Besides baking cookies and mini breads for gift giving, I also make quick-n-easy candies. Almond bark is responsible for the latter. You can make all sorts of yummy treats for filling tins and bags. Although there is also chocolate almond bark, I prefer the vanilla flavored for its versatility. This year, besides the usual pretzels and peanuts variety, I tried something different for those who may be allergic to nuts.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Chocolate Peppermint Drops
2 pkgs. mini candy canes
1 pkg. vanilla almond bark
1 pkg. Hersey’s Special Dark semi-sweet chips
1. Unwrap candy canes and place in large Ziplock bag. Whack them into little pieces with a small mallet or smooth-sided meat tenderizer.
2. Break up the almond bark into several sections and place half of them into a glass baking pan. Nuke ’em as directed on package.
3. Add half of crushed candy and half of chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.
4. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let set for 15-20 minutes. Sample one and then put them into tins or bags for giving. 🙂
5. Scrub spoon and pan with hot water and soap, dry, and make the second batch. (Years ago, my impatient self tried melting all the bark at once in a big bowl, but it cooled and stiffened before I could drop all the spoonfuls.)
Options: 1) substitute white chocolate chips or don’t add any chocolate at all; 2) use non-stick candy molds for a more professional look.
Thought of the Week: Dad, the patriarch of the family, initially requested that each of us invite him and Mom over to view our Christmas trees and have a little hot cider. Then, before we knew it, he manuveured us into having full-on meals for everyone. We sighed and gave in with wry smiles, as if we had nothing else to do, like helping others and finishing shopping, wrapping presents, and baking…We indulge our parents now as they indulged us for so many years. In love, all is fair.
(Mom and Dad with daughter Merideth)