I love holiday baking
or rather I love EASY holiday baking. So as lovely as the lady decorating the fancy Santa cookie above looks, I am not abut to attempt her culinary extravagance. I'd rather make super easy, and super delicious chocolate bark.
Theres a very simple formula to chocolate bark and once you have it down you can adapt it inline ways.
Basic Formula for Chocolate Bark
16 ounces semisweet, milk or white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp of flavoring extract such as vanilla, peppermint, or orange (optional)
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups stuff (dried cherries, dried apricots, pistachios, crystalized ginger, walnuts, pecans, crushed candy canes, pretzels, almonds, etc)
Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper and get your chopped stuff ready.
Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer and dump the chocolate chips in a metal bowl. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and stir with a heat proof rubber spatula. Stir constantly and remove it the instant its all melted (alternatively you can use a glass bowl and do this very slowly and carefully in the microwave). Stir in the optional flavoring extract if using and immediately pour onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the stuff, pressing slightly to adhere. Refrigerate 1/2 to 1 hour and then break apart into chunks.
I used crushed candy canes and peppermint extract with dark chocolate for one bark and white chocolate with vanilla extract salted pistachios, dried cherries, and dried apricots for the other. This is absolutely the easiest candy to make and give and it keeps forever in the freezer.