Cheats Dessert

Christmas Goodies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!

One of the reasons is that we have an excuse to do a little extra baking! Over the years I have tried lots of recipes, but these two are ones I keep coming back to and always seem to include with teacher gifts, send to neighbors etc. I’ve had many people ask me for these recipes, and now I’m sharing them with you. I chose them because they are CHEAP, EASY and FAST to make, and they’re always a hit – plus they just look so darn pretty. So, never buy over priced, stale peppermint bark from high end kitchen stores again…and certainly don’t be afraid to try using a candy thermometer for a recipe – it’s not as scary as it seems!!! Toffee is worth it every time – and this recipe won’t chip your veneer off! Have a safe, happy and yummy holiday season, everyone!

 

Peppermint Bark

12 Oz (2 C) Dark or milk chocolate chips (I use a good brand like Ghirardelli)

12 Oz White chocolate chips

8-10 Peppermint candy canes, crushed

Crush Candy Canes in food processor or in plastic bag with a rolling pin (my favored method, to let all the holiday aggression loose). If you’re lucky, your grocery store will sell them pre crushed. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler (I just place in bowl over pot of boiling water). Once fully melted, pour chocolate onto sheet pan and spread thin in an even layer with a rubber spatula. It does not have to be spread to the edges of the pan. Refrigerate. Once the bottom layer is completely hardened (about an hour), melt the white chocolate and then pour over top of the dark chocolate.  While white chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the candy cane pieces over top in an even layer. Cover hand with plastic wrap, and then press down gently. Refrigerate until hardened, and then break into pieces with hands or a knife.

Toffee Bark

2 C butter

2 C sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 C semi sweet chocolate chips

1 C sliced almonds

 

Prepare a sheet pan with foil or thick parchment. Put butter, sugar and salt into a pan and cook over medium heat until bubbling and 285 degrees (use candy thermometer). The mixture will look thick and caramel in color. Pour hot mixture carefully onto sheet pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently smooth out melted chocolate and then sprinkle the almonds on top. Cover hand with plastic wrap and pat down gently to ensure almonds will not fall off. Place in fridge about 2 hours until fully hardened. Bang or cut into chunks.

 

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