Tag Archives: white chocolate

White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark

finished

Our card reader died, so excuse the pictures!  I had taken a beautiful one of this with the Nikon and strobe flash, but oh well — you get the idea.

I was really stressing about making my usual twelve variety of holiday cookies this year, because I have so much work.    I decided:  NO COOKIES! (Imagine Edna from The Incredibles saying it instead of “no capes!”)

Instead I made one big batch of White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark for Jamie to give to the Lower Middle School Office at school.  It is strange this year — he doesn’t have one class, so there is no holiday parties or teacher gifts or class holiday sings…

We made the candy this weekend and Jamie helped me smash the candies.

These are candy cane candies not shaped like canes. lol

These are candy cane candies not shaped like canes. lol

I divided the small chunks from the large ones but this  isn't really necessary!

I divided the small chunks from the large ones but this isn’t really necessary!

This time, I illustrated the recipe!  It is featured on the amazing website, They Draw and Cook, which I absolutely love.  It is founded by a brother and sister design team who do wonderful work.  I was really inspired by all the great hand lettering they do.  It’s something I plan on working on in 2014.  I’ve always been afraid of hand lettering, but my friend, Anais, introduced me to a class on skillshare.com taught by Mary Kate McDevitt, an amaaaaazing hand letterer and illustrator.  In her class I learned to think of hand lettering as “drawing”.  It seems like a simple switch in one’s mind, but it made a huge difference.  I had  a mental block about it before that change in thinking!

The biggest compliment about my lettering was from Jamie:  He asked me what “font” I used (he’s really into typography himself)!  🙂

There are eleven penguins and there polar bears in here!

There are eleven penguins and three polar bears in here!

Click to see the larger image.

And here is the recipe for easy reference:

White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark

1 pound white chocolate morsels (if you can’t find this, just chop up a big hunk of white chocolate)

1/2 cup crushed candy cane (if your hand gets tired using a mallet, you can use a food processor like we did at the end)

1.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler

2.  Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread out evenly with an off set spatula.

3.  Sprinkle crushed candy on top.

4.  Chill until completely hardened.  Break into pieces.

5.  Eat and share with friends.  Store in an air tight container (I keep ours in the the  refrigerator)

You can also make this with semisweet or milk chocolate.  I used white chocolate because it looks prettier in an illustration!  You can also just put other things on it instead of candy if you like.  Dried fruit and toasted nuts or seeds would be a healthier alternative!

Happy Holidays to all!

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Filed under Art Related, Desserts

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti and the 6th Annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival

Chocolate glaze optional - I'm trying to decide if it is better with or without.

In the midst of trying to finish 52 illustrations by next week (I have 11 more to go!), summer activities, preparing for September book events, I decided to honor my recent white chocolate fixation and attempt to create an original recipe of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti.

I will be reading from my book, Soup Day, at the 6th Annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival at the Princeton, NJ Public Library this Saturday at 11:30 am.  I will also be meeting amazing authors and illustrators,  greeting the public, and signing books!  If you happen to live in or near Princeton, NJ, please stop by and say “hello”.  I’d love to see you. 🙂

I’m traveling with my friend Kate the day before, who just released her book, Big Bouffant, and we are staying with her dear friend in Princeton who has generously offered us lodging.  I decided to make this creation to bring to her.

Hopefully she won’t mind the sloppy chocolate garnish I mistakenly put on the sides instead of the tops (see note below)!

White Chocolate Macademia Nut Biscotti

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

½ cup white chocolate chips

optional:  1/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chopped chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add sugar and beat another minute.  Add egg and extracts and beat until incorporated.  Stir in macadamia nuts and white chocolate until evenly distributed.
  4. Dump batter out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Wet hands and form dough into a large rectangular log, about 4-inches by 12-inches in size.
  5. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes until top is firm.  Let rest on baking sheet on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  6. Carefully transfer log with two spatulas (it can easily break if it is not supported) to a cutting board.  Cut log into diagonal slices about ½-inch thick with a serrated knife.  Gently use a sawing motion, don’t press down too hard, or the log will break.
  7. Transfer the pieces back to the baking sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes, flipping baking sheet and cookies halfway through.
  8. Remove baking sheet from oven and let rest on wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Then move biscotti to rack to cool completely.
  9. If you’d like to drizzle them with chocolate, just melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals (it took me about 90 seconds), stirring in between.  Transfer melted chocolate to a sandwich Ziploc bag and press all the chocolate to one corner of the bag.  Snip off a small bit of the corner so you have a tiny hole.  Turn biscotti so that the tops are up!  (I forgot to do this – oops!)  Squeeze the bag gently, drizzling chocolate over the biscotti.

    Major fail: I drizzled one side instead of the tops -- oops!

    To speed up the hardening process, you can chill in the refrigerator or freezer for a bit.

Makes about 13-14.

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Filed under Art Related, Children, Cookies, Desserts

Summer of Harry Potter and White Chocolate Popcorn with Chocolate Chips

I can’t believe this week will officially mark the end of our summer.  It will always be remembered as the one filled with mounds of work (I can faintly make out the light at the end of the tunnel, but still in the thick of things, hence a short post….) and Harry Potter.

My son’s friend recently told him, “Harry Potter is SO yesterday…”, but not for us.  We’ve been reading the books all summer and then watching the films afterwards.  We just finished The Order of the Phoenix (we try to read a few chapters ahead of our son to make sure it is not too scary), so that is the next movie up.

The films are never as good as the books they are based on, but it’s fun to watch them and see what parts were edited out and see how each was interpreted by the different directors.  Also it’s intriguing to watch the actors actually grow up and mature on screen — though it gives me a little pang knowing that I’ll soon be seeing the same process in my son…

Every now and then a good, decadent popcorn is in order. Our Sunday movie time is one such time.  So while we’re enjoying watching the 5th installment of the Harry Potter saga tomorrow, we’ll be munching on this.

White Chocolate Popcorn with Chocolate Chips

Note:  I have an air popper which I love, but it is easy to make popcorn on the stove.  A great method for getting evenly popped corn can be found here.

About 6-8 cups popped corn (made from 1/4 to 1/3 cups unpopped kernels)

1/4 cup white chocolate baking chips (I used Guittard)

1-2 tablespoons butter

1-2 teaspoons milk

Kosher or sea salt to taste

A handful of chocolate chips (just because)

1.  Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl at 30 second intervals on high.  Whisk butter and chocolate together, then stir in milk gradually to thin out to a sauce consistency.

2.  Pour over popped corn.  I did it in two batches and mixed the last half in the bowl of melted chocolate.  Season with salt to taste.   Toss in chocolate chips. Serve immediately, passing out napkins for sticky fingers!

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Filed under Children, Desserts