I had the opportunity to host book group last week and so I used my friends as guinea pigs for some new treats! I also promised to share the recipes, and time seems to have gotten away from me a teeny bit, but here they are.
From the left, I made Jeni's Graham Cracker Brittle, Winter Crunch Bark, Chocolate Macaroon Bars, and my yummy Wassail kept warm in my STUNNING new birthday crock pot. (You know you're getting "old" when you ask for, and actually get, a crock pot for your birthday.) Here are the recipes:
Winter Crunch Bark (Pampered Chef)
1 pkg. (20 oz.) vanilla or chocolate flavored almond bark
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups rice crispies
Line 9"x13" pan with wax paper, allowing extra to extend over edges of pan. Coarsely chop walnut. Place 1/2 of nuts, 1/2 of cranberries and all of rice crispies in a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, melt almond bark in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. When smooth, stir into walnut/cranberry/rice crispies mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared 9"x13" pan and immediately sprinkle remaining walnuts and cranberries on top and press into bark mixture. Allow to stand for 30-40 minutes or until set. Using the wax paper, pull bark out of pan and break into 2 inch pieces. **You can substitute cranberries and walnuts with 3/4 cup macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted lightly in the oven.)
Chocolate Macaroon Bars (Pampered Chef **the original recipe used a pizza stone...I used my bar pan instead.)
1 pkg. fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
2 egg whites
1 pkg. (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg. (14 0z.) sweetened flaked coconut
1 pkg. (2.25 oz.) sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour batter into bar pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until brownie is set. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Remove to cooling rack. In a bowl, combine egg whites, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Spread coconut mixture over top of brownie to within 1/4" of edges. Sprinkle with almonds. Return to oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until edges of coconut are deep golden brown. Remove to cooling rack. Place chocolate and oil in small microwaveable bowl and melt, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle chocolate over bars. Cut into bars.
Hot Wassail Mix
2 cups Tang
1 (3 oz.) pack presweetened lemonade koolaid
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Mix and store in an airtight container. Use 3/4 tsp. mix with 1 cup of apple juice for an individual serving or 6 Tbsp. for each 64 ounces of apple juice.