Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Blog: Holiday Treats!

Who doesn't look forward to those special holiday snacks?

Today, I'm here to present two delicious snacks---roasted chestnuts and peppermint white chocolate bark. Prepare to enter the food coma!
Roasted chestnuts

Everyone has heard the song about "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire". Well, if you're lacking a fire an oven works just fine. The only ingredient you will need for this one are some chestnuts.

Preheat the oven to 425 degF. Prepare the chestnuts by cutting through the skin of each nut with a paring knife. Cutting an X shape will aid in peeling later. If you skip this step, the steam may not be able to escape from the nuts.

Place nuts on a baking pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes. It's that easy

Remove from the oven, and eat while still hot. They become much harder to peel cold!

Peppermint White Chocolate Bark

For this recipe, all you will need are some candy canes and a bag of white chocolate chips (or whatever source of white chocolate you have)

First, add about a cup of water to a small pot and boil it, adding a bowl above it to create a double boiler.

Next---the fun part---smash some candy. Here, you can see me smashing candy canes (still in the wrapper) with a bottle of olive oil. Whatever's handy. 

When the water has come to a boil, add the white chocolate and melt it, stirring frequently: 

When fully melted, add some crushed peppermint. If you desire, you can add a dash of peppermint extract to the mix as well: 

After fully mixing the peppermint into the melted chocolate, spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Garnish with sprinkles if you so desire.  

Cool in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, remove, and break apart into bite sized pieces. 

Enjoy! Hopefully you have fancy decorative bows for each bag of chocolate rather than a twist tie!  

Believe it or not, we're going to avoid eating all this white chocolate and give it away as a stocking stuffer. I'll miss you, white chocolate :(

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