December 23, 2010

Well, you’ve procrastinated. And now there are only two days left. Never fear! Guest blogger Liz is here to make sure you have something fab to hand over. And I will say that I modified her chocolate recipe (below) to make almond bark, and it was easy and turned out great! (I put it in the fridge to harden.) So get to it…

It is that time of year again and I always panic when trying to think of the perfect holiday gift for those that I want to thank.  Of course, while cold hard cash always works well for some, for others, an actual physical gift is more meaningful.

Here are a few ideas.  May it serve you well…

I’ve discovered the Oxfam shop and it is a place that you can feel good about shopping because all of the proceeds go to charity — you can even buy a goat…

There are many companies out there that offer gift hampers. There is a fine line between a cheap hamper and one that you’d actually be excited to receive. We’ve had the pleasure of receiving and giving gift hampers from Manhattan Fruitier and have always been thrilled with the quality of their products.

Finally, nothing says thanks like a gift that you have made yourself. I’ve discovered the art of making chocolate. What they don’t tell you is just how easy it is. Here is my recipe for Chocolate Bark …

White and Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Ginger and Kosher Salt

Use 70% dark chocolate – the finest you can find in bar form (I use Nestle Plaistowe)

A large bar of white chocolate (also Nestle Plaistowe – use equal amounts of white and dark chocolate – use as many or as little bars as you like, depending on how many gifts you’d like to make)

Candied ginger – chopped

Kosher salt

(You can also use a variety of toasted nuts and dried fruit –your choice)

Gently melt chocolate over double boiler or in microwave. Spread onto baking tray line with foil or on a silpat. Spread dark chocolate on one side and white chocolate on other to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

With a butter knife, swirl the dark chocolate and white chocolate together to make beautiful ribbon patterns. Sprinkle chopped candied ginger and kosher salt evenly on top of chocolate.

Allow to sit for 30 minutes to harden; you can even put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

With a chef’s knife, cut into long triangles or oblong shapes.

Arrange in cellophane, wrap with ribbon and put into a lovely bag.

I guarantee, everyone will love it!



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