“Secret” Family Recipes? Ha!

Max (age 4) kept blowing air out of his nose, loudly and in a rhythmic fashion this morning. “Puff, puffpuffpuff, Puff Puuuuuufff…” I finally turned around and asked him if he needed a tissue.

He replied cheerfully, “No, I’m singing a song with my nose.”

The children hit the mall last weekend and started (and finished!) their Christmas shopping. Gee, I wish my list had been that easy!

We give candy and cookies to our friends here in Bangor for Christmas so Ali and I are baking up a storm this week. I’m trying to make Peppernuts for the first time ever this year. My mom’s been making them for years. We received them in a tin each Christmas from one of mom’s friends for years and the lady would never give out their secret family recipe, despite all those years of begging and bribes from my mom. My mom was into ceramics at that time (she even had her own kiln) and, one year, the neighbor’s daughter came over and asked my mom to make a ceramic teddy bear for a friend. She was willing to pay. Mom said she, of course, couldn’t take the girl’s money, but she would like the girl to run home and get her mom’s peppernuts recipe. She did and my mom’s been laughing wickedly about that every Christmas since. And, of course, Mom gave the recipe to all of us.

That was long before the Internet was born. I did a search just today and found tons of recipes for peppernuts. The closest one I found to “mom’s recipe” (ha ha) is the Anise Oil Peppernuts recipe on this page – http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/m122902.htm#3. Be careful to use the right one. There are several peppernuts recipes appearing there and I definitely would not recommend the ones with raisins and coconut. Yuck! I must warn you peppernuts are extremely addictive. If you plan to make them, better add “pants with elastic waistbands” to your Christmas list.

We’re also making peppermint bark this year, which everyone always raves about. And, it’s so easy I almost feel guilty making it.

Angie and Ali’s Peppermint Bark

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag white chocolate chips
Lots of candy canes

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips on medium heat in the microwave for about 3 minutes; stir often.

Spread the melted goo, about 1/4-inch thick, on waxed paper, and put it in the freezer.

Melt white chocolate chips the same way, but don’t put in freezer yet.

Once the mixture in the freezer is hard enough, spread the white chocolate mixture on top of the hardened semi-sweet mixture. If you do this too early, the white chocolate will start to melt the dark chocolate.

Put candy canes in a Ziploc bag and smash them. The kids love doing this with a hammer but the broken candy canes can make holes in the bag and make a big mess, so be careful.

Sprinkle the candy canes generously on top of the melted white chocolate. Push them into the white chocolate (gets messy, but just lick your hands afterward) so they’ll stay there after the candy hardens.

Put the pan back into the freezer. Once the candy hardens throughout, peel the waxed paper from the bottom and break into pieces.

Serves: Two families…but only for about a day. It’s pretty yummy!

Oh, and don’t store this near the heater!

Hugs to all!
Ang

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