Last minute gifts: Homemade Candy

If you need a few last minute gifts or a sweet treat to serve your guests this coming weekend,  here are a few candies you can whip up in a jiffy.  This year I made a few simple treats for work; candied oranges and pretzel rods dipped in dark chocolate and my favorite holiday candy, peppermint bark.

Candied orange peels ready for dipping
Dipped pretzels rolled in sprinkles and toffee chips
Peppermint Bark ready for a work party
Peppermint bark couldn't be easier; I follow Paula Deen's* proportion of white chocolate to candy canes.  Combine 2lbs of white chocolate chips to 1 cup of crushed candy canes.  To reap 1 cup of crushed candy canes you will need one entire box of mini candy canes or 6-8 regular candy canes.  *I omit the peppermint extract, I do not think the bark needs it.

1). Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Wrap the Ziploc bag in a dish towel to keep the shards of candy cane under wraps (trust me.) Take a rolling pin/meat tenderizer/hammer and crush the candy canes.  This step is great stress release if you've had a bad day or ran out of wrapping paper mid-package and have no extra in the house...only me?

2) In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate chips down until they are melted completely.  You can do this in the microwave as well but I prefer the double boiler method.  While the chips melt, prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper to spread the candy on.

3) Add the crushed candy canes to the chocolate and stir till fully combined.  Quickly spread the white chocolate and candy cane mixture over the parchment.  It doesn't need to be neat, but you just need it to be the same thickness everywhere for the best results.  Set aside to harden, this will take several hours or you can leave it overnight.

4) Crack the bark into individual pieces and wrap in bags or tins or start enjoying immediately with a cup of cocoa.  And don't forget...
The infinite wisdom of Target hanging in my kitchen
It's an easy treat, but a delicious holiday favorite in my family. Since I'm still figuring out what to serve my family for dessert, what holiday treats are favorites around your house?  Anyone have a pie or cake recipe I need to try for Christmas dinner?


SassyUptownChic said...

HAHA Cara! I am loving those chocolate dipped pretzels girl. I've had them and they are so good. William & Sonoma needs to hire you with all of these wonderful tips. You would pay an arm & leg if you purchased it from them! Thanks for sharing your recipes. :D

Outside Looking In said...

I just gained a few pounds looking at the pictures! :-)) Nice post and directions!


Style Journey said...

You are such a great baker and you take great photos of your creations :) The peppermint bark looks yummy!

SquirrelGurl said...

I'm going to make this peppermint bark for the gift baskets I have to make tonight!! Thanks for the recipe, I was looking for another piece to add!

I found a great little recipe for fudge on MADE, 3 ingredients and 3 minutes. I turned out great for something so simple, here's the recipe: http://www.dana-made-it.com/2011/12/day-14-3-minute-3-ingredient-mint-fudge.html

I am making the Pioneer Woman's creamy mashed potatoes for the family dinner this year and I am also going to attempt to re-create my grandmother's white potato pie... wish me luck!

Joanne Hegarty said...

These look amazing - well done Cara


Ashley said...

I love peppermint bark! The candied orange slices I want to try making- yum!

silvergirl said...

the candied orange thingys look very interesting

Laura Go said...

YES! Christmas calories DO NOT COUNT! those who eat the calories DO! :) hahahaha. Thanks for sharing the recipe and these delightful ideas, Cara!

♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

Ashlyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashlyn said...

i totally need to make some homemade candy. what a great idea for gifts! & this looks soooo yummy!

happy tuesday!
my unrehearsed life

oomph. said...

i love peppermint bark. yours came out very nice! great homemade ideas!

Enter the Christmas Giveaway!

Bravoe Runway said...

I love peppermint bark and was wanting to make it this year for xmas...there's still time right???

LyddieGal said...

peppermint bark is one of my faves - and it's so easy to make!! I love to add a layer of dark chocolate as well.

Chic on the Cheap

skippysays said...

I am a total sucker for peppermint bark...and chocolate dipped pretzels :)

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