Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas bark

Today we made two different varieties of Christmas bark, and both received rave reviews from my family. Looks like there won't be much left to stash away in the freezer. I will have to make (lots) more right before the holiday! :) It was super easy to prepare, clean up was a snap, and the kids had a blast helping.
Fun times had by all!

The first kind (my personal favorite) is Peppermint Bark. All that you need for this is:
12 ounces white chocolate (I used candy coating melts, but vanilla baking chips would work as well)
dash of almond extract
crushed candy canes

You simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper, crush the candy canes, then melt the chocolate on very low power in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so. When it is melted, stir in almond extract, spread onto parchment paper, and quickly sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Press the candy bits down slightly with your hands or back of a spoon. Let harden, then break apart into pieces. It looks too pretty to eat!
Emma was very particular about the job she got to do. :)

The favorite part of making this recipe for the boys was using a toy plastic hammer to crush the candy!

The second second kind is Chocolate Toffee Bark. For this you need:
1 sleeve of saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used colored sprinkles)

As previously, you line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the crackers onto the paper in a single layer. Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, melt the butter, stir in brown sugar, and bring to boil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over crackers, bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, immediately put chocolate chips ontop. When chocolate is soft, spread evenly with a knife to cover cracker base. Place nuts (or sprinkles) ontop. Let harden in refrigerator. When cool, break into pieces. This is addicting!
(You would never think that a main ingredient was saltine crackers.)

Ethan was happy to fill the role of taste tester today!


  1. I've heard about the saltine recipe the past several years...this morning after I read this post I decided that I better try it this year so we made it about an hour's hardening in the fridge now. It was easy and I bet it tastes yummy! What is the best way to store it - in the freezer?
    I think I'll be trying the candy cane bark too - sounds so easy and will look pretty in a goodie tray! Thanks for the ideas!

  2. The saltine/chocolate bark I have been storing in a metal tin because it seemed to not stay as crisp when stored in a plastic container. In past years none of it made it to the freezer, so I don't have alot of experience freezing it, but this year I am trying it and so far seems to be holding up just fine.
    The candy cane bark is my favorite, especially with the addition of almond extract. It looks beautiful on a holiday goodie tray as well. It's fun for the kids, too, when they get to smash the candy canes! I forgot to mention in my post that I had them do this in two batches. The first batch they crushed very finely, the second batch was coarsely. That way there was more variance and looked better. Let me know how it turns out!