In my head Christmas presents work like this: kids get toys, grown-ups get snacks, grandparents get pictures of their grandkids. I think it works. Really, big people can get their own stuff, kids just need some spoiling (right?) and grandparents, really our children *are* their gift and the photos help in those moments when they can't be right there.
So at our house we make a massive amount of treats and give them out to friends. This is good for two reasons: 1) it gives the kids and I something fun, delicious and messy to do and 2) I get to give most of it away so Josh doesn't complain too much that I'm trying to kill him with sugar and fat. I have this magical idea that every year we'll try a few new things and then by the time the girls are heading off to college I'll be a pastry chef.
In my perfect world I try to attempt these projects when one of the kids is out or asleep. Somehow the idea of two kids and molten sugar that hardens to your flesh and continues to burn freaks me out a little, so I like the mellow vibe that happens when it's just me and *one* of the girls. On this particular morning, the zone was taking a wee nap:
just look at that little head:
So my plan was chocolate peppermint bark and some toffee if we had time.
In the pot goes some butter and sugar and salt, yum. Digital thermometers are really great for teaching numbers- tell me when it gets to 285!
When it gets to the magic temp for me and my pot- 290, pour it on a cookie sheet with a silpat - seriously don't screw it all up like me and just use wax paper. oh did I forget to take the pictures of me painstakingly scraping all of the wax paper off of the toffee, my bad. just imagine my joy. okay?
Now, I'm no food blogger, and you have to move a little quickly at this stage to get the chocolate chips on top so they stick in and get melty and magically incorporate themselves into the toffee so when you smash it to bits the chocolate doesn't come flying off. You will have to move *so* quickly that there is no time for taking pictures. So some magic happens and you end up with this:
The toffee has heat to spare so when the chocolate is all melty you spread it out. yum.
total success! These things all get broken into something resembling bite sizes and tossed into some containers and into the fridge. Next we make cookies, lots and lots of cookies. tomorrow you will see!