Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn, Chocolate Sea-Salt Caramels, Fluffernutter Swirl Fudge, Lemon Cream Pie Truffles...are you drooling yet? Folks we are in Wonka territory! Yep, that's right. Today it's all about candy, candy and more candy as we celebrate Sally McKinney and her oodles of fun cookbook, Sally's Candy Addiction: Tasty Truffles, Fudges & Treats for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix as today's Famous Fridays honoree. Since we're smack in the middle of the holiday season, I thought we'd go the traditional route with her take on Candy Cane Bark. It's addictive, super easy to whip up and will definitely get you in the holiday mood. Get ready to book some extra time in the gym!!
Honestly, I'm not an experienced candy maker (think Lucy and Ethel-you know the episode I'm talking about) so this book is just my speed. If candy making is your passion however, you may find this book a little too simplistic. But if you're like the rest of us, who only churn out an occasional batch of fudge or peanut brittle, then you're going to find the step-by-step instructions, great color photos and chocolate tempering explanations really helpful. Sally also writes a fun blog, Sally's Baking Addiction, so check that out too--lots of great dishes and foodie advice.
And now on to this very seasonal treat which is so easy that it would be a great holiday project to make with the kids. Basically it's nothing more than melting chocolate with a bit of oil and spreading on a parchment-lined sheet, chilling it and then layering it. You start with the white chocolate (yes, even though I'm not a huge fan, I'm advocating for the white variety here--it provides such a great visual contrast to the dark chocolate layer).
After that's set up, you spread the dark chocolate on top and sprinkle on the crushed candy canes. That's it. Kinda foolproof. The hardest part is waiting for the layers to set up!
Once the whole thing hardens, you break it into pieces and voila--you've got the perfect no-hassle, homemade holiday treat that people will love receiving!! That chocolate and mint combo just can't be beat!!
So this weekend, instead of fighting through the malls, pick up some chocolate and a box of candy canes and head to the kitchen to make some headway on your holiday gifts. And while you're at it--whip up a batch for yourself. It keeps for a few weeks in the fridge and is a might tasty late night treat! And if you're looking for a present for a budding candy maker, you can't go wrong with Sally's Candy Addiction (just maybe include a toothbrush and some toothpaste as well!!) See you next week with more great seasonal goodies!!
Sally's Candy Cane Bark-Famous Fridays
Makes about 1 pound
Prep Time: 45 minutes (much of this is hands off) plus a little more than hour of chilling time to create the layers
- 8 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or coconut oil, divided
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3-4 large candy canes, crushed (easiest way to do this is to put them in a resealable bad and pound with a rolling pin or hammer)
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Place the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over a pot of barely simmering water--do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the chocolate and melt the chocolate, stirring until completely smooth.
3. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out into an even layer using a rubber spatula or an offset spatula. You don't have to spread it out to the edges of the pan--you don't want the layer to be too thin. Place the pan in the fridge for 20 minutes, until just barely set. You don't want it to be rock hard or the layers could separate.
4. Meanwhile, melt the semisweet chocolate with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil using the same method as in Step 2. Remove the white chocolate layer from the fridge and pour the chocolate layer on top of it in an even layer. Sprinkle the top evenly with the crushed candy canes and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes to fully harden. Then break apart into whatever size pieces you like.
5. Bark lasts for at least a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature and for at least 2 weeks stored in the fridge.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sally's Candy Addiction by Sally McKenney. I left out the 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract because I felt that the crushed candy canes gave it more than enough minty flavor, but if you want a stronger minty taste, add a 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to each batch of the melted chocolate.