Peppermint was definitely the flavor of the holidays this year, and I saw more specialty peppermint goodies than ever before – and this includes products in the baking aisle, not just in the bakery case. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark Baking Bits are just one example of some mint-infused baking supplies that I picked up during my holiday shopping. The bits are crushed up peppermint bark, which feature a layer of minty dark chocolate and a layer of “white truffle fudge” that has finely crushed peppermint candies mixed in to it.
Desipte the fact that it is called “white truffle fudge” on the packaging, the white chocolate layer appears to just be white chocolate – and that is a good thing. The white chocolate is creamy and contrasts with the mint well, although dark chocolate fans might wish that there was a little more dark chocolate. Nevertheless, it is some tasty stuff if you like chocolate and mint together (which I do). The mint flavor is strong, so it really stands out if you are eating these plain, but that also means that it is strong enough to come through in almost any recipe. They make an excellent Peppermint Bark Mocha, if you feel like stirring them into your coffee, too.
The bits range in size from very tiny to nearly the size of a dime. Most pieces were quite small, but you still get a wide variety of shapes and sizes and not the same kind of consistency that you would get from a bag of chocolate chips. This doesn’t matter if you’re eating them straight out of the bag (which I did), but it does lead to a less uniform appearance in, for instance, a batch of cookies. They’re easy to work with, however, and can be stirred in to cookies or brownies just like chocolate chips. The only problem is that I wanted to keep eating them straight out of the bag instead of just baking with them – but I guess that means that I should have bought more than one bag at a time.