Today’s Tasty Tips sure hit home with me. Just last week, I was reading a copy of Real Simple and considering using some of their bark recipes for neighbor gifts. A few of them looked a bit hard, so I decided to take a different route until today.  Jane’s ideas are so fun and look super easy. We’ll definitely be trying them over here in the Wyma house. I’ll make sure to take a few pics and report back. If you’re my nieghbor, you just might get to try them first-hand. (Made by a kid, or course :)

Thanks so much for sharing these, Jane!

… and thanks for walking the road with me.


Spark the Bark

Tired of Fudge?  Bark is the gift of the season, in catalogs and stores. But you can make your own in five simple steps: melt, mix, slather, chill and break.

We’ve created six bark recipes to get you started. But you can create your own by choosing a rich chocolate and adding your favorite flavors. From nuts to mints, from oil-based flavorings to fun color combinations, bark is your best bet for giving joy in just one bite.

  Peppermint Snow

2 pounds white chocolate, chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 cup peppermint chips (See Note)

½ teaspoon peppermint oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Stir peppermint chips and peppermint oil into the chocolate. Spoon chocolate onto prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly into a ½ -inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Break into pieces. Package in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 2 pounds.

Note: Peppermint chips are available at Cake Carousel in Richardson in 16-ounce bags.

Chocolate Cookie Crunch

1 (12-oz) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1 (12-oz
) package white chocolate morsels

2 tablespoons peanut butter

10 chocolate sandwich cookies

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place semisweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate medium microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 cup morsels in an uncovered microwave-safe bowl on medium-high power for 1 minute. Stir to combine. Some morsels may retain their original shape. If necessary, microwave in 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.

Add peanut butter to white chocolate; stir until well-blended. Crumble half the cookies over chocolate in each bowl; mix well. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate mixtures onto wax paper-covered baking sheet, alternating the colors of the chocolates. Cut through chocolate mixtures several times with knife for marble effect. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes 1 ½ pounds.

Fruit & Nut Bark

2 (12-oz) packages white chocolate morsels

1 cup coconut

1 cup pistachios, shelled and cute into pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

Place a layer of wax paper on a baking sheet. Melt white chocolate according to package directions. Stir in coconut, pistachios and dried cranberries.

Drop the mixture by spoonfuls and spread a thin layer over the wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and break into pieces. (Makes 1 ½ pounds.)

Dark Sour-Cherry Crunch

1 ½ cup walnut halves

2 (12-oz) packages bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let cool, coarsely chop.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a glass bowl, melt chocolate in microwave. Stir until smooth. Stir in the walnuts, cherries and crystallized ginger until evenly coated. Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until firm, break into pieces. (Makes 1 ½ pounds.)

Christmas Tree Bark

3 pounds white chocolate (divided use)

Green oil-based food coloring (generally used in candy making)

1 jar Christmas tree-shaped sprinkles

Divide the chocolate between 2 bowls and melt in the microwave. Leave one plain, and add the green oil-based food coloring to another, stirring until color is uniform.

Place parchment paper in the bottom of a cookie sheet. Place white and green chocolates in an alternating pattern on the wax paper. Using the back of a butter knife, swirl the colors. Sprinkle with Christmas tree-shaped sprinkles and refrigerate until set. (Makes 3 pounds.)

S’mores Bark

2 (12-oz) packages semisweet chocolate morsels

½ box graham crackers, broken into pieces

1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows, cut in half

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Melt the chocolate according to package directions. Stir in graham crackers, nuts and marshmallows. Spoon chocolate onto prepared pan and spread to a ¼ – to ½ – inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. (Makes 1 ½ pounds.)

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