An Easy & Delicious Homemade Gift For One Last Holiday Hurrah

Easy-Peppermint-Bark-2slidePhoto: Courtesy of Liz McAvoy/What Dress Code?
With the chaos of the holiday season wrapping up, some much-needed time off for New Year's probably looks like the beautiful break you’ve been craving. Now, we're not trying to rain on your parade, but remember all those awesome DIY gifts you planned in November — only to have December fly by without so much as a free minute for crafting, baking, and so on? Well, your NYE mini-vacation is the perfect chance to get your homemade-gift game back on track, and we've got a great recipe that'll make it so easy. (We happen to think that a present delivered on January 1 still counts as on time, by the way.)
Treat your nearest and dearest to some super-yummy peppermint bark, courtesy of blogger Liz McAvoy of What Dress Code? The recipe has been in McAvoy’s family for years and only requires five simple ingredients. The easy, no-fuss process yields a sweet and minty treat that'll have you surrounded by adoring fans in 2014.

2 sleeves Saltine crackers

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (try half semisweet and half dark chocolate)

12 miniature candy canes, roughly crushed

Preheat oven to 300 degrees; line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Fill the baking sheet with Saltine crackers, salted side up.
In a small saucepan, heat butter and sugar over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the butter melts. Continue heating and stirring with whisk until mixture becomes fluffy and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, stirring to combine. Pour mixture evenly over Saltines; use a spatula to spread and smooth the surface.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until barely golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately pour chocolate chips over the top. Allow the chocolate to melt for approximately five minutes, and then use a spatula to evenly smooth the chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes; refrigerate or freeze until hardened. Break into bite-sized pieces before serving.
Want a healthier alternative? Try this equally-tasty dark-chocolate bark with pomegranate and pistachios.

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