Saturday, December 21, 2013

Peppermint Bark

Ok, here's another easy one, because I am all about simplifying this Christmas or something like that.  Peppermint bark.  The hardest thing you have to do is melt chocolate.  But we already learned how to do that.  Oh, and you get to smash things with your rolling pin, which in my book is always top notch.

Peppermint Bark

  • 1- 12 ounce bag chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60%, but that's just me)
  • 1- 12 ounce bag white chocolate chips
  • 5-6 candycanes
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or a few drops peppermint oil (oil is much stronger than extract)
Melt dark chocolate.  Once melted, pour into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Stick in the fridge for a few minutes to harden.

Take candy canes out of their wrappers.  Put them in a large plastic bag.  Wrap the bag in a kitchen towel.  Take rolling pin and smash the daylights out of the candy canes.  I guess you could use a food processor to chop them up if you were feeling civilized, but that's not really my style.

Melt the white chocolate.  Stir in peppermint extract or oil.  Spread over top of the now hardened dark chocolate.  Sprinkle with candy cane shards.  Stick back in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to harden.  Remove from fridge and break into pieces.  Eat.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Treats Roundup

Christmas is coming, the goose it getting fat...or whatever.  I have been a blog slacker.  But here are some past treats if you are looking for something wonderful to create in the kitchen.  I just hope to get my bathrooms cleaned before my in-laws arrive...
Chocolate Covered Cherries
Butter Cookies
Magic Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Sugar Cookies


Monday, December 2, 2013

Homemade Food Gifts: Vanilla Infused Sugar

Well shoot, November sure went by in a hurry.  Now all of the sudden it's December and we are in the countdown to Christmas.  The gloves are off, it is on.  Baking season is in full swing.  Maybe this year you feel like giving some homemade food gifts.  Good.  People like that.  Here's an easy one to start.  In the realm of homemade food gifts, there isn't one one much easier that this unless it's homemade vanilla, which requires about the same amount of effort. (Which you should make now, by the way, because it takes a couple weeks of chill time).

However, even though it's almost too easy, it's a wonderful homemade food gift.  A spoonful of vanilla sugar really ups the delicious factor in your morning coffee and sprinkling the coarse granules on top of a pie makes it positively sparkle.  My family was gifted a jar of vanilla sugar one Christmas and it sat in our cupboard for eons, being preciously rationed out.  Often, I would open the jar just to smell it.

Vanilla Infused Sugar

  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans ( I buy mine here from Amazon)

Split vanilla beans lengthwise.  Put in pint jar.  Fill jar with raw sugar.  Close jar.  Put a bow on it.  Give to someone you love or keep it for yourself in which case the bow is not strictly necessary.

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