Peppermint Bark

I’ve been looking for something new to do for Christmas this year and peppermint bark was a new one for me. I know this is a totally weird story, but it always reminds me of going to see my ob-gyn when I was pregnant. It was my first among many appointments and I remember her rushing in the room to congratulate my husband and me. She just so happen to be eating peppermint bark and why I remember this, I haven’t a clue. It’s a good memory, so I’ll take it.

Anyway, so I had never made any peppermint bark until today. My husband’s going to a Christmas party tomorrow and some of the folks who are attending don’t eat gluten. This seemed like a good alternative for him to bring and it gave me something new to try. It’s quick and easy, so it’s perfect for busy people.

Peppermint Bark

 

Peppermint Bark

1 1/2 bags (about 2 c.) of dark chocolate*
1 bag (about 10 oz.) of white chocolate*
6 peppermint candy canes, crushed fine

*It’s important to use quality chocolate when you’re making something where chocolate is the star. I prefer Guittard.

Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave. If you’re using a microwave, keep a close eye on it and stir it around every 30 seconds to avoid burning. Also, it’s important everything is clean and dry. Remember, water causes chocolate to seize. If you want a shimmer to your chocolate, you can add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or a little paraffin while it melts. Once the chocolate is melted, pour and spread evenly into a jelly roll pan that’s been lined with parchment paper with a little overlap to make it easy to get out. The size jelly roll pan I used for this one was 10″ x 13″. It’ll produce thicker bark, so for thinner bark, you can use a larger one. Freeze for 20 minutes.

While the dark chocolate freezes, melt the white chocolate the same way you did the dark. Pour and spread over the frozen dark chocolate. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on the top and gently pat down to help them stick. Freeze for another 20 minutes.

Remove from pan and break apart with a sharp knife or if you’re really talented, you can try to cut these in nice squares.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s about time I posted something!

Cold and snowy days are perfect for baking and we’ve had more snow than usual this past week. Schools were closed for a few days in a row (parents were going nuts) and life around here came to a standstill. There was a lot more nightlife–people were out enjoying the peaceful snowfall, kids were sledding and making snowmen, and some people just had to resort to walking to places they needed to go because it was so icy.

With this weather and the holidays approaching, I imagine there will be more posts coming your way (at least I hope!). This one I’m posting now has been in our family for a long time and I’m not sure where it originated. Of course I had to make a minor adjustment to it. It needed chocolate chips, so bam! There are chocolate chips for you. I think it’s the best oatmeal cookie recipe, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 eggs
1 c. raisins
1 t. vanilla
1 c. butter or shortening (or ½ & 1/2), room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 ½ c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
2 c. rolled oats
2 c. chocolate chips

Beat eggs well. Add raisins and vanilla. Let stand 1 hour.

Cream butter with sugars and add egg mixture. Mix well.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Scoop out a rounded tablespoon full or use a cookie scoop and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.