.

With a chef's knife or meat tenderizer (or hammer! Get out all that pent up holiday aggression while you mash up those candy canes. "That was my parking spot, bitch!"), pound candy canes into ¼-inch pieces. Note: We put our unmashed candy canes in a plastic baggie first, to minimize mess since we knew we were going to really give those canes hell.

Stir pieces of candy canes and peppermint oil into the melted chocolate. Remove from heat, and pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; spread evenly. Chill until firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Break into pieces, and eat until you turn into a giant, chocolate Santa. Store leftovers (if they exist) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Enjoy your chocolate coma and happy freaking holidays, fools.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade