Food Friday: Christmas cookies and candies

I just peeked at my stats, assuming you had ALL LEFT ME for good after not posting all week, but surprise, you have been here checking for something new every day. Your faith in me is touching, if undeserved. At least I left you with something good to look at all week.

But anyway. It’s just that I’ve been doing all this freelance work for Santa this week, and he is an absolute BEAR on the deadlines, so my blogging life suffered a bit. But I make it up to you with not one but TWO recipes today, both diligently tested at my house in the last 24 hours.

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Mine is only dark chocolate this year. Because I’m simplifying.

Peppermint Bark

You do know you don’t have to buy this only at Williams-Sonoma for $20 a tin or Trader Joe’s for slightly less, right? Because you can make it in your own kitchen, and you get to use your favorite kind of chocolate, too.

This recipe is infinitely adaptable (white chocolate! dark chocolate! layers! peppermint extract! or nooo!), but here are the basic ratios:

Crushed candy canes, to yield one cup

One pound chocolate (I like bittersweet or sometimes I layer dark and white)

(A word about chocolate: Callebaut, Valhrona are excellent choices for this confection and sold in big chunks at places like Whole Foods, but not to worry— you can also use grocery store chocolate chips like Ghiradelli or packaged squares like Bakers. Just stay away from the milk chocolate. Because that is wrong.)

1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring, optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and smash away into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and stir constantly. Combine candy cane chunks/dust with chocolate, but save some of the biggest chunks to press into the top after you pour it out.

Add peppermint flavoring at this point, if desired. Chocolate will separate a little at this point, but just keep stirring.

Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet (with edges, to contain the river of chocolate) lined with parchment or waxed paper, add big chunks of candy cane on top and place in a cold spot for 45 minutes or until firm. (Don’t use your Silpat liner here, as I learned—your bark will be etched with the Silpat pattern.) Remove from cookie sheet and shatter into cookie-sized pieces.

Supposedly this will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, but I wouldn’t know. (Plus, if you put it in the fridge, it will get that unsightly white cocoa “bloom”—just eat it, for God’s sake, or give it away.)

I promise to add the cookie recipe later today, but Santa is cracking the whip right now.

Like you were going to make cookies before breakfast anyway.

See you later—it’s good to be back!

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14 Responses to “Food Friday: Christmas cookies and candies”

  1. La Says:

    This is one of my favorite holiday treats to make! I just bought the ingredients two days ago! I never thought to add peppermint extract, though. Thanks for the tip!

    Happy weekend! 🙂

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Anna, we missed you! That looks absolutely delicious. Now I know what I will be doing with my Friday night. Thanks!

  3. alissa Says:

    I am SO making this!

  4. Molly Says:

    I hope you didn’t bring any into the office. Because then I might cry. Miss you guys!

  5. Clink Says:

    Darn it! If I had had this recipe yesterday, I totally would’ve made it for my Christmas party.

    Now I’ll just have to make it…for myself.

  6. B. Says:

    I’d like to place an order please…

  7. Maggie Says:

    That looks wonderful…I will definitely have to make some soon!

  8. elizabethews Says:

    oh, how I love peppermint bark…..

  9. Sarah Says:

    the kids and i made peppermint bark last year for their teachers and classmates; we “tasted” it so much that we were lucky there was any left for gift-giving. 😉

  10. itsallabouthallie Says:

    I love peppermint bark and never had the recipe…yummm i am going to have to try it. I always make fudge at christmas!! Nice to see you back!

  11. Marie Says:

    i make this every year to give as little gifts or for a holiday party, ever since my friend Leisa turned me onto it. no one understands how easy it is to make, it just tastes so great they think you are fabulous.

  12. Heidi Says:

    I am definately going to try this recipe, my hus has been hinting around how much he likes pepperment and chocolate. I will go with dark choc too, after all it is good for you.

  13. Christina Says:

    Yum. You sure do know how to make a girl hungry. this is getting added to my holiday baking list!

  14. Sheila Says:

    Lady- You amaze me! Can’t wait to wow the ladies at my first ever cookie swap (yes, sad but true) this week. I think this recipe is just easy enough for me this year. keep it coming.

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