Saturday, December 20, 2008


Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
I have been doing a great deal of baking this holiday season. I had several classes this season that were just chocolate and cupcakes. I also baked with my son's girlfriends, and I hope this will become a new holiday tradition. And then there was the marathon baking session, with my friend and cooking assistant Dianne Jackson, who makes beautiful cut out cookies that are perfectly decorated and look fantastic on my cookie trays.
I have taken cookies to many parties this season as well and have gotten great compliments, but to my surprise the recipe that is most requested is not a cookie after all, but more like a candy. PRETZEL PEANUT BARK is super easy and quick to make and you, your friends and family are going to love it. So whip up a batch today, let the bark set up and break it into pieces and then fill either pretty bags or decorative tins with it and you have a great last minute gift to give. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all have.
Buon appetito e Buon Natale,
Carmela Tursi Hobbins

18 ounces white chocolate
3 cups stick pretzels broken into small pieces but not crushed, then measured
2 cups dry salted peanuts
Line a cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth, or melt in the microwave in a 2-quart glass dish. Microwave at high for 1 minute and stir. Repeat if necessary until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in pretzel pieces and peanuts. Stir well. Spoon mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet, spreading the mixture out so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Allow the mixture to cool for several hours or refrigerate for 45 minutes, then break the bark into pieces.

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