Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holiday Chocolate Bark

Towards the end of the holiday season, I usually find my pantry and refrigerator to be disaster areas filled with open bags of baking needs. Has this ever happened to you? The day after Christmas, I find myself with left over marshmallows, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, colored sugars, pretzels, potato chips, and don't even get me started with candy canes.

So here’s what I did one year and it, not only became an instant hit, but I had people offer to pay me to make it for them. Follow these simple instructions and you will not only be the designated desert maker from here on out, but might make some extra cash.

In a double boiler (its ok if you don't have one), melt chocolate chips, stirring constantly until smooth. I usually end up with a half of bag of each: semi-sweet, milk, and white. If you don't have all of those, that is fine...remember, you are cleaning out your cupboards, not trying to add to them.

Crush up candy canes, pretzels, and potato chips.

Once the chocolate is a smooth consistency, add pretzels, potato chips, candy canes, marshmallows, coconut flakes, and whatever else you have extra. Mixture will be very thick.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil (do not use saran wrap as it will melt). Spread mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle colored sugar on top and set in refrigerator for 20 minutes or until hard.

Take sheet out of refrigerator and lift one corner of bark. It should break fairly easy. Continue to break into smaller pieces (about the serving size of a brownie or cookie).

And that is it!

Remember, you do not need all of these ingredients and you may add whatever you wish.

Hint 1: In case you do not have a double boiler....Take 2 pots (1 extra large, 1 large), fill the extra large pot about 1/3 to ½ full with water. Once water comes to a boil, turn off heat! Place smaller pot inside of larger one and add chocolate. Stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate.

Hint 2: If you would like to package these to give to individual people (they do make great gifts), then go to your local thrift shop or craft store. They usually sell cellophane bags and ribbon. Pack broken treats into bag and tie with a ribbon. If you want, take left over Christmas stickers to decorate bags.

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