Monday, December 16, 2013

Sugar-free low-carb peppermint bark

I really wanted to create some kind of Christmas cookie or candy recipe. This time of year, there are temptations everywhere with folks giving away sweets seemingly everywhere you go. So, it's nice to be able to bring an option that is more in line with your own way of eating.

I am CRAZY about peppermint bark, which is pretty much just dark chocolate, white chocolate, plus crushed peppermint candies. The white chocolate layer is the most challenging. Since I previously developed a recipe for sugar-free dairy-free white chocolate, I knew that I had a solution here. For the regular chocolate layer, you can either use very dark storebought chocolate such as Lindt 90% or add stevia to unsweetened 100% chocolate. Now we just have the peppermint candy. You have a few options here:
  • My top choice would probably be xylitol peppermints such as these. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar zero-calorie sugar alcohol; more info here.
  • If you just want to reduce carbs and calories, you can easily find sugar-free mints such as these at most drugstores or supermarkets.
  • If you would rather use real sugar but avoid additives like high-fructose corn syrup, you can get organic mints such as these or these. You could also try health food stores such as Whole Foods.
  • Finally, I used two layers of peppermint candies with six crushed candies sprinkled on each chocolate layer. You could just reduce the overall quantity and use six instead on the top layer only with none on the dark chocolate.
SUGAR-FREE LOW-CARB PEPPERMINT BARK
Makes about 1/2 pound

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate or unsweetened chocolate + stevia equivalent of 1/4 cup sugar (note: many chocolate bars are sold as 3.5 oz; that's fine, just use 3.5 oz instead of 4 if that's easier.)
  • 2 oz (weight) food-grade cocoa butter (I use this stuff)
  • 1 packet (about 1.75 ounces) coconut milk powder (I buy Roxy brand from the local Asian market, which is unsweetened)
  • Stevia equivalent of 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 6-12 peppermint candies (see note above)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
DIRECTIONS
  1. Chop the dark chocolate and crush the peppermint candies.
  2. Put the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with the coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave at 10-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. If using unsweetened chocolate + stevia, stir in the stevia now. Scrape the melted chocolate into a loaf pan or tupperware container (I used a Gladware entree container). Shake lightly to distribute. If using twelve candies for two layers of peppermint, sprinkle half of the crushed peppermints evenly over the chocolate. Put the container in the freezer and set aside.
  3. Next, make the white chocolate layer. Put the cocoa butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for a minute, stir, and then microwave again for 30-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Vigorously whisk in the coconut milk powder, stevia, and pinch of salt until smooth.
  4. Remove the container holding the chocolate from the freezer. Scrape the white chocolate over the dark chocolate layer, shaking lightly to distribute. Sprinkle six crushed peppermint candies over the white chocolate layer and place into the freezer to solidify.
  5. When completely solid, cut into squares or break into pieces and serve. Keep it cold until serving, preferably in the freezer.

5 comments:

Deirdre G said...

Anything I can use instead of cocoa butter?

Erica said...

Deirdre: You can use storebought white chocolate instead of making your own. Or you could try using coconut butter but it won't taste like white chocolate, it'll just be a coconut flavor.

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