*Congratulations to Yolanda, winner of Stephen King’s, “On Writing.” The last book I’m giving away is one of my favorites: “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. The winner will be chosen at random from my entire email subscription list. Sign up now to be eligible. (Scroll down for details.)
So, as you are probably aware, it’s holiday crunch time. My daughter’s class party is tomorrow, there are teacher cards to write, last minute gifts to buy, and chocolate bark to eat, um, I mean make. Well, both.
This is one of the easiest and fastest homemade holiday treats and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already. If not, I’m betting you have to go back to the grocery store anyhow. I know I do.
I posted a version of this recipe way back when on my other blog, which I’ve modified slightly and added new pics. The great thing about it is you can use whatever kind of candy or chocolate you want. I use gluten free pretzels because that’s what my family eats, but obviously you don’t have to. Mix up the salty and the sweet, or stick with sweet. I won’t judge.
This time I added marshmallows just because. Mini would’ve been easier because cutting them with a knife was a rather sticky and frustrating experience, but the good news is, it is possible.
Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Bark with Marshmallows
- 2 bags of semi sweet chocolate chips, 24 ounces
- little less than half a bag of broken up pretzels (I used Snyder’s gluten free)
- 8 regular sized candy canes (Bob’s brand is GF, btw) crunched up (set aside a handful)
- about a cup of mini marshmallows or a handful of big ones cut up (optional)
- 2 gallon size zip lock bags for candy cane crunching
*You can easily halve this recipe, but I needed A LOT so I went for it. In the end it filled 7 small gift bags.
Notice that the measurements are approximate. Play with what you have. As long as you can pour the lumpy chocolate mixture on a sheet and smooth it out a bit, you’re good to go.
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment (or wax) paper, set aside.
2. Put chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 second intervals. Check and stir after each 30 second increment. Be careful not to overcook. The chocolate should be smooth and shiny. Let sit for a minute or two while you smash candy canes and pretzels.
3. Break up the pretzels into pieces, not crumbs. Put candy canes in a zip lock bag and then ANOTHER zip lock (that’s two zip locks) and then hit with the back of a spoon to crunch up. If you use one bag you’ll risk breaking it and candy cane particles will fly all over the place. Not fun.
4. Add all pretzel bits and MOST of the candy cane pieces and marshmallows to the melted chocolate. Stir it up so it’s completely coated.
5. Using a spatula or spoon, pour onto the parchment paper. Smooth out a bit. If you used the recipe above it will almost fill up the cookie sheet.
6. Sprinkle with the rest of the candy cane pieces and stick a few marshmallows on the top, if you’d like. This is mostly for looks since the bulk of the candy is mixed in.
7. Put the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer until hardened. Then break up into pieces and serve, or wrap up as gifts. Store in a cold place or risk meltage.
This recipe yields 7 small gift bags. Not bad.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate. We do pretty much all of it.
But don’t forget about the…
CONTEST! WIN A FREE BOOK!
This month’s final giveaway, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., is closest to my creative heart. I believe reading this book helped reignite me as a writer.
I know that may sound dramatic, but there were times when I felt the author was speaking directly to me, as if the paragraph I read was exactly the one I needed at that moment. Eerie, but true. This is not a book about writing, per say, but about creating and self-discovery. I believe every woman, no matter her vocation or interest, would benefit from reading this book.
Keep in mind, it’s dense, gorgeously so, but it can be intimidating at first. My suggestion is don’t be afraid to skip around or even skim. I first tried reading this book in college and gave up. Perhaps I wasn’t ready. But last year a dear friend, a talented writer, artist, and mother, suggested I try again, and I was blown away by what I discovered. Thank you Anastasia!
All you have to do is sign up for my email newsletter and you’re eligible to win. The results of this random drawing will be posted here on Tuesday, December 30rd.