Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade For The Holidays

I decided to gift homemade treats this year for the holidays and spent a good part of the day yesterday making a few things.

I made different variations of chocolate bark, 2 kinds of truffles, fudge, peanut clusters and the easiest of them all- chocolate-dipped marshmallows.

* Truffles- I made a few flavored with orange zest and used toasted hazelnuts and cocoa powder as toppings. I'd made balsamic truffles earlier and they were really good.

Orange truffles2

Orange truffles1

I got lots of ideas for bark from this month's issue of the Food Network Magazine. I made 3 kinds using different combinations of chocolate and toppings-

*Swirled Bark using white and dark chocolate melted separately, poured onto a baking sheet lined with foil, swirled together and then topped with toasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts and dried apricot bits.

Swirled bark1

Swirled barkk2

*Milk Chocolate Bark using milk chocolate as the base layer, a small amount of white chocolate, melted and spread on top of it, and finished off with a sprinkling of chopped up dried cranberries.

White & milk choc bark1

White & milk choc bark2

*White Chocolate Peppermint Bark- I added a tsp of mint extract to the melted white chocolate before spreading it. Then, I added crushed candy canes on top.

Peppermint bark1

Peppermint bark2

*Peppermint Pistachio Fudge using this Mango Power Girl recipe that is an adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe. I used my microwave to make the fudge. I melted 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate and 8 oz. bitter-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and then stirred in a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and microwaved again for 2 minutes or so. Finally, I added ¾- 1 cup of coarsely chopped pistachios and a teaspoon of mint extract. I poured the thick fudge in my largest baking dish and cooled it for a bit before refrigerating. A few hours later, I took the fudge out of the refrigerator and cut it up into bite-sized portions.

Pista-peppermint fudge1

Pista-peppermint fudge2

*Chocolate-dipped marshmallows inspired by what I saw here- I used crushed candy canes, toasted hazelnuts, slivered almonds, chopped up dry mango pieces and shredded coconut as toppings.



Peanut Clusters- I just melted some chocolate (any kind will do) and added some store- bought roasted peanuts to it. I spooned small amounts of the mixture into my mini muffin pan after lining each of the cups and kept it refrigerated for the mixture to set.

Peanut clusters1

I put together a few gift bags for my neighbors. Each bag had a few pieces each of the various goodies I’d made. I used these festive take-out boxes for delivering my edible gifts.

Gift box1

Happy Holidays, all!

9 Burps:

Nags said...

the fudge looks divine!

Sharmilee! :) said...

Wow lovely array of homemade delights...Looks very tempting

Sanjeeta kk said...

Wow!! what a festive treat out there. Love the chocolate dipped Marshmallows, and the Pistachios peeping out from the gorgeous fudge. Love all of them. Wish I was your neighbor :)

Rachel said...

Wishing I was your neighbour. Seasons Greetings to you and yours!

Jennifurla said...

I NEED these in my life, great variety. I would love to receive this!

Vani said...

Oh, the lucky neighbors! Delightful treats for the holidays, TBC.

Inji said...

All the treats look wonderful. The idea of adding mint extract to white chocolate is a great one- sounds like it will taste great. I'm sure your friends will be very thankful to receive such wonderful homemade gifts from you.

I visit quite often. You have a wonderful blog.

Raaga said...

Why am I not your neighbour? I'd have loved a homemade goodie bag.

Happy Holidays TBC!

TBC said...

Nags & Sharmilee- Thnak you!

Sanjeeta kk & Jennifurla- You guys need to move closer to where I live! :)

Rachel, Vani, Raaga- Thank you! Here's wishing each one of you a very happy 2011. :)

Inji- Thank you for stopping by frequently. :)

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