Last Minute Homemade Gifts – Brittle and Bark

If you’re in need of a last minute gift for someone on your list, but haven’t a clue what to get, wow them with a personal touch of something homemade.

This year the Christmas season seemed to just fly by, so to help get in the spirit, I got a wild hair to make some chocolatey treats that I found in Bon Appetit magazine. The recipes were simple, the time spent in the kitchen with my wife was incredibly fun and the results were amazing. We spent barely over an hour total preparing the candy cane brittle and almond bark, then let them cool over night. Then……

                        

Voila! Instant elegant party treat. With some cute Christmas bags or clever wrapping, you’ve got a nice homemade gift for friends and family, along with a boost in the Christmas spirit.

Candy Cane Brittle

  • 1 pound high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped candy canes, divided
  • 1/2 cup chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), lightly crushed
  • 1 ounce high-quality white chocolate, melted

Line a large baking sheet with foil. Stir bittersweet chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped candy and crushed cookies; spread over foil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup candy over. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Break into shards.

Chocolate Almond Bark

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted Marcona almonds (not in oil)
  • 1 pound good-quality dark chocolate (62%–70% cacao), finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil. Combine sugar with 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is dark amber, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add butter; whisk until melted. Add almonds; stir until well coated. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading out to separate nuts. Let cool. Break up any large clumps of nuts. Set aside 1/4 of nuts.

Stir chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Remove from heat, add nuts from baking sheet, and stir quickly to combine. Spread chocolate-nut mixture on same baking sheet, keeping nuts in a single layer. Top with the reserved nuts; sprinkle with salt. Chill until chocolate is set, about 3 hours.

Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment or waxed paper.

Find the full recipes here.

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