Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas = kitchen time

I've been thinking about what Christmas means to me, tradition-wise.

Of course, the reason for the season is Jesus.

Aside from that, what makes it feel like Christmas for me?

Cards, music, gifts of FOOD!

I love the idea of baking things in my kitchen and giving them as gifts.

It;s an act of love for me and hopefully, a bit of pleasure for the people receiving it too.

Last year I read on a blog (Sadia's) about peppermint bark and I was hooked - it looked so easy and I had to try it.

Mine flopped big-time.

My chocolate wouldn't melt and I eventually added some milk and the result was better but not great.

Well, let me rephrase - it still TASTED delicious but was not presentable enough to hand out as gifts.

So D and I enjoyed my un-presentable peppermint bark for about two months!

This year I started seeing things again and went out to get chocolate. And I messed up two bars of my favourite chocolate, Cadbury's, before I decided to ask on FB.

A Canadian friend (that's a story for another day - remind me to tell you how we met!) who lives in Jhb told me Cadbury's is not meant to melt. And many others told me about low, low heat and to do it slowly.

Do you guys know me? I don't do things slowly!!! D even said he doesn't think this "peppermint bark suits my style". Very true.

So I went back and got some Beacon and Nestle - those melted perfectly. Amazing to me - in literally one minute both slabs had melted beautifully in the microwave.

But ... I can't let go of my beloved Cadbury's.

I bought a couple of slabs again because I'm a glutton for punishment and I did it exactly as Ginger said to do and it worked. Not as well as the other chocolate, but it worked.

I used some candy canes and some endearmints (I squished them flat with my thumbs and then cut into little squares with my kitchen scissors - worked beautifully) to put on the top.

I used glass jars to package them so now all I have to do is put little labels and tie a ribbon around the rim.

The only problem is... it is summer here and hellishly hot so these things start melting in my hot kitchen.

At the moment I have about 10 glass jars of peppermint bark in my fridge!

By the way, I only used glass jars because I had them. They would also look very pretty in those little cellophane bags with a nice red ribbon.

So far my Christmas baking includes:
  1. peanut butter chocolate oats cookies
  2. oats and raisin cookies
  3. savoury chex mix, South African style
  4. sweet chex mix............ I will post all these recipes - promise. I've even taken the pics so I'm halfway there :)
  5. peppermint bark

What are your favourite things to bake at Christmas?

What are your favourite parts of Christmas?

PS Kendra says her favourite Christmas song is Jingle Bells. They have a baby CD and she asks for Jingle Bells all the time.


  1. Mmmmm, peppermint bark. I'm a cheater and just buy the ghiradelli stuff. ;-)

  2. I am glad that peppermint bark of yours came out the way you wanted it. I too love Cadbury's and melting chocolate is one thing I do well. I refuse to melt any other chocolate other than Cadbury and totally understand your obsession :)

  3. LOL M, I'm so glad I'm not the only Cadbury's-obsessed person!

  4. I don't like mint mixed with my chocolate.

    However, I do like the peanutbutter cookies with Hershey's kisses pressed into them, YUM.

    If I had a bunch of local friends, I'd totally do a cookie exchange- where you bake up enough cookies to give a dozen to each friend of each flavor so you all have a huge variety without having to bake a million cookies....

  5. Jayme, a cookie exchange is one of my dreams - sadly, I can't even find one friend who likes to do the same things I like

  6. I would totally do a baked goods exchange with you. You'll probably have to eat my burnt stuff though. I have just been too busy these past few days to be in the kitchen but I do want to bake. Soon.


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