My Aunt Marge was a real character. She'd always be seen with high heels on...even when cutting her lawn. She had (perfectly natural -- wink, wink) bright reddish orange hair and always a smile on her face. She was extremely generous, and would offer you the shirt off her back, or more accurately, the ceramic figurines out of her curio cabinet. Her basement was a kid's dream, outfitted with a ping pong table, an Atari, and a canned food storage locker ready to take on a nuclear winter. I have very fond memories of my Aunt Marge (pictured below with my Uncle Frank), and one of the things I remember vividly about her was her white chocolate "Christmas Bark."

(How cool are they, by the way? I can only hope that future generations of my family will one day look at old pictures of Alex and me and think we exude a cool confidence and period style. But given our lack of cool and lack of style, this is highly doubtful.) 

Each year I would look forward to Christmas for many reasons, but one of them was enjoying the sweet broken pieces of Aunt Marge's Christmas Bark. And although I think of it as a holiday item, this quick and easy sweet treat is something that can be enjoyed year round. So here's a quick breakdown of how to make this crowd pleaser that surely can become a favorite in your home. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups salted peanuts
  • 2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces
  • 2 lbs. white chocolate 

Directions

Get all of your ingredients ready and line a rimmed cookie sheet with waxed paper. 

Place the chocolate in a double boiler, over simmering water. With a rubber spatula, stir chocolate until smooth. 

Once fully melted, add peanuts and pretzels and stir until coated.

Quickly spread chocolate mixture onto baking sheet, smoothing out as thinly as possible. 

Allow mixture to cool in refrigerator. Once fully cooled, break into smaller pieces and enjoy. 

I dug this recipe out of the archives two years ago when my cousin, Kristin, was getting married. She feels the same as I do about this bark and I realized that it could make the perfect favor for her shower. I even made a batch of it to give to my family members this year at Christmas. Sadly Aunt Marge passed away in September of 1996, but it makes me feel good knowing that we can honor her life and the wonderful memories she left with us in this small way and with each bite of her Christmas Bark.

Do you have any family recipes that remind you of loved ones passed? Perhaps a treat that just brings a smile to your face each time you make or taste it? Leave us a comment and let us know, we love hearing stories like that.

Comments 2

Comments

threadbndr
12/29/2011 at 11:43 AM
I have dozens of my late mother's cookie and candy recipes. She would make these huge cookie platters every Christmas for my dad's work, our church pastors and each school she taught at. (She was an elementary instrumental music teacher and taught at 5 different schools each week.)

I keep thinking that I need to start making her cookies and passing them out to family and friends.

She made a peppermint bark with crushed candy canes in exactly the same way as your aunt's bark. YUMMY. I love chocolate covered pretzels, but dipping them individually is such a pain. This one is going into my file.
Wendy
12/30/2011
It sounds like your mother was a talented woman, and her peppermint bark sounds delicious!
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