Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Makes a great gift this Christmas season
Makes a great gift this Christmas season.

This is so easy to make, there is no need to spend money on pre-made Chocolate Peppermint bark at expensive specialty stores.

2 cups chocolate wafers (available in Canada at http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/index.html)

Chocolate making wafers
Chocolate making wafers

2 large candy canes, crushed

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Few drops of peppermint flavoring

Temper chocolate by placing wafers in the top of a double boiler. Fill the bottom half of the boiler one-third to one-half full with water. Heat chocolate over medium heat, stirring,  until melted and glossy:

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Remove from heat, stir in crushed candy canes and peppermint flavoring.

Freeze until firm, 2 – 3 hours, in a pan lined with wax paper. Remove from freezer.  Using wax paper, so the bark doesn’t melt onto your hands, break it apart into pieces.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Chocolate Peppermint Bark

For gift-giving, place in a pretty container, and wrap with seasonal cellophane paper.

Chocolate Strawberry Wraps with Cream Cheese

Chocolate Strawberry Wrap with Cream Cheese
Chocolate Strawberry Wrap with Cream Cheese

Celebrating my 200th post!  Here is a fast and fabulous dessert for Valentine’s Day which is similar to a crepe only easier.

1 large flour tortilla

spreadable cream cheese to cover flour tortilla

4 large strawberries, hulled and sliced

wrap with cream cheese spread and strawberries
wrap with cream cheese spread and strawberries

 

3 squares good quality dark chocolate, melted in the microwave for one minute on high and thinned with a little milk.

Spread / drizzle melted chocolate on top of the strawberries.

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mmmm–drizzled with dark chocolate

 

Roll up and enjoy!  Other fruits that would work well with this include bananas, pineapple, mango or kiwi.

Chocolate, Of Course!

writing prompt from writing class:  chocolate or vanilla?

 

Gift from my husband — he knows me well!

 

I love dark chocolate – the higher the concentration of cocoa in the chocolate, the better, although it can be bitter-tasting. Milk chocolate is definitely smoother but for me it lacks the oomph factor dark chocolate provides. You really know you’ve eaten chocolate when you have a piece of Lindt 80% dark chocolate.  My love of chocolate was overindulged a few years ago when my husband and I went to the chocolate festival in British Columbia.  Samples abounded at the chocolate fair and at the tour we took of the chocolate making factory.  I even like the smell of chocolate, and have purchased chocolate scented lotion and lip balm infused with cocoa. Should I chose to I can look at chocolate every day – a chocolate website, http://www.virtualchocolate.com/ has chocolate “wallpaper” you can download for your computer’s desktop – calorie-free of course.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins

1 3/4 c. flour

1/4 c. ground flax seed

1/2 c. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 c. dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%) chopped (I had a few chocolate chips as well so I threw those in too)

1 egg

1/4 c. milk

1/4 c. oil

1 c. mashed bananas (about 3 small-medium sized bananas)

Combine first five ingredients in a bowl.

Whisk liquid ingredients together in a small bowl.

Add mashed bananas to liquid ingredients.  Add this to the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.  Drop into muffin tins lined with muffin cups.

Bake at 400 for 20 – 25 minutes.  12 good-sized muffins

Gifts from the Kitchen – Chocolate Dipped Dried Apricots

48 – 50 dried apricots
2/3 c. wafers for chocolate making

Melt chocolate in the microwave on medium in microwave-safe bowl. Stir. Coat approximately 1/2 of each apricot in chocolate. (Sample a couple along the way — quality control is important.) Place on baking sheets covered with wax paper to set. Store in a pretty covered container.