Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Goodies

I love giving (and receiving) tasty treats around the holidays. Growing up, my mom would often make peppermint bark to hand out to friends, teachers, and neighbors. It is so simple to make, delicious, and pretty!

To make it, you will need one package of almond bark (also called vanilla-flavored candy coating). This can be found in the baking section of the grocery store, near chocolate chips. You will also need one bag (I think the one I used was 10 oz.) of peppermints. Begin by removing peppermints from wrappers and placing them in a large zip top bag. Using a meat mallet, hammer, or heavy rolling pin, crush the peppermints (while in the bag). Next, place almond bark in a large microwave safe bowl. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue this process until it is completely melted. Pour crushed peppermints into bowl and stir. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Pour bark mixture into pan and spread out with a spatula. Let sit for a few hours or until completely dry. Brake apart into small pieces and enjoy!
Another Christmas favorite of mine is Chex Mix (well, I enjoy it all year, but Christmas is yet another excuse to eat it). I follow the Original Chex Party Mix Recipe and make changes as needed. For instance, I usually do not add bagel chips because they can be difficult to find in larger quantities and a little expensive. I also like to substitute cashews for the mixed nuts, but this year I refrained from using nuts at all. My son and some of our friends have peanut allergies, and other nuts can often trigger them. So. I just used the 3 different types of Chex cereal and pretzel sticks. I followed the recipe for everything else.
It's so good! And it also makes great road trip food for yourself or friends that may be traveling over the holidays.

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