Homemade holiday gifts

hol-gifts

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – They are delicious snacks to satisfy anyone on your holiday list! Tinky Weisblat, a Food Writer at TinkyCooks.com, showed us how to make Chili Peanuts and Chocolate Bark.

Chili Peanuts

nuts

Ingredients:
Splash canola or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (go to 1-1/2 or 2 if you like spice)
3/4 teaspoon chili powder or Creole seasoning, plus more if needed at the end
1 teaspoon salt (less if using the Creole seasoning as it includes salt)
1 pound shelled unsalted peanuts (about 3 cups)

Cooking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Heat a large (preferably cast-iron) ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Pour the oil on top, and let it heat for a minute or two. Add the garlic, spices, and salt, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in the peanuts and remove the pan from the heat. Transfer it to the oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove the peanuts from the oven and spread them to cool on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Taste one. They won’t be crunchy yet; that will happen as they cool. If they need more salt or seasoning, sprinkle it on top of them so they will absorb it as they cool.
When the peanuts are cool, transfer them to an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Bark

hol-gifts

Ingredients:
1/2 to 1 cup Marcona almonds (amount according to your taste)
1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries (again, to taste)
1/2 pound milk chocolate
1/2 pound white chocolate

Cooking Directions:
Sprinkle the almonds and dried cranberries on a silicone- or parchment-covered cookie sheet with rims.
In each of two separate double-boiler pans (or their equivalent), boil an inch or two of water. While the water is coming to a boil, separately chop the milk and white chocolate into fairly uniform pieces. Place each chocolate in a pan on the top of one double boiler, turn off the heat below the boiled water, and stir the chocolates as they melt.
When the chocolates have melted, place alternating teaspoons of each on top of the cranberries and almonds. Swirl or splatter them together to make a pleasing pattern. Set the chocolate aside to cool and harden. (Do not refrigerate it.) This is best when eaten within 48 hours.

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