Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Barking Up the Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope  you’re all enjoying a relaxing day, out of the cold. And of course getting into the holiday spirit with special recipes and whatnot. Because what says holidays like food?

Sadly, we still haven’t given our neighbors anything yet. Time to break out the candy canes for the old peppermint bark standby! But new this year, we tried peanut butter bark, too. I have to say, they both turned out thick and delicious. I also got a chance to try out the camera on my new iPad, so bear with me on my photography!

Peppermint Bark

The worst part of making peppermint bark is unwrapping the candy canes (or peppermint candies, or whatever you use). It makes for sticky fingers and cellophane wrappers sticking to everything via static electricity... and then you have to double-bag them in Ziploc baggies. The second bag its always a challenge.

But now for the fun part: you beat them up with the  handle of a butterknife. (I got this job :)) All your holiday aggressions disappear as you bang away, and then you can truly get in the spirit of the season!

Meanwhile, it helps to have someone melting chocolate. But if not, now’s the time to do it. We used milk chocolate wafers meant to be melted in the microwave.

Melted chocolate and crushed candy canes--the makings of peppermint bark!

Spread the chocolate on a foil-lined cookie sheet and stick it in the fridge for a few minutes, just to let it set a bit. If your candy canes aren’t pulverised enough yet, beat ‘em some more!

Then melt some white chocolate and stir in the candy canes...

...and pour it over the chocolate. Then spread it around.

Let that sit in the fridge until it’s hard, and then break it into uneven pieces. We used knives because it was so thick.
Just let it fracture where it wants to, and you have some beautfiul peppermint bark!

Don’t worry too much if the white and dark layers separate. Then you can just pick out the parts you like best. ;)

Peanut Butter Bark

I’ll skip the first few steps because it’s just  laying down the chocolate base like you did for the peppermint bark. Actually, the whole thing should just be a no-brainer of melting the peanut butter chips and spreading them on top, but after beating up the candy canes turned out to be so much fun, I started hunting around for something else to pound with my knife...

Turns out there are four brave soldiers left over from the last bag of Oreos we opened. They seemed perfectly willing to join the cause, so into the plastic bag they went!

Yum! Now pour that baby over the chocolate!

Again, let it sit until it’s hard, and then break it.

Hmm...the neighbors might not be getting all of this. ;)
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