Edible gifts are my favorite kind to make and give. There's something about the process of creating and making something for someone that gives a present a special, personalized touch.
Growing up, my family never had any "signature" holiday treats. For a lot of my friends, they'll talk about the classic linzer cookies or breads that their grandmas make for the holidays, but I never really learned or tried a lot of classic tried and true Christmas-themed treats until recently.
Peppermint bark is always a popular choice that I see garnishing checkout lines at grocery stores and gift shops, yet I've never tried it. Williams Sonoma has their infamous classic bark that many families consider a staple around the holidays, but that one is still on my bucket list.
After I realized that bark is essentially just melted down chocolate with whatever toppings you want to add in there, matcha suddenly popped into my head. With the green and red color scheme all around, matcha is the perfect natural food coloring for any classic treat that also kicks it up a notch in umami flavor. Make sure to use a culinary-grade, like Matchaeologist's Midori blend-- otherwise the matcha will turn bitter and loses some nutrients.
Matcha turned out to be the perfect complement to white chocolate, which I'm normally not the biggest fan of. It's usually too sweet for me to enjoy, but the matcha gave it some depth to balance the sweet notes out.
This is one of the easiest, no traditional baking required edible gift that you can have finished within about 5 minutes of prep and then passive waiting time for the chocolate to re-solidify.
Enough talking, onto the recipe!
Matcha Peppermint Bark
2 bars baking White Chocolate (4 oz. each), chopped finely
2 tsp Matcha (I used Midori by Matchaeologist)
1 Candy Cane or 4-5 Peppermint candies, crushed
1. Place chopped white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat process until chocolate is of a smooth consistency. Careful to not overheat.
2. Add matcha and stir until thoroughly combined with no visible powder left. Line a flat dish (or baking sheet) with parchment paper. Pour chocolate onto parchment and spread chocolate out until about 1/3" thick (or thickness desired). Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies (and matcha powder if you wish) on top, and leave out for 20-30 minutes until solid.
*TIP: if in a hurry, place chocolate to solidify in the refrigerator to speed up process.
3. Using your hands or a knife, break up pieces of chocolate bark. And gift! Or eat..