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Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Cooking Report

As my grandmother Alice always said, "It's the day before the day before".

I got to go home early today. I wanted to, because I am providing goodies for the Christmas coffee hour on Sunday.

After the incredible stress of the past week and more, it was good to get home and do something relatively uncomplicated like BAKE.

My efforts were not met with unmitigated success - I burned my first batch of Robert's Chocolate Cookies and I underbaked the orange-cranberry bread. (Test in the center, Charlotte.) But the peanut butter cup cookies went well, and I also figure I've worked out the True Proportions for some very festive

Candy



Peppermint Bark

12 oz bag Ghirardelli "UFOs" (mint wafers) or 12 oz other good dark or milk chocolate
1 lb (approximately) white chocolate
Scant 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
about six regular peppermint canes

Unwrap the canes and put them in a ziploc baggie. Double-bag that bag. Pound into usefully small bits with a hammer or other blunt object. (this was fun!)

Line a quarter sheet pan with waxed paper. Melt the milk/dark chocolate. (I use my trusty Pyrex containers and the microwave.) If it does not already have mint flavoring, add a scant 1/4 tea peppermint oil to it too (careful .. it is strong) and mix well. Pour over waxed paper in pan and even out to cover - an offset spatula is great for this. Pop pan in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to set.

When you are ready to take the pan out of the freezer, put the peppermint bits in a small bowl. Melt the white chocolate and stir in the scant 1/4 tea peppermint oil. Mix well. Pour over dark/milk chocolate and even out (again, an offset spatula is great).

Sprinkle the peppermint bits evenly over the top. Press lightly with the palm of your hand to push the bits down into the white chocolate.

Put pan in fridge for at least an hour.

Remove from fridge and break into serving size pieces with your hands. This hurts a bit because the peppermint bits are sharp but is well worth it.

Can be stored at cool room temperature.

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From here on in someone else will be doing the cooking ... turkey Christmas Eve lunch, prime rib for Christmas Day lunch, and a party at the house of a great cook on Boxing Day. I am hoping that Santa leaves a KitchenAid mixer bowl under the tree for me :) and is as good to you all.

God bless us, every one!

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