(Wish I could take credit for this lovely photo, its from Cathie Filian, mine are nowhere near as pretty!)
Did I mention that I am NOT a baker? Every year I try though, and this year shall be no different! My husband always makes fun of me because I come up with grand plans, and think they are going to be WAY more fun than they actually turn out to be. Today, “Christmas Baking Day”, was one of those days…
We’ll start off with a great recipe, ending in a seriously messy kitchen, that I found on My Family My Forever, called Peppermint Bark, followed by an awesome recipe called ‘Reese’s Fudge’. Read on if you dare…it’s not for the faint of heart, nor those on weight watchers…uhem, like myself.
Ingredients: (Looks harmless enough right?)
- 24 ounces white chocolate chips
- 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 package Bob’s Candy Canes
- Cookie Sheet lined with foil
- Cooking Spray
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with Pam.
2. Pour the semisweet chocolate chips onto the pan and spread them around evenly. Bake for a couple of minutes until they look barely melted. Then take the pan out of the oven and spread the chips around with a spatula. So far so good. Put the pan in the refrigerator to cool and harden for about 30 minutes. (Please, I beg you, wait 30 minutes!)
3. Open the candy canes, put them on a cookie sheet under a dishtowel and crush them with a hammer. Sort the larger candy cane pieces from the candy cane dust. (Or in my case you’ll use the bare counter, and silently curse yourself for tossing out your last cookie sheet because you burnt ribs on it and couldn’t get it clean, while fervently dodging flying candy cane shards.)
4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring constantly. (If the term ‘double-boiler’ causes you to panic like it does me, you can do it in the microwave. I did it for about 5.5 minutes on high, stirring half way in between. Make sure chips are well melted, or they will be hard to spread over the chocolate, as they were in my case.) Stir in 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and the candy cane dust. Mix until smooth.
5. Pour over the top of your COOLED semisweet chocolate layer. (I stress cooled, because I’m not great at following directions and didn’t let mine cool completely, so instead we have a more…um…swirly peppermint bark, but I suspect it tastes just as yummy, not cause’ I licked the bowl or anything…I’m just sayin’…)
6. Sprinkle top with candy cane pieces and press them down lightly so that they stick.
7. Refrigerate for several hours, then break the bark into chunks.
8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from fridge about 5 minutes before serving so no one breaks a tooth!
9. Convince your 5 year old to sweep up all the little shards of candy cane before your Teeny Tiny Tot licks them all up from the floor.
10. Steal/borrow image from someone’s blog(make sure to give them credit!) because mine look like…well…like I made them! (I’m sure yours will be much better because you will adhere to step number 5, unlike myself)
11. Shrug as though you don’t know what he’s talking about when your husband comes home and asks why the baby smells like peppermint.
So, all that behind us now, I have to say, I will make these again, I’ll have a cookie sheet ready, and I’ll wait 30 minutes for the chocolate base layer to harden. Minus all the mishaps, this recipe was fairly easy.
So here they are in all their glory: “Swirly Peppermint Bark Ala Erica”! And by the way…they do taste just as good!
In all seriousness, don’t be discouraged by my unfortunate situation today, we had fun, and they taste great. Hopefully next year, they’ll be just as pretty as the pro’s and look at it this way, at least I didn’t try to make delicately decorated snowflake sugar cookies. Trust me on that one. And as a fellow blogger reminded me, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that we are to enjoy!
P.S. If you’re looking for a Christmas present for me, I could seriously use a new cookie sheet ;o)