Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas | Packaging Treats + Peppermint Bark Recipe

Um, yes, I know, no one is blogging about Christmas anymore and I debated even doing this post myself, but I loved the way my treat packages looked this year, so let's just think of this inspiration for next year!

If I'm being honest, Christmas just didn't feel the same this year for me.  I never published a Christmas Home Tour, Part 2.  Nor did I do a bow tying tutorial for that matter (I will soon, though, just need to schedule time with my resident film maker!)  I didn't bake as much for friends or family either.  In fact sugar cookies are on the docket for today because I never did get around to making any and the requests are at an all time high! :)  The whole holiday season went by far too quickly and even though I wasn't rushing about or stressing over last minute preparations, I didn't get that magical Christmas feeling with the same intensity as I usually do.  It was still a happy month for sure, with joyful anticipation and grateful hearts, just taken down a notch. For the first time ever I wasn't heart broken to put away our decorations.   I'm still a bit puzzled as to why, but 2016 is here now and we are moving on.  Well, after this post at least, then it's on to focusing on the year ahead!

^^ I did use lots of satin gold ribbon this year on wreaths and packages.  (source here)  I loved the idea of using blue at Christmas, it feels fresh and looks so pretty with greenery. The craft boxes (source) were for cookies, the small blue boxes were used for peppermint bark.  I use them for my decorating business when sending fabric samples to clients but I knew they would be great for wrapping up flat shaped treats too. I buy the boxes wholesale in bulk, similar style here.^^

^^ I absolutely adore these chef medallions from Felix Doolittle, perfect for anytime of year and would be such a cute gift for any cooks in your life. ^^

^^ I bought mini wreaths and glue gunned a navy rick rack ribbon (ribbon from Walmart) on them and then glue gunned them to gingham gift tags.  On the back I wrote what was inside.  I bought the gift tags on clearance at Paper Source at the end of summer last year.  You could easily make them using gingham scrapbook paper or cardstock sold at craft stores.  The mini wreaths were from Michaels.^^

^^ The boxes were lined with gingham food safe paper from the Container Store.^^

Recipe | Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark
(source: adapted from Bon Appetit: The Christmas Season cookbook)

17 ounces good quality white chocolate
30 red and white striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (note: I used Whole Foods candy canes instead, place in freezer size ziplock back and gently crush with meat mallet or rolling pin)
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
6 TBS whipping cream
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

Turn a large baking sheet bottom side up.  Cover securely with foil.  Mark a 12 x 9 inch rectangle on the foil.  Stir white chocolate in a metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from over water.  Pour 2/3 cup of melted chocolate onto rectangle on foil.  Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermint.  Chill for 15 minutes.

Stir bittersweet, cream and peppermint extract in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth.  Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate rectangle.  Using spatula, spread into an even layer.  Refrigerate for 25-30 minutes.

Rewarm remaining white chocolate in bowl over simmering water.  Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer, spread to cover.  Immediately sprinkle with remaining peppermint candy.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Lift foil with bark on it to a cutting board and cut bark crosswise into 2 inch wide strips, slide bark off foil and cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections and each section diagonally into 2 triangles (or cut bark into whatever shapes you like - like I did!! :)) Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Chill in airtight container.  Let stand at room temp for 10 minutes before serving if you like, I prefer it straight from the fridge.  They are so good and very addictive!


  1. Always enjoy your posts! Better late than never I say. Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you for posting this! That packaging is adorable and you have impeccable style! I'm going to tuck it away for next year unless I can find some dye free candy canes on clearance (my oldest son can't tolerate red #40) and make this for Epiphany January 6. I loved those scalloped pewter plates in your Christmas tablescape a few posts back. I may be your number #1 stalker/repinner/fan on Pinterest. I've not been able to sleep during this pregnancy with my 3rd precious son and I feel like every time you get another notification in the middle of the night that I've repinned something of yours you must think I'm a total nut. I even found our stretcher base dining table through one of your pins awhile back and I LOVE it. Thanks for all the inspiration. :). Happy New Year! Cheers to 20 sweet 16 as my mother and I are calling it! ;)

  3. I love this post. I will be copying this for my cookie boxes next year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Happy New Year, Tessa! I think blue is so pretty with greens for Christmas, and the gingham looks very fresh. We put our decorations away today, or as I like to think of it, started getting ready for Christmas 2016! It's nice to have the house a clean slate, but the fridge has a disc of unrolled gingerbread dough and a log of unbaked cheese straw dough--thinking I should freeze for Valentines Day.

  5. I'm so glad you posted this! Love seeing what you do each year. Also- you're not alone in the Christmas spirit department. I'm not sure if it's because my kids are getting older or I'm getting tired but I've felt the same way for a couple years. I'm going to try and change that for next year! Happy New Year!!

  6. Love your boxes and the wrap Tessa. I so know how you feel. The season flew by and I had many posts to write and got to hardly any. I just was trying to keep up with the cards, baking, shopping and you know.. I too am looking forward to fresh new year. Happy 2016! Kim

  7. I love this idea! I used your adorably wrapped Godiva Santa and Starbucks gift card idea from last year for this years teacher gifts. Thank you! :)

    Even though it was fun to be outdoors more in December, the mild temps and sunny days made it feel less like Christmas to me. I prefer dreary snowy days in Devember - definitely more festive and cozy!

  8. Your did a wonderful job with the pretty boxes bowes and gift tags--I think you don't give yourself enough credit for people pleasing!

  9. We love to see photos of how people creatively use their Felix Doolittle labels! The generously sized satin ribbon adds so much dimension and elegance! Looks as beautiful as it was delicious! Thanks for featuring us, Tessa, in your holiday gift giving, and wishing you and yours a most wonderful and magical year ahead!

  10. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

  11. You know I felt the exact same way this year! Nothing terrible happened, in fact we found out we were pregnant (yay!) but I was happy with clearing out the holiday decor and starting fresh. I thought I might have been the only one but I'm glad I'm not :) Enjoy all of the baking!

  12. What beautiful gift boxes! Love the personalized tags. Like you, while I enjoyed the holiday, I felt very comfortable putting it away and moving toward 2016. Nothing bad, just not a particularly special feeling this year!

  13. I've saved all of the details, I hope to do this next Christmas. Love the chef medallions.

  14. What gorgeous boxes! Love your presentation. Can you share the size of those boxes, they look the perfect size for some homemade candy for valentines day. Love your style. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Hi Tessa,
    Can you share the name of the ribbon site? The link is no longer working and I would love to know where to get such pretty finds. Thank you - I ADORE your lovely sight!

    1. Sorry about that. ribbon is from, wholesale ribbon, double faced satin, in old gold.