Candy

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

One of my favorite holiday candies (I love everything candy cane!), this peppermint bark is ridiculously easy to make.  The double layers of white chocolate, crushed candy cane, and the soft peppermint chocolate center make these delectable treats a festive addition to the potluck table!

Having just purchased a few 10 oz. bags of Atkinson’s Crushed Peppermint Candy for Baking (I will never crush my own candy cane again!) at World Market, I needed to make up some quick holiday treats and didn’t want to make a trip to the store for supplies.  Since I had an excess of white chocolate chips and all of the other ingredients on hand, I decided to attempt Peppermint Bark.

This is a variation of the recipe listed on the back of the crushed peppermint candy bag.

Ingredients:

3 – 10 oz. bags of white chocolate chips

1 – 12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

6 T. heavy cream

1 tsp. peppermint extract

1 cup crushed candy cane

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Using a double boiler with barely simmering water, melt 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips until smooth.  Spread as evenly as possible on the foil (don’t worry each layer will be a little uneven and that’s fine).  Top with 1/2 cup of crushed candy.  Then, chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While the first layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, and peppermint extract in a double boiler also with barely simmering water.  Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.  Spread evenly over the chilled white chocolate/candy cane layer and then put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes or until set.

Melt the remaining 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips over the double boiler (again with barely simmering water) until smooth.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Spread evenly over the semisweet chocolate layer.  If the white chocolate melts the semisweet chocolate a bit and it swirls, that’s fine.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane.

Chill in the fridge until set.  Trim off the edges of the bark and cut into squares.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Serve the bark at room temperature.

 

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Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles

Quick and Easy Oreo Truffles

Only 3 ingredients are needed for these Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles!  You can keep it simple by rolling them in powdered sugar or get fancy with crushed candy, coconut, sprinkles, or nuts.

This recipe was provided by Sam from the Sugar and Sam Blog.  She and I share an affinity for chocolate and Cadbury Mini Eggs and I love her blog!  She has tons of fun recipes, so check out it out at http://sugarandsamblog.com.

Ingredients:

1 box of Oreos

3/4 cup (or 6 ozs.) of cream cheese, softened

Powdered sugar, nuts, crushed candy, or other ingredient of your choice, for rolling

Put all of your Oreos into a really good blender or food processor and blend until most of the big chunks are gone.  If you don’t have a blender or food processor, put them in a large ziploc bag and crush them using a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer.  Pour the crumbs into a large bowl.

Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and pour in the bowl with the crumbs.  Mix together until smooth.  Measure out approx. 1/8 cup (or use a melon baller) and roll into small balls.  Place them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.  Once they’re all rolled out (it should make approx. 24 balls), then roll them in powdered sugar or your favorite ingredient.

Place in an airtight container until Potluck Time!

 

 

 

Sweet and Saltines – Holiday Version

Sweet and Saltines - Holiday Version

 

This is our holiday version of Sweet and Saltines.  You can use white chocolate or semisweet chocolate.  And they taste as lovely as they look!

Ingredients:

35 to 40 Saltine Crackers

2 sticks (1 cup) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 ozs. semisweet or white chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

Crushed candy cane

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 1 large or 2 small jelly roll pans with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer.

In a medium pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.  Put the jelly roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until just bubbly, watching carefully.  Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers.  When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. Then sprinkle candy cane on the top.

Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold.  They will form one big sheet.  Break up into pieces.  Store in an airtight containe

Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Bark

Cranberry & Pumpkin Seed Bark

When you need to whip up something sweet for a potluck, this Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Bark is quick and easy to make.  You’ll love the sweetness of the chocolate and cranberries combined with the salty pumpkin seeds.  And it looks pretty, too!  This bark is especially great for holiday potlucks.

This recipe was inspired by Bon Appe’tit Desserts cookbook “Dried Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark” with slight variations.

Ingredients:

12 ozs. semisweet chocolate chips

Dried cranberries

Salted and toasted pumpkin seeds

Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Melt chocolate chips in medium bowl over saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth.  Pour the chocolate onto the foil and spread with a rubber spatula to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Sprinkle cranberries and pumpkin seeds over the chocolate.  Chill in the fridge until the chocolate is firm.

Break into pieces.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container, separated by layers of wax or parchment paper, until potluck time.  This bark is best when served slightly chilled.

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn 2

I love caramel corn and this is one of the best caramel corns I have ever tried!  The recipe is very easy and this caramel corn is extremely addicting.  So, you should make at least two or three batches (made separately; don’t double or triple the recipe) for a larger crowd.  Thank you, Brandy G., for sharing her recipe!

Ingredients:

8 cups popped corn

1 cup pecans, optional

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Remove ALL kernels from the popcorn and place the popped corn and optional nuts in a large bowl.

Cook brown sugar, butter, and light corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, without stirring.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.  Stir until combined.  Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet, stirring after 15 minutes.

Pour onto wax paper until cooled completely.  Store in an airtight container, and hide it from yourself, until potluck time!

 

Ridiculously Easy Coconut Cream Bars

Ridiculously Easy Coconut Cream Bars

Four ingredients are all you need for these ridiculously easy and amazing Coconut Cream Bars!  Thank you to Ali for including these bars on her site Ali Does It Herself and for allowing me to share them here on Potluck Time!

Ingredients:

20 ozs. shredded coconut, plus extra for the tops

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups powdered sugar

24 ozs. chocolate (Make sure to have some extra on hand.  Depending on the size and number of bars that you cut, you may need extra.  I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chunks and chocolate chips.)

Spray a 9 x 13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the coconut, milk, and powdered sugar in a larger bowl and stir until combined well.  Put the coconut mixture into the pan and press down firmly and evenly.  At the end, I put wax paper over it and evened out the top with a rubber spatula.  Take the wax paper off and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Place pan in the freezer for an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over low heat in a sauce pan.  Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Cut the coconut bars into squares.  Dip a square in chocolate, place on wax paper, top with a little coconut, and repeat until they’re all done.  Let them cool completely.  If needed, place in the fridge until they are completely set.

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container.  Take them out when you’re headed to the potluck.  By dessert time, they’ll be perfect and at room temperature.  However, if they do get devoured before dessert, not to worry.  They’re also delicious when chilled!

Sweet and Saltines

Sweet and Saltines

What do you do with leftover Saltines?  Make Sweet and Saltines, of course!  These bars are the perfect combination of chocolate, carmel, salt, and crunch.  This recipe is from Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.  They are so easy to make and so yummy!

Ingredients:

35 to 40 Saltine Crackers

2 sticks (1 cup) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 ozs. semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 1 large or 2 small jelly roll pans with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer.

In a medium pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.  Put the jelly roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until just bubbly, watching carefully.  Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers.  When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife.

Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold.  They will form one big sheet.  Break up into pieces.  Store in an airtight container.