Thursday, December 22, 2011

Culinary IQ: Thursday, December 22, 2011: Bark Candy

No Time? Make Something Quick!

Have you been out shopping the last few days? Everyone is in a hurry, even me. It is down to the last few days and if you want something fast and homemade to give as a gift, make bark candy or scented sachets. 

Here are a couple more ideas from Gourmet Live, get creative!

Nut Bark: Nix pricey store-bought peppermint or nut bark and make your own in less than 30 minutes.

Here’s How: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat about 2 cups chocolate chips (dark, milk, or white) in 30-second increments, stirring between each heating, until completely melted. Pour the chocolate onto a parchment paper–lined, rimmed sheet pan. (For added flair, microwave two colors of chocolate in separate bowls and swirl them together in the sheet pan.) Sprinkle the melted chocolate with toppings such as crushed candy canes, sprinkles, chopped nuts, candied fruit, and toffee bits. Cool in the refrigerator until firm, then break into medium-size pieces and package in a decorative tin or small box

Scented Sachets: For a gift that keeps on giving, make potpourri sachets, which add a delicate scent to drawers and closets.

Here’s How: Tie whole spices, such as cardamom pods, broken cinnamon sticks, cloves, juniper berries, allspice, bay leaves, coriander, and star anise, in a cloth bundle with a ribbon, or sew them into a dainty pouch.

Enjoy the gift giving!

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