GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

November 27, 2012

A homemade gift from your kitchen

It’s that time of year when we start thinking of major gift-giving, and a big part of that for many of us are homemade gifts from our kitchens.

My preference is to make and freeze as much as I can in the first week or two in December; I am better prepared when plans are made for office parties, class parties in school, and many other occasions that happen at this time of year. Don’t let it overwhelm you, because it’s just too much fun, and after the-fact, you’re left with some real good memories. If I can help with searching for a particular recipe, or in any other way, just email me.

For those looking for a good candy recipe for that candy swap or bake sale, here’s one you may want to try. This chocolate bark has a festive look with the crushed peppermint candy on top. The recipe makes a scant 2 pounds so I usually have to double it at least.

Peppermint Bark

Makes about 2 pounds

Ingredients:

12 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate

1 pound white chocolate with cocoa butter

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

3/4 cup candy canes or peppermint candy, crushed

Line a 15-by-10 inch jelly roll pan with foil extended over sides. Grease foil with non-stick spray.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Pour evenly into pan and smooth with offset spatula. Sprinkle with one-quarter cup peppermint candy. Place in refrigerator until firm.

Heat white chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat until chocolate is almost melted. Remove insert from pan and stir until completely melted. Stir in extract. Cool slightly. Pour over chocolate layer and spread quickly to cover. Sprinkle with one-half cup crushed candy.

Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy.

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