Barking up the wrong tree: Xmas goodies out of season

Christmas was over a month ago, but I’m still thinking about it. Specifically, I’m thinking about the Xmas baking ingredients that either won’t last another 11 months or that I just want to use up. Dried fruit, that’s you! But also it’s those sticky sweet peppermint candy canes that don’t do anyone’s teeth any favours, and which aren’t that great to begin with.

As way of background, each year, instead of buying stuff, I like to make a range of goodies to give to work colleagues, childcarers, neighbours and friends. It’s really no less expensive but is kid-friendly fun (H likes to help me) and is a bit special (spesh, as some Aussies like to put it ;).

Anyway, one of the things that people always say they like is also one of the easiest: peppermint bark. There are a few variations – but you can really use this idea for anything! It just so happens that I have four candy canes (the big ones) in the cupboard and H has been doing my head in wanting to eat them. I think they are too sticky for 4 year old teeth, so here’s today’s alternative consumption idea.

Peppermint bark(ing up the wrong tree)

You will need:
2 large or 4 small peppermint candy canes, placed in a ziplock bag and smashed into crumbs. This is a hammer job and not part of the kid-friendly fun!

1 x 375g bag white chocolate melts. If you have a smaller bag, just use it. The proportions here are totally variable based on your taste buds.

1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over steaming water.
2. Stir in the peppermint crumbs. Mix to combine well.
3. Spread thinly over a lined baking tray. Place in fridge until set.
4. When it’s set (ie chocolate is hard), break into pieces. The aim is for these not to be uniform but rather haphazard, like bark. Devour! I dare you to stop
after one piece; it’s almost impossible!!!

Some variations:
Try milk or dark chocolate or replace candy canes with nuts or dried fruit (I especially like pistachio and dried cranberries)…

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