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Chocolate candy cane bark

It seems everyone is into homemade gifts these days. I love that communities are finding value in that again. A gift from the kitchen says I made time for you and I want to treat you! We're all busy people, though, so homemade can be tough to pull off. This chocolate candy cane bark is so easy, you can make it in less time than it takes to get to the store to buy a gift. Seriously. I'm starting to keep cellophane bags, ribbon and tags on hand so that I can whip up a pressie in speedy fashion.

I made this candy cane bark today in my home kitchen with talented and bubbly TV host Karen Elgersma. We taped another segment for Go! Island South on Shaw TV, this time about gifts you can make in your kitchen. Getting a family kitchen ready for such a visit is no easy task! I wanted my little space to look lovely, so while I tidied and placed things just so, my mom spent ages cleaning and polishing every little corner. Her help didn't end there. She took my toddler out to play during the taping so that I could focus on the task at hand. So, I'm giving my mom a bag of dark chocolate candy cane bark for all her help. I couldn't have done it without her!

Here's how to make it:

4 standard size candy canes
1 3/4 cups chocolate chips OR 300 g chocolate (dark, milk or white), chopped into pieces

Seal candy canes in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until mostly small pieces. Pour 1 inch of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate to a large metal or glass bowl and set it over the saucepan. Lower heat to low and cook, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is melted. Place a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate. Add the candy cane pieces to the sieve, shaking the candy cane dust into the chocolate, reserving the larger pieces. Stir the dust into the chocolate and pour into a foil-lined 9" x 9" pan. Sprinkle the larger candy cane pieces on top. Place the bark in the fridge to set for at least half an hour. Break into pieces to serve.

So easy! And the bark can keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. I'm going to be making a lot of this.

What gifts do you give from your kitchen?