Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Easy Christmas Sweets

Not sure about anyone else but the holidays ignite a need to make sweets. Luckily I have neighbors and friends to share (and experiment with) so I'm not eating them all by myself. In addition to Nigella Lawson's Rocky Road Bars I baked chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter blossoms, made sugar and spice nuts (as found via Amy Clark's Motherload Blog), peppermint bark and salty almond bark (both pictured).

Following are recipes for peppermint bark and salty almond bark. My note: I modified these from other recipes I found to make them more budget friendly. The recipes I found called for either baker's chocolate or high-end, quality chocolate. My taste buds (and pocketbook) don't mind Hershey's or Nestle's chocolate.

Peppermint Bark
This is my FAVORITE Christmas treat. Chocolate. Mint. Mmm. Mmm.

1, 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1, 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
3/4 cup crushed candy canes
2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 tsp peppermint extract


  • Crush peppermint candy canes, equal to 3/4 cup. I put them in a sealed freezer bag and whacked away with the hammer (hence the hammer in the photo). Set aside.
  • Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tsp vegetable oil and pour onto aluminum foil, smooth out with spatula to about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place in refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Melt white chocolate chips with 1 tsp vegetable oil.
  • Once melted, add 3/4 tsp peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candy canes, mix well.
  • Spread white chocolate mixture atop semi-sweet chocolate and refrigerate.
  • Once solid, break into pieces and enjoy!

Salty Almond Bark
Sweet. Salty. Nutty. All in one delish bite. Can you ask for anything more?

1, 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1, 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 Tbsp Kosher salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Coarsely chop almonds in baking pan until lightly toasted, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove toasted almonds from oven, place in bowl and set aside.
  • Reduce oven heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line baking pan with aluminum foil and sprinkle rows of chocolate, alternating between white and semi-sweet rows (or just toss them on the pan anyway you like).
  • Place chocolate in oven for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove when chips are soft and use spatula to smooth out chocolate somewhat evenly and thinly, about 1/4 inch.
  • Sprinkle chopped almonds and salt evenly over the chocolate.
  • Using spatula, lightly press almonds and salt into chocolate.
  • Refrigerate until solid.
  • Break into pieces and enjoy!
If you try these or have questions, let me know. If you're in the area, I'll save you some of mine!

Merry Christmas.

No comments: