Chocolate Candy Cane Cake Balls

1 box (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix

3 eggs

1⅓ cups water

½ cup vegetable oil

3 teaspoons pure peppermint extract, divided

1 container (16 ounces) prepared fudge frosting

1 package (about 24 ounces) chocolate almond bark

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.

In a large bowl, stir cake mix with eggs, water, oil and 11/2 teaspoons peppermint extract until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 33-38 minutes.

Cool slightly and crumble while warm into a large bowl; stir in the frosting until well blended.

With a small cookie scoop, form balls (smooth with hands if desired) and place on wax paper. Chill 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer.

In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate bark in the microwave set on HIGH for 90 seconds. Stir and heat at 30-second intervals until melted; stir in remaining extract until smooth.

With a fork, dip balls into chocolate, shaking gently to let excess dip off. Return to wax paper and sprinkle with crushed candy cane. Let sit at room temperature until coating hardens. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 36-42 cake balls.

Deborah Pankey, Daily Herald

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