It’s Christmas time again!

For this post, I thought I’d give you a few of my favorite recipes.  These are great for giving as Christmas gifts, and they’re super easy to make, too!

Today we’ll be making Peppermint Bark, Chocolate-covered Apricots, and Rum/Bourbon balls!

Peppermint Bark

This stuff is so easy that I’d trust any of my sister’s kids to make it.  At my house, even.  Seriously.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided (Optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided (Optional)
  • 8 ounces high-quality white chocolate chips
  • crushed peppermint candy

Directions:

  1. Roll out parchment paper or aluminum foil and place into a sheet pan.
  2. Place the semisweet chocolate (and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil) into a microwave-safe bowl and nuke at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted.  (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler.)
  3. OPTIONAL:  When the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until chocolate hardens.
  5. Place the white chocolate (and the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil) into a microwave-safe bowl and nuke at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted.  (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler.)
  6. OPTIONAL:  When the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
  7. Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer, and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crushed candy over the top and gently press in. Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan. and break into small pieces to serve.
  8. Store, tightly sealed,  in the refrigerator.  (Sorry, Chocolate Sacrilege, I know…  but the chocolate isn’t tempered, so it needs to stay refrigerated.)

Chocolate Covered Apricots

These are super fun to make.  And you can be all artsy with the dipping!  Express  yourself through apricots!

Ingredients:

  • Dried apricots
  • white chocolate chips
  • semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Melt each kind of chocolate, separately, in a double boiler or microwave.  (If microwaving, cook in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.)
  • Dip half of the apricots in white chocolate and place onto waxed paper or parchment paper to cool
  • Dip the other half of the apricots in the semisweet chocolate and place onto waxed/parchment paper to cool.
  • Dip a fork or spoon into the leftover white chocolate, and use it to drizzle streaks onto the dark-chocolate-covered apricots.
  • Dip a fork or spoon into the leftover dark chocolate, and use it to drizzle streaks onto the white-chocolate-covered apricots.
  • When chocolate hardens, store the apricots in a tightly sealed container in a cool place.

Rum/Bourbon Balls

These are seriously everyone’s favorite thing at Christmas.  Make a batch for your Granny and watch her get tipsy!  (That’s when the really interesting stories come out!)  Yay!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, or 1/2 cup rum
  • additional confectioner’s sugar (or nuts, or shredded coconut or cocoa powder)

Directions:

  • Pulverize the vanilla wafers in your food processor.  Or use a rolling pin.
  • Mix crushed wafers, confectioner’s sugar, nuts, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and liquor together until well-blended
  • Mixture should be moist, not soggy.
  • Roll dough by approximate teaspoonfuls into small balls
  • Roll in additional confectioner’s sugar (or nuts or coconut or cocoa powder)
  • Store in tightly covered container in a cool place.

I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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