'Tis the Season of Giving

The holidays are here.  It is the perfect excuse to buy endless amounts of baking supplies and turn the ovens on.

The first project: Gift Baskets

Filled with:  Everything homemade

#1 Homemade Chocolate Bark

     

French Chocolate Bark  (Food Network, Ina Garden’s recipe)

  • 8 ounces very good semi-sweet chocolate, Chopped
  • 8 ounces very good bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whole roasted salted cashews
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 

- Melt the two choclate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (just enough water in the pan, but not touching the bowl on top of it)

- Meanwhile, line a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet

- Pour the melted chocolate and spread on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle with the nuts and dried fruit.  Let set for 2 hours or cool it in the fridge.

-Cut bark or break up in pieces of desired size

It’s about the easiet thing to do and it’s soooo good!   If you have nuts, dried fruit and any kind of chocolate you can make chocolate bark!

I also did a white chocolate bark the same way. But I used white chocolate instead of bittersweet and semisweet.

   

White Chocolate Bark

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  •  16 ounces very good white chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup medium dried apricots (or any dried fruit of choice)

- Microwave half of the chocolate in a glass bowl for 30 seconds intrevals and stir.  (Or you can place chocolate in a bowl over simmering water on the stove)  Add the remaining chocolate as you finish stirring until chocolate is smooth.

- Spread on the parchment parchment paper and sprinkle with fruit and nuts.

- Set aside to set up for 2 hours or cool it in the fridge.

- Break into pieces.  

I have also done dark chocolate and crushed pepppermints on top. You can experiment however you like!

I broke the bark in pieces and filled up small holiday bags.  It’s a lot better than store bought.

  

#2 Homemade Jam

We have homemade Raspberry jam and blackberry jam so I tied a red ribbon around the jars and labeled them.

It’s great to make a batch of jam in smaller jars and give as gifts.

#3  Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

The Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter cookie is a posted earlier in my blog. 

I stacked 5 of them and tied each with ribbon.

OLD-FASHIONED PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

  •  ½ cup Crisco
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

-Cream together shortening  and butter.  Add sugars until welll blended. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Add the eggs. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and add to the dough mixture.

-Use a cookie scoop to make the balls all the same size. Roll each one in sugar and flatten with a fork.

- Bake at 375 degrees for about 9-10 minutes or until just turning golden 

Place all the goodies in a basket with a card.