Hello and welcome to my Little Willow blog, well welcome to those who might stumble across it anyway as I have yet to give this address to anyone :) I thought I might try and see how I get along with just writing in it first. It's all a lot of random stuff, but hey, hopefully there'll be something interesting for people

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Baking Review - Chocolate Peppermint Bars

I'm a bit late in posting this recipe on here - I made these yummy peppermint bars last weekend when my brother and sister in law came to visit.

I ended up making these and also the cranberry and white chocolate cupcakes I've made previously (and also blogged about). I had lots of ingredients left over from Christmas when all our plans went slightly awry so I decided to do one thing I'd made before and also a new thing.

The recipe for the Chocolate Peppermint Bars comes from the book - 1001 cupcakes, cookies and other tempting treats by Susanne Tee, which I received for my birthday off my friend Sian. The recipe is on page 190.


55g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
55g/2oz caster sugar
115g/4oz plain flour
175g/6oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2tsp green food colouring (optional)
175/6oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a shallow 30x20cm/ 12x8 inch baking tin. Place the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour until the mixture binds together.

Knead the mixture to form a smooth dough, then press into the tin and prick the surface all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and just firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Gradually add the water, then add the peppermint extract and food colouring (if desired). Spread the icing over the base, then leave to set.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until melted. Spread the chocolate over the icing, then leave to set. Cut into slices to serve.

I ended up using a tin slightly smaller than suggested as I could only use what I had! However, the amount of base that was made from the ingredients barely covered it at all and in the correct sized tin, I think it would have been stretched too much. Also the mixture didn't really come together brilliantly and didn't form a smooth dough, it was quite crumbly. But despite that, it did come out ok in the end.
For the peppermint part, I actually added another few drops of the peppermint extract to get a stronger mint flavour, which worked well for me and my family as we like it like that, but obviously go on what your preferences are. I did use the green food colouring and it does come out a lovely mint green colour - though I don't think I can show you this as a I stupidly forgot to take photographs of it once sliced. Never mind, next time :-)
I also used 200g chocolate instead of the 175g required as I had 2 100g bars and didn't want to leave any as i'd only end up eating it all! This gave a slightly thicker chocolate layer, but really, who's going to complain about that?

I really enjoyed the bars and would definitely make them again and my mum also really loved them :)

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