December 12, 2011

A fairly frugal delicious holiday

I'm taking the opportunity to hone my crafting/baking skills this holiday season, in light of a budget thinner than rice paper. What a year! oof. Enough whining, here come some recipes!

First out of the chute this year, we have peppermint bark and Muddy Buddies (puppy chow, whatever you call it, it's good).

Peppermint Bark
inspired by Dessert for Two

10 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 lb white chocolate (I used white "make your own almond bark" candy)
6-8 crushed peppermint candy canes

Prepare a double boiler and melt your semisweet chocolate with half the oil. When it's smooth, pour it onto a cookie sheet with a rim on it , covered with wax paper. Spread the chocolate out and let it cool off a bit. Clean out the top pan on your double boiler and melt the white chocolate with the rest of the oil. Meanwhile, unwrap your candy canes and crush 'em up into small, manageable bits. Pour the white chocolate on the semisweet and spread it around. Don't get too stressed if it marbles with the semisweet, nobody's going to get upset about it (if they do, maybe you shouldn't share the candy with them anyway! :D). While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with your crushed candy canes. Put the tray in the fridge to set up. When everything's all firmed up, break the bark into pieces. I made 6 4-ish oz. bags with this recipe.

Muddy Buddies
courtesy Chex

9 cups Chex cereal of your choice
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

I'm also looking to make some spicy chocolate cookies, ginger cookies, peanut butter cookies, meringue cookies, truffles, popcorn balls and cinnamon candy. I'll keep you posted on those recipes! :)

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