It’s Christmas time!! Kris my Kringles, where the heck has the year gone?!
I know, I’m pretty bad with this blog thing during the holidays. So many great blogs out there with so many holiday posts coming out of their yule logs. Christmas cookies, pies, all that jazz, just overflowing the internet. It’s so great to see.
Sadly, I can hardly find the time to get in the kitchen to do anything these days. I mean, our outside decorations were just put up today! You’d think being a stay-at-home dad would give me some time to whip something up or get stuff done around here. Turns out tending and picking up after 2 of Santa’s little stalkers takes up a good amount of time and brain power.
But here I am! I may not have time to do things I wanted to do, like this awesome free class from Creativebug featuring The Wilton Method: Gingerbread House and Cookies. But I had time to put this bark together. It’s so insanely simple, it’s silly.
Now, you know me. I’ve become quite the Candy Melt aficionado around these parts. Heck, I was told from inside sources that I’m referred to as the Candy Melt King of Chicago! Of course, not to be confused with the Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago. Which embarrassingly enough, has happened before.
They’re such a great and simple ingredient, and so versatile as you’ve noticed from what I’ve done. This time though, there’s no baking, effort, or even experience required! Like I said, it’s silly how easy this is.
With so many possibilities you can make with this mold, I chose this one because of an old experience. I remember a few years ago, we were in a store after Christmas and were doing what everyone else does in stores after Christmas – walking down the clearance aisle. There, we found white chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkled candy cane bits. Intrigued, we tried them out and obviously missed the label on the bag that advertised they were laced with crack. We just couldn’t stop eating them and wanted to buy more but it was the last one! Ever since then, the combination has really stood out for me.
And here I am shedding light on it for you! With an ingredient list as complex as a candy cane, this is as easy as Christmas treats get.
Peppermint Pretzel Holiday Bark
1 1/2 bags – Wilton Limited Edition Candy Cane Candy Melts
about 1 cup – Pretzels, crumbled
2 each – Candy Canes, crushed
- You’re going to need the Wilton Christmas Stack-N-Melt Candy Bark Mold. Which let me just say, is a great addition to your kitchen during the holidays. Especially if you’re the cookie exchange/basket giving type. This mold is simple but can make so many different types of holiday themed barks, it’s worth the investment, trust me.
- You want to fill up the mold pretty good with at least 25-30 candy melts in each square. If you put less, the bark won’t come out as thick.
- You can use one bag, sure. And it’ll come out great. But as a preference I like a bark to be a little thicker. So if you only have one bag of candy melts then all is good.
- I tried this once before the official batch and found something out: I don’t know if it’s my microwave or what, but when I put it in the center, it took longer for the candy melts in the middle to melt. I had to microwave it at least double the amount and they still weren’t melted. I thought it was insanely weird and/or that bag of candy melts was possessed by the Ghost of Christmas Past. But the next time I tried, I put the mold at an angle, as if… as if it were a train, and the rotating plate in the microwave was its track… Geeze, do I have to paint the picture for you?! Anyway, everything melted perfectly like that.
- Does that mean my microwave sucks? Or that I’m crazy for my analogies? Or both?
- If you can’t find the Candy Cane Candy Melts, first off, I’m so sorry, they’re great. Second, don’t fret! There are tons of flavor combinations you can make with this. But I’ll get into it more later.
For now, let’s get our candy melt on!
- Take your mold and just pour the candy melts in there. Go ahead, don’t be shy.
- Spread them out evenly between the four compartments. You can get your House Elf to help you with this if it’s too tedious.
- Once they’re even and well layered, which is something you want to make sure of, open up another bag and carefully top off each one.
You want to get a good amount in there for a nice, thick bark. If you’d rather have it thinner then by all means. It looks like a lot but it’ll melt down nicely. Again, it’ll probably be about half the second bag. If you must, shuffle it around and make sure there are none taking up more space than they should. Channel that annoying guy at Disney telling you to take up all the available space in front of you in the line, even though you’re purposely leaving plenty of space because the group in front of you doesn’t believe in deodorant. Ugh. Too many times, I can’t even count…
- Next, put the train on the trac… I mean, the mold in the microwave and go 2 minutes and 30 seconds at 50% power. When you take them out, they should look like this.
- Not completely melted, but you can see underneath they’re beginning to give. At this point, I went another 2 minutes at 50%.
- Take them out and you should be golden. Get a spoon or a small offset spatula and smooth them out, making sure they’re completely melted. Don’t be afraid to pick them up a few inches and let them bang on the counter once or twice just to even them out.
- Now time to top them. Get your pretzels and crush them in your hands a bit. Sprinkle them on and get a good even layer. Next, hit your candy canes with a tenderizer or whatever’s handy and get them down to small bits. Sprinkle them on top of the pretzels .
- When you’re done, give everything a gentle pat just to make sure everything is touching the melted candy melts. You don’t want to push down too hard though. You’ll get pretzels poking out of the beautifully imprinted letters the mold is going to create.
- In the cooler they go for a couple of hours. When you’re ready to take them out, the best way to do it is by, one at a time, separating the sides of each compartment, while pushing up from the bottom. There’s going to be a little give, but they should be able to pop out without a hitch.
Once they’re all out…
Like I said. So freaking easy it’s scary. They’re absolutely fantastic for a holiday party or a cookie basket.
And remember what I said earlier, they’re amazingly versatile. I mean, you don’t have to use candy melts. Or pretzels. Or candy canes.
Just doing these inspired to make a few different ones for when I’m making my holiday stuff…
A few ideas:
- Chocolate with candy cane and pretzels
- Chocolate with salted caramel
- Chocolate with caramel and pecans (not pe-khans. Pe-CANS. That’s right, I said it.)
- Chocolate with crushed graham crackers and marshmallows
- Chocolate with BACON. My god, I wish I had bacon in the freezer right now… Merry freaking Christmas and God bless us all Tiny Tim.
- White chocolate with oreos
- White chocolate with macadamia nuts
Or! You can do like Heather, a fellow Wilton Sweet Treat Team ambassador, over at Sprinkle Bakes. She made this insanely amazing looking Sugar Cookie Bark using the mold. If this doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.
You should get the point by now. The list goes on and on with what you can do with this awesomely festive mold. And don’t even get me started on flavoring the chocolate because that’ll open up a whole new can of tinsel. My bottle of coffee liqueur calls my name every time I open the pantry..
Basically, what I’m trying to say, is this little mold can make you a downright superstar. Only regret will be that you didn’t buy 2!