Tis the season for food gifts!

At long last, December is nearly here and I just love spending the whole month making edible gifts for friends, family and neighbors!  This month, I hope to share lots of nifty gift-y ideas with y’all!

The first of these is PEPPERMINT BARK.

I love this stuff.  A little too much actually.  It’s so easy to melt chocolate, pour it in a mold (or in this case, a greased cookie cutter), sprinkle with peppermint candy and a hour later.. POOF!  You have candy!

Put it in a cute little bag or chinese take-out box and you’ve got a sweet little gift for your mailman, door man, or Starbucks barista.

Peppermint Bark

1 (14 oz.) package chocolate flavored candy coating
6 T. all-vegetable shortening, divided
1 (14 oz.) package vanilla flavored candy coating
1 (10 oz.) package peppermint baking chips, divided (I used Andes peppermint-crunch baking pieces- available at Wal-Mart)
1 c. crushed peppermints

1.  In a bowl, combine chocolate flavored candy coating and 3 T. shortening.  Microwave on high, in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted.  Place in a disposable pastry bag, and set aside.
2.  In another bowl, combine the vanilla flavored candy coating, remaining 3 T. shortening, and 1/2 package peppermint baking chips.  Microwave on high, in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted.  Place in a disposable pastry bag and set aside.
3.  Place 1 dozen assorted cookie cutters on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spray the inside of the cutters with nonstick cooking spray.  Pipe chocolate mixture into bottom of cookie cutters, filling halfway up the sides.  Repeat with the peppermint mixture, filling to the top.  Sprinkle with remaining peppermint baking chips and crushed peppermints.  Let set for 1 hr.
4.  Carefully remove from cutters.

Recipe Source:  Taste of the South Magazine, December 2011

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