Now it is time for more of the candy portion of the cookie bundles. I love peppermint anything. And so I wanted to definitely give white chocolate peppermint bark a try. On top of the bark, the turtles are another candy that reminds me of Christmas. I have never had very many caramel candies for Christmas but I have always seen them in Christmas treat collections.
16 (1 oz) squares white baking chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp shortening
1 cup chopped peppermint candies
In a microwaveable bowl, melt 12 oz of the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in melted shortening and the remaining 4 oz of chocolate until smooth.
Spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the chopped peppermint candies. Chill and let harden for 3 to 4 hours. Break into pieces.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
12 oz bag soft caramels
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. In a bowl, coat the pecans completely in the melted butter. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove and allow to cool completely.
Arrange small clusters of pecans on a baking sheet. Melt unwrapped soft caramels in the microwave at 30 second intervals and drizzle over each cluster. Top with melted chocolate. Chill and let harden for 3 to 4 hours.
When it comes to the peppermint bark, there are a ton of variations. I went with the really simple recipe of melted chocolate topped with crushed candies. Some recipes use a layer of milk chocolate and then a layer of white chocolate. Others use only white chocolate but involve peppermint extract. Next year I think I will try the two layered chocolate peppermint bark. It looks awfully delicious. The more peppermint flavor, the better (in my opinion).
The turtles came out great. They look so cute and everyone is excited to try them. I have a few people who get to test out my treats and I have received nothing but good reviews so far.
These candies will add a nice touch to the several cookies that will go in my cookie tins.
I found both of these recipes in the food network magazine.