11 December 2011

Think Outside the Box... and INSIDE the Cookie Cutter!

Cookie Cutter Peppermint Bark


When December rolls around each year I don't try and kid myself into thinking my inner Martha Stewart will come shining through... Last year I had an epic cookie fail and wound up with chocolate dipped shortbread cookies that looked like toes, and this year I kicked the holiday season off with a whipped cream fail.  Did I ever even mention the time I accidentally made brownies into soup?  From here on out, I'm sticking to what I know: Peppermint bark.

Snowflake Peppermint Bark! [Gift inside the cookie cutter]

I can't quite "wing it" with baking but I can certainly rig up my own double broiler to melt chocolate in.  I'll take success where I can get it =)

snowflake
glass bowl + small saucepan = a match made in candy-making heaven!

To make 5 cookie cutter barks you'll need approximately 8 ounces of white chocolate and 8 ounces of dark.  Plus lots of crushed candy canes, which we've already determined is it's own food group for the month of December.  Don't mess with the facts =)

snowflake
Snowflake Peppermint Bark! [Gift inside the cookie cutter]
For the chocolate:  Bring a small pot or saucepan of water to a light boil and top with a glass pyrex bowl.  Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring constantly.  In a few minutes you'll have hot melty goodness ready to add to your cookie cutters.  You can pick up your chocolates anywhere from craft stores to chocolatiers but keep in mind that quality is everything.  I'm super partial to Merckens brand chocolate which can be purchased online or in dangerously delicious candy-centric stores.

Or you can forego that entire ordeal and  melt the chocolate in your crockpot!

Get your bark on! Prep your workspace by laying down a sheet of wax or parchment paper so that the chocolate won't stick.  Arrange your cookie cutters on the paper and spoon melted dark chocolate into each shape.  A few spoonfuls for each should fill each about half-way.  Tapping your spoon in the center of the shape will help distribute it evenly.  Next add a little sprinkle of crushed candy cane or peppermint chips and allow candy to cool.  While you wait for your dark chocolate to harden, rinse your glass bowl with hot water and allow it to dry.  Water jacks up the candy-making process so don't skip this step.  Same goes for the white chocolate, if you rush into the next step you're going to have a hot mess on your hands.  Heck yes I'm talking from experience! =)

Once the dark chocolate is solid, move on to the white chocolate layer.  Spoon it to fill the cookie cutters and tap gently on your counter-top to distribute the chocolate evenly.  Top with more crushed peppermint and allow to cool.  Viola!  You totally just made candy!

I can't take credit for the brilliance of this idea b/c it totally came to me when I saw this kit in a craft store.  I didn't really need the kit [I have boatloads of chocolate melts that my peppermint-bark-partner-in-crime mom sends me each year] but I looooved the shape of the snowflakes that came in it!  Essentially all you'll need to recreate this are some chocolate melts, some candy canes [or peppermint chip sprinkles!] and a few cookie cutters.  Trees... Snowflakes... Ninjas... anything goes.

PS: Will someone make me a ninja one? or maybe a dinosaur?

Snowflake Peppermint Bark! [Gift inside the cookie cutter]
 What's your favorite thing to make during the holidays?

Update You won't need any non-stick spray, just a sheet of wax/parchment paper!  Gift your peppermint bark inside the cookie cutter and then instruct your friends/family to slam the cookie cutter down on the counter and pop it out with their thumb.  It comes right out! <3  They can rinse the cookie cutter with warm soapy water to clean it and keep it!  Hang the cookie cutter on your tree with pretty ribbon, use for cookies, or cut fun shapes in bead to make festive sandwiches! <3

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101 comments:

  1. oooh, i like that idea. You are so clever! but you knew that, right?
    <3

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  2. That is SO amazingly clever!  What a GREAT gift!  Buzzed!

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  3. Oh I want a ninja too. This is so cute. I totally have to try this. You are so creative.

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  4. nicoleandgwendolynSunday, December 11, 2011

    lovely idea!  :)
    my favourite thing to make?  christmas cards!!!  it's 2am here, and i'm finishing them now!!! x

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  5. You take the bowl off before adding the chocolate??? No wonder I always burn my chocolate when I try to double boil it.  I just end up microwaving it.  I think I'm going to make bark this year, because well, YUM!

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  6. This is a fabulous idea, especially since the gift receiver gets a lovely cookie cutter, too!

    I love to give homemade goodies during the holidays.  Cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, etc. So much fun!

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  7. Oh Ninja ones my boys would love that!! I love making Christmas cake, shortbread.. everything yummy actually lol!

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  8. Love this idea!  Peppermint bark is a definite Christmas tradition in my household.  I adore Ho Ho Ho ribbon!

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  9. This is a great idea for a gift. Have your tried removing the bark from the mold? I'd love to see how it looks. If I see a ninja, I'll let you know, but you'll have to fight Dudette for it.

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  10. Aw, this is such a cute idea! I can't wait to try it!

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  11. What an adorable idea! I think I have snowfake cutters here.  Very cute Jen!

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  12. Gosh! It would be so fun celebrating Christmas with you!! :D
    Still loving that snowflake paper cutter!!

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  13. Cuuuuute!  OK, I'm doing this.  I wish that these weren't out of stock so that I could make christmas zombies: http://www.shinyshack.com/product.php?prid=211588&pn=ABC-Cookie-Cutters

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  14. this is such a great idea! :) we're not giving that many gifts this year, but i so wnat to make these now...and i already have 3 boxes each of dark and white chocolate just begging to be transformed into bark!

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  15. This is such an awesome gift idea...love it!

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  16. Lindsay @ The Lean Green BeanSunday, December 11, 2011

    omg jenn, these are ADORABLE! so adding these to my homemade gift baskets!

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  17. I love peppermint bark or just about anything peppermint and chocolate!  When I make it I add some peppermint extract to the chocolate to kick up the pepperminty goodness!

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  18. These are so cute! I love the idea of making them in the cookie cutter and then giving the cookie cutter as part of the gift too :) For all the things I've made, I've never attempted bark...go figure.

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  19. This is a great idea!  I love bark!  The cookie cutters look so festive with the bark inside... so pretty!  Love the ribbon you used as well!

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  20. Your photos reached out and pulled me into this post - they're terrific, as is the peppermint bark recipe. 

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  21. um I looove the ninja cookie cutters! Where are they from?

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  22. Mary @ Bites and BlissSunday, December 11, 2011

    That's a really creative way to gift! We made peppermint bark last year and it was a huge hit.

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  23. Apples N AdrienneSunday, December 11, 2011

    How creative! I'd love to try this!

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  24. That is the cutest presentation idea, to give the bark in a cookie cutter! - And that way too people have something that lasts; I love giving homemade treats as gifts but feel bad because once it's gone that's it, but this way they have a keepsake too - love!

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  25. PS Methinks you're too harsh on yourself with your kitchen skills, though I do think we have to hear the story one day of you turning brownies into soup!!

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  26. I make Kolacky cookies.

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  27. Jaime @ JaimskitchenSunday, December 11, 2011

    Brilliant idea - I love how gorgeous they look and don't doubt they'll taste amazing too!!

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  28. OMG your inner Martha is shining through! Love it!!

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  29. Oh, so crafty and pretty! Great idea... I may not do it, but I'll admire it :)

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  30. Super cute idea!  Does the chocolate just pop out of the cookie cutter?  or does it break when it comes out of the cookie cutter?

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  31. Adorable! :) And what a great present, too, if you leave the cutter on :)

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  32. Gail@SophisticatedStepsSunday, December 11, 2011

    I don't know what to comment on first. The hilarity of your writing, your pics that once again make me want to eat my iPad or the yumminesssssssss that is your recipe. Talk about triple threat, my friend! Lol.

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  33. Alright girl - you are just too damn crafty!  LOVE it!  This is exactly why I had 10 minutes to read 3 blogs tonight and I picked yours...LOVE it... Hope you are doing well....been so crazy busy.... i know everyone has... its just nuts!  xoxo from Trinidad

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  34. What a fantastic idea! I make bark for Christmas every year but I have never thought about the cute cookie cutter twist.  I can't wait to try it. 

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  35. Very cute, creative and best of all simple :)

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  36. Happy When Not HungrySunday, December 11, 2011

    This is the cutest idea!!!  Love how easy it is too.  Thanks for sharing :-)

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  37. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Very cute and delicious  idea!

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  38. I seriously want some ninja ones. And you are too cute by the way. Maybe you knew this, but I just thought you should know ;)

    I totally want to try this! So cute!

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  39. OH MY!! Those look so good, I need to make some. :) Beautiful pics too.  Jessica

    runningtobeskinny.com

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  40. My goodness, these are beyond adorable. 
    I love making "desserts in a jar" to give as gifts during the holidays. They're fun to make, delicious to eat, and fairly inexpensive! 

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  41. These couldn't get any cuter.

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  42. Seriously girl these are so dang cute I can't get over it!  I keep seeing peppermint bark recipes and was thinking of making some for fam and friends and then I see THIS POST!  And that blue table cloth is pretty much my fav color.  Thanks for sharing!! <3 <3

    Also I will agree that anything with melted chocolate/almond bark is uber messy and takes talent to make haha! 

    And for those of us without a double broiler..the microwave works!  30 sec intervals! :-)

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  43. These are seriously adorable!! Love the idea!!

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  44. Ah this is TOO cute!!! I am impressed but NEVER surprised by your creativity :-)

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  45. Oh my! I love these!! 

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  46. This is such a perfect idea! Too cute :)

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  47. i LOVE this idea! i just made peppermint bark for the first time this weekend and when i cut it, it looks so ugly and was all random shapes and sizes so i really love this cookie cutter idea.. especially for gifts! stupid question though... after you gift it and the person actually wants to eat the delicious bark... does it just come right out of the cookie cutter easily? do you spray the cookie cutter with cooking spray or anything? i seriously might need to do this as gifts!!!

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  48. I can't wait to make this w/ Caitlyn - as always, THANK YOU for sharing!!! 

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  49. jenn@ahomeinthemakingMonday, December 12, 2011

    What a great idea! So perfect to hand out to friends over the holidays :). I maybe completely stealing this :)

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  50. Steal away! They are SO easy! and beyond cute =)

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  51. Thanks Meaghan! Let me know how they turn out! MWAH!

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  52. Hey Linz! Thanks!!! They are SO EASY this way! Much less mess and no chocolate fragments flying around your kitchen this way. You won't need spray or anything non-stick besides the was/parchment paper! Gift it inside the cookie cutter and then instruct your friends/fam to slam the cookie cutter down on the counter and pop it out with their thumb. It comes right out! <3 They can rinse the cutter with warm soapt water to clean it and then hang it on their tree as an ornament, use for cookies, or cut fun shapes in their sandwiches! <3

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  53. Gifts in a jar are instantly more fun! My mom gave me a tea set in a jar!!! Loose teas, cinnamon sticks, and flavored rock sugars! Make me dessert in a jar! hehe

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  54. awww Corey that made my day!!! Thank you! It's been super crazy over here too! This time of the year is beyond nuts but I LOVE it! <3 Hope you're doing well! MWAH!!!!!!!!

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  55. awww Gail thank you! *biggest hug ever!*

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  56. Yup! exactly what you're supposed to do! They make snowflake molds if you want to have loose candy but its way more fun this way! =)

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  57. You want to slam the cutter down on a hard surface and then pop it out by placing your thumb in the middle of the candy. Its so thick and solid that it comes right out without breaking! At lease in my trials it did =) Hope that helps!

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  58. These are super adorbs and totally ab-fab! You are such a rockstar.  XO!

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  59. You are the craftiest of the crafty, my dear - so freakin' awesome!!!  

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  60. Perfect!!!! I've been looking for some edible treatsies for my kiddos teachers. These will be a hit for sure! Thanks :)

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  61. Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.Be Merry and Bright!

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  62. What a cute idea to give the gift inside the cookie cutter - so creative. I think I do see your inner Martha Stewart with that tip! 

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  63. I LOVE this idea - I think it is so cute and clever!

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  64. These look delicious!  Peppermint bark is one of my favorite holiday treats!  And the presentation is beautiful!  

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  65. Haha I don't let it get me down though! I'm just happy i'm good at cooking at least. The baking skills will come eventually! And the story will have to as well! Promise I'll write up the fiasco =) Love you!!!

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  66. I am totally going to make these as favors for the annual holiday brunch I have with my college friends! Quick question though - I've never made peppermint bark before, how far in advance do you think I could make these? Our brunch is on Sunday :)  Oh, and I just wanted to say I found your blog via I heart organizing the other day and I've already made your samosa potatoes - divine!!

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  67. I'm glad you liked them!!!! =) Did you make the sauce too?

    Start the peppermint bark as early as you'd like! You can wrap them in aluminum foil to keep them fresh or even store them chilled in the fridge after they've had time to harden/solidify at room temp. I would just stay away from ziploc bags bc they tend to make everything they come into contact with taste plastic-y! Shoot me an email if you need help with anything! mwah!

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  68. slam it on the counter and pop it right out! =) easy peasy

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  69. ohmygosh these were such a huge hit with friends and fam! totally make it!!!! =)

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  70. Absolutely adorable!  I never thought to do that with my Peppermint Bark.  Thanks for the tip!

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  71. This looks delicious! I would love if you shared this in my holiday recipes Blog Hop. Enter it for a chance at a Wilton Pre-Baked Gingerbread Tree Kit! http://bit.ly/vbyp71

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  72. thefoodierd.blogspot.comTuesday, December 13, 2011

    Very cute.  What a great idea!

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  73. Great minds think alike! I just bought cookie cutters to use to do just this for Christmas gifts! I love yours! 

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  74. Wow, this is a wonderful gift idea.
    Beautiful job!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com

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  75. YAY! You made Top 9 on Foodbuzz! And very well deserved. 
    Congrats, girl. :)

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  76. Love this idea - so cute! Congrats on the top 9!!

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  77. Those are ridiculously cute!  What a simple and adorable gift!

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  78. I love this idea! Congrats on the top 9!

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  79. Making these RIGHT NOW - the directions are perfect.  My husband was happy to help out by crunching the candy canes.

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  80. The snowflake peppermint bark is PERFECT!!  So festive and makes an adorable gift!  Also love the DIY boiler idea...my kind of thinking!  Thanks for linking up today!!  xo

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  81. Shirley@motivatedmommyWednesday, December 14, 2011

    I love this idea going to have to try it 

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  82. Thanks Emily!!!!!! It was the best news ever!

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  83. Oh wow, these look so beautiful!  Your pics are stunning too!  I never thought of making chocolates using cookie cutters as molds.  That's such a brilliant idea! I can't wait to give it a try.  Raw chocolate is my current obsession.  I've been making heart shaped raw chocs and orange-flavoured segments this past week for Christmas pressies.  I'm also giving some away on my blog this week (closing date Friday) :)

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  84. Jean @ Flower HillThursday, December 15, 2011

    These look beautiful!  I may have to try these to hand out to friends. 

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  85. Oooh how amazing do those look? Would you please share this with my readers for Fun Stuff Fridays? http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2011/12/fun-stuff-fridays-4-3-weeks-long-for.html

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  86. This is such a cute idea! I'm pinning this so I remember it for next year!

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  87. Thanks Abby! It's one of those super affordable yet impressive looking wonders -- esp since its EASY! <3

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  88. so very cute what a fun way to give a great snack come see what I shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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