It’s almost Christmas time and I don’t know about you but December has been flying by. I can’t believe how close we are to the end of the holiday season and New Year’s! While some of you bought all your Christmas presents at the stroke of midnight on the day after Thanksgiving, the rest of us are still scrambling for ideas. If you need a stand-out thoughtful Christmas present for someone with a sweet tooth, look no further than these homemade holiday barks. They are inexpensive to make, really impressive and a tasty holiday treat. You can pack them in inexpensive holiday tins and boxes. You can find these at Target on Commerce Way (look for the $1 section!) or at A.C. Moore.
To make these you’ll need to set up a double boiler system to melt the chocolate. This means you need a large pot and a heat-resistant bowl that fits snuggly in the pot. Some boiling water in the pot will gently heat the chocolate in the bowl above. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch the bowl. If you're an expert at melting chocolate in the microwave, then by all means go ahead! These barks do take some time to make but the end result is glorious!
Candy Cane Bark
2 11-oz bags of White Chocolate Chips
10 candy canes
Remove the wrappers off your candy canes and break into pieces. Place the pieces in your food processor and pulse until you only have small chunks of candy cane. You’ll have a lot of candy cane powder so don’t be discouraged if you see this. Set aside.
Set up a baking sheet and cover with one piece of wax paper so that it covers the entire sheet.
Add an inch or so of water to your pot and bring to a boil. Place your heat-resistant bowl into the pot and add your white chocolate chips to the bowl. Stir and fold the chocolate continuously until it’s all melted and there are no chunks of chips left. White chocolate melts differently than milk or dark chocolate. You’ll have a lump that looks and feels sort of like very soft clay.
Immediately transfer the chocolate to the wax papered baking sheet. With spatulas, spread the chocolate evenly over the entire baking sheet. You may need to hold the wax paper taut as the chocolate can be tricky to deal with.
Sprinkle the crushed candy cane over the top of the chocolate. Refrigerate for 45 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut the sheet of chocolate into uneven sections. Don’t worry if some of the candy cane will fall off, only some will stick. Pack and keep in the refrigerator.
M&M Peanut Butter Cup Bark
2 11-oz bags of Milk Chocolate Chips
mini peanut butter cups, chopped into quarters
red and green M&Ms
Follow the same instructions as above with the following changes.
Omit the candy cane. Cut the mini peanut butter cups into quarters. I recommend a generic brand of peanut butter cups instead of Reese’s as they’ll be sturdier and will lend themselves to chopping. You’ll also need about half a small bag of red and green M&Ms
This time you’ll be melting milk chocolate, which is easier to melt and handle than white chocolate. Once melted, add to a wax papered baking sheet and smooth out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the peanut butter cups on top then fill in the spaces with red and green M&Ms.
Refrigerate for 45 minutes and cut into uneven pieces. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!