Food Gifts

IMG_2633This year I’m taking the easy way out (if you’re getting one of these gifts, just pretend you didn’t just read that, and imagine me slaving away for days).

Let’s face it–bark is easy to make.  It’s kind of satisfying, too, to chill it and break it up into those nice, irregular, tasty pieces, and it looks pretty packaged up.  Of course, it tastes awesome too, which a food gift ought to do if it possibly can.  So, all  in all, it’s a winner.

This year I’m making three different kinds of chocolate bark: Pecan Bark, which has white chocolate and peanut butter chips and pecans; Oreo Mint Bark, with dark chocolate, white chocolate, and mint oreos; and Chocolate Chipotle Bark, which I wrote about a couple of years ago, here.  To round it out, I made Peanut Butter Bars, which taste uncannily like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and are also dead easy to make.IMG_2729IMG_2725

I can eat a whole pan of these by myself, I think–I’ve never tried, but that’s why I have to give them away.

And so easy.

Peanut Butter Cup Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

(Line a 8×8, 9×9, or 7×11 pan with foil for easy removal of bars later.)
Melt 1/2 c. butter on low heat. Remove from heat and stir in confectioner’s sugar. Add peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs, stirring until creamy. Spread mixture into pan, patting down evenly.

In same pot, on low heat, melt butter. Add chocolate chips and stir until chips are nearly melted and very soft. Remove from heat and continue stirring until chocolate is smooth and shiny. Spread over peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into bars.
Store peanut butter cup bars in refrigerator.

IMG_2664I made the Oreo bark from this site, but I modified it slightly so I will tell you how I did it.

Peppermint Oreo Bark
1/2 cup candy cane bits (available in the baking aisle, and a whole lot easier than crushing candy canes
12 mint chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped (about 1 cup) *
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Melt the dark chocolate and spread it onto the wax paper.  The thickness is up to you–but remember, if it’s too thick it takes more time to set, is harder to break, and makes fewer shards.  Immediately sprinkle with the chopped cookies and press down to make sure all the pieces adhere.  Chill for at least 10 minutes.
Melt white chocolate chips and spread over the dark chocolate/cookie layer.  Immediately sprinkle with the candy cane pieces.  Chill before breaking into irregular pieces.

*I used Trader Joe’s candy cane cookies, but Oreo makes a mint cookie too; it’s green instead of red, though.  If you use the green Oreos, I think I would top them with the little Andes mint pieces, also available on the baking aisle.

Finally, I made Pecan Bark.  This may be the easiest of the three barks, and it doesn’t look as pretty as the others, but take it from me–it is delicious.IMG_2882

Pecan Bark
2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter
dash of salt
12 oz white chocolate chips
12 oz peanut butter chips
Toast the pecans in a skillet in the 2 tablespoons of butter and the salt until fragrant.  Allow to cool slightly.  Melt the white chocolate and peanut butter chips together, stirring to combine.  Add the pecans.  Spread on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, and freeze for 20 minutes, or chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to break into pieces.IMG_2868IMG_2869

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2 Responses to Food Gifts

  1. Bonnie says:

    And it ships well…just saying’

  2. Mary says:

    Thanks so much for all of these. I appreciate your sharing all of your delicious recipes!

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