The way to people's hearts

It's true. You want to show someone you love them, feed them. You want them to think you're amazing and talented and creative, feed them homemade treats.

I don't bake. I see a recipe with more than four ingredients and I stop reading. If it calls for flour, I stop reading. If there's any work involving a sifter, a zester, a sieve, or a processor, I stop reading. I think I've made my point.

Surprisingly, I love to make Christmas candy. Of course, I never make anything involving mixing or baking -- but what I do make is apparently akin to crack, because my family acted like they wanted to crush it up and smoke it tonight. (And, yes, I'm aware this is funny considering someone in my family is a recovering crack addict. That's called family humor.)

Before this takes a dark turn, consider the evidence. I started with three tins of candy and I'm left with this:

A few pieces of peppermint bark and a handful of rolo stacks (also called "prolos" by the mountain man). And a few tumbleweeds. I plan to make another batch of each on Monday since Javi's home all week and he loves to help. These are seriously the easiest (and apparently tastiest) treats to make. Here are my recipes:

Rollo Stacks
1 bag of Rollos
1 bag of waffle-shaped pretzels
Baking sheet
Wax paper

-- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
-- On your wax-paper-lined baking sheet, lay out as many pretzels as you have Rollos. Top each pretzel with a Rollo. Stick the sheet in the oven for 2 minutes or less -- you want to leave it in just long enough to soften the Rollo (but without melting it -- needs to be semi-firm).
-- Take out the sheet and top each Rollo with another pretzel, pressing down slightly to create a sandwich. Stick the baking sheet in the fridge to cool. These are heavenly!

Peppermint Bark
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1 bag white chocolate chips
5 small candy canes (more or less depending on what you have. We had five.)
Double boiler (or your preferred melting method)
Baking sheet w/ sides
Wax paper

-- Dump the dark chocolate in the double boiler and melt away. Meanwhile, stick the candy canes in a plastic bag and pound away with whatever tool you have on hand. I have a mallet specifically for candy cane crushing, but you can use anything hard (coffee cup, hammer, etc). Crushing them in the bag keeps your candy cane dust in one place. I prefer to crush up the pieces fairly fine, but you may prefer bigger chunks.

-- Line the baking sheet with wax paper. When dark chocolate is melted, pour it into the baking sheet, spread it out evenly, and then stick it in the fridge. Clean your double boiler and then repeat the melting process with the white chocolate. Once it's melted, stir in as much peppermint dust and crumbles as you want. I like leave some out to sprinkle over the top.

-- Pull out the cooled dark chocolate and spread the white chocolate-candy cane mix evenly on top. Pop it back in the fridge. When it's cooled, break it up into smallish pieces and store in airtight containers. I usually reuse the plastic bag until I'm ready to gift my candy. I also line the tins with wax paper to help the candy last longer.

Warning: Don't make either of these treats unless you a) plan to gain 10 pounds or b) need to make someone fall in love with you.

My mother has hidden her tin in her office so she doesn't have to share. My father ate his tin and then got a refill before he left. My sister (who is 12 and therefore so worried about her weight) must've eaten a tin on her own. My other sister kept going back for more. And my yet other sister glared at all of us because she's gluten intolerant. Sorry Ashley!

My teacher friend told me no one wants to eat candy when they don't know how it was prepared or whether the person making it practiced good hygiene, so I haven't shared my treats with folks who don't come to my house. It's a safe bet. Javi's teachers came really close to getting a tin. Too bad for them!


  • Anonymous

    OMFG That all sounds SO GOOD!

  • The Ranting Mommy

    I am heading your warning and waiting until AFTER the holidays to make the ... ummm...holiday candy. Oh well, it will still taste fabulous, right? Thanks for sharing!

  • amber_mtmc

    Dear Kelly,

    I sprint when I see flour in a recipe. With this one, though? I will sprint to eat it. Yum!


  • Lori

    OMG Kelly... your pictures made my stomach growl.... those look so good!!!
    Where did you find the waffle pretzels? All I can find are the sticks or the twists (which work OK in a pinch)
    I just made some candy pretzels... similar to yours but with a Hershey kiss and an M&M on top..... just as easy as your rollo stacks... go ahead, they'll all be lining up for more!!!!!

  • Moore Minutes

    You're so funny! ;) And wow! These sound SO yummy! I don't make a lot of Christmas candy so this is intriguing to me. I am really wanting to try it now, lol...especially that peppermint bark!

  • Kelly Miller

    @Lori - Mine were made by Snyder's of Hanover and I found them at Target on the chip aisle. On Facebook, you said an unwrapped Hershey's kiss -- was that a typo?

    @Lisa - The peppermint bark is super easy. Some folks add peppermint extract but I don't see the point if you break the candy canes up enough. If you make it, I'm sure it'll look prettier than mine! :)

    Another variation of the rollo stack is the waffle (or twist) pretzel, rollo, and a pecan half on top. Yum!

  • Lori

    LOL.... I did say unwrapped (I think... can't remember now)... you unwrap them, place them in the center of the pretzel, and bake them so they melt into the pretzel... popping the M&M on top to squish the chocolate down (for some reason mine weren't melting... like oozing all over) unwrapping those kisses took FOREVER!!! (hey, a good job for a certain 9 yr old!!!! but a warning, the 2yr old sneaks them!!!! So watch said 2 yr old closely)

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