Alternate title: Make this Peppermint Holiday Bark when you’re so completely frazzled that you end up flushing your camera’s memory card down the toilet.
Funny story for those of you who can relate to being in a bit of a holi-daze this time of year (for anyone just looking for the recipe…by all means, scroll down): Things have been a little chaotic the last couple of weeks. Right before Thanksgiving, a client asked me to help with a food photography project that essentially had me cooking, styling and photographing 9 recipes in about 4 days. That was on top of several other pre-planned projects I already had underway. Jon has been traveling more than he’s been home these last few weeks. Add in the kids’ commitments and lets not forget that I’m in charge of all of the holiday magic and, basically, I’ve been feeling the same way that every other mother in the US feels come December. C-R-A-Z-Y.
In the midst of all this, a sweet neighbor invited me to a holiday cookie exchange this weekend and, although I RSVPd as a hard “maybe,” I was still feeling like I should make some sort of effort. Actual baking seemed absolutely out of the question this week, so I went with my absolute favorite Peppermint Holiday Bark. Its super, duper easy to do and a great way to use up leftover goodies like Christmas sprinkles and broken pretzels.
In fact, it’s so easy to make that I decided it would be a fun activity for Lillian and Max and one of Lillian’s friends to help with during an afternoon playdate yesterday. They watched me melt a couple of pounds of white chocolate chips and helped me spread it on a parchment-lined baking pan filled with a layer of mini Oreo cookies and crumbled pretzels. We dotted on and swirled in some melted dark chocolate. Then I let them go wild with sprinkles and candy cane bits. Thats it. Stick it in the freezer (or out on your back porch if the weather is right) and wait till its hard. Then break it into pieces. Its addictively good. I’m especially fond of the white chocolate/pretzel/candy cane combo.
I got more than three dozen bite-sized pieces out of that one sheet tray. The kids were thrilled and I was all set for the cookie exchange! (Stay with me…we’re getting to the toilet part.)
In fact, I was so pleased, I snuck away from the playdate just long enough to snap a few pictures. I got the whole sheet tray, I got the pieces. I got the ingredients. A whole, beautiful, festive blog post about my favorite easy holiday treat. Huzzah!
And then, because my make-shift photography studio is in the basement (my real-life kitchen has terrible light and isn’t exactly the Joanna Gaines farmhouse-style chef’s kitchen I’d like you to think it is), when I went to schlep everything back upstairs, I realized I didn’t have a free hand to hold my brand-new, rather expensive camera memory card. And because I wanted that precious card to be safe and because my hands were full and because I wasn’t wearing pants with pockets, I shoved that memory card in the waistband of my pants. And then I marched upstairs to clean up the kitchen and check on the kids and completely forgot all about it. And then at some point, I used the bathroom. And I still didn’t remember the memory card. And then an hour later, I went looking for it. And thats when I realized what I’d done.
Yep. Thats right. I flushed it. Its long gone. Along with all the pictures. This is what happens when my brain is on overload. When I am so distracted by all of the things that I somehow forget about the $60 piece of camera equipment I’ve shoved in my pants.
And yet, even in that state, I was still able to make a perfectly delicious batch of holiday bark with 3 children under age 7. So there’s your proof. This is obviously the easiest possible last-minute holiday treat you could ever make. And its really, really tasty too.
This morning, I (obviously) managed to shoot a few more pictures of the Peppermint Holiday Bark. Jon is finally home and my work schedule is calming down considerably, so I’m going to go do some yoga and remind my stop to stop and smell the roses or the candy canes or maybe just the fruity bouquet of a large glass of Malbec. After I’ve taken the damn camera memory card out of my pants, of course. Happy Holidays.
Peppermint Holiday Bark (aka “Kringle Crunch”)
Makes about 3 dozen pieces
1/2 cup pretzels or pretzel crackers (such as Townhouse Flips), broken into pieces
8 ounces Oreo minis (or regular Oreos broken into pieces)
24 ounces white chocolate chips
8 ounces dark or milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup broken peppermint candy cane pieces
1/4 cup assorted holiday candy sprinkles
Special equipment: parchment paper, cooking spray
- Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a light mist of cooking spray.
- Spread an even layer of pretzel pieces and Oreos into baking sheet. Set aside.
- Melt white chocolate in a double broiler or microwave safe bowl according to package instructions. Melt dark chocolate in a separate microwave safe bowl until smooth.
- Spread white chocolate evenly over the pretzel/cookie mixture in pan. Use a spatula to create an even layer and spread all the way to the edges of the pan. Dollop dark chocolate at even intervals over the white chocolate and use a spoon or spatula to create pretty swirls.
- Sprinkle candy cane pieces and sprinkles over the chocolate as desired, being sure to cover the edges. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 25-30 minutes, until chocolate is completely solid.
- Break peppermint bark into cookie-sized pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.