My “After-The-Fact” Hostess Gift – Peppermint Bark

While you may be invited to a party or gathering for which you should bring a gift for the hostess or host at any time of the year it seems during the holidays there are more such parties.  I was recently invited to a holiday get together and FORGOT a gift for the hostess!! I couldn’t believe it, that was so unlike me! I keep telling myself I had a good excuse (even though I’m not sure there is ever a good excuse) in that I have a newborn at home and things are hectic to say the least. To make things worse the party was at my neighbor’s house whom I had never met before. We are “the new kids on the block” and have yet to meet most of our neighbors. Here was my chance to make that good first and impression and…well…not so much. I’m sure standing there with nothing but my smiling face and wrapped $5 mug for the mug exchange didn’t quite cut it. Now to be fair I’m sure she probably wasn’t expecting anything from me (I actually never expect anything from my guests). I probably made an average first impression, had I had an unexpected gift for her I could have made a memorable first impression. Now to make matters worse she had adorable little fabric bags filled with homemade goodies for each of her guests to take home. Each cookie I ate reminded me of my blunder. How can I recover?? I must bring her a gift and thank her. Now what to bring?

I can’t go overboard that will look…what am I looking for here…too obvious maybe?? A bottle of wine after the fact doesn’t seem quite right, not to mention I’m tired of the usual bottle of wine as a hostess gift. Whatever I bring I have to bring it timely, if it’s too long after the fact that’s kind of weird, therefore I don’t have time to order something unique online. And as I mentioned I have a newborn so getting out of the house to shop around for the perfect gift is difficult. Oh the dilemma! One place I do get out to is the grocery store. I decided to look around while I was there. I came up with something not terribly unique, but then again I didn’t want anything to over the top. I ended up with this average poinsettia for $3.33. I decided I would pair it with homemade banana bread, I had two bananas screaming banana bread at me for a few days now. Not the perfect gift but perfect would’ve been the gift I brought the day of the party. It’s thoughtful, a holiday plant that’s not too big to find a spot for and a thoughtful baked good…..or not. The banana bread didn’t turn out! It tastes great and we will eat it but it didn’t look too presentable. I’ll save that for a later post!

Plan B…what in world is plan B!? I decided on peppermint bark. homemade, SUPER EASY, and it’s always a huge hit. It’s the one thing that I am always sure to make year after year.

Ingredients:

1 bag white chocolate chips
1 bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (whichever you prefer)
6-8 Candy Canes broken/crushed

Cookie sheet
Wax paper
Microwave safe bowl.

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Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Crush candy canes (I hate crushing any candy, I’ve yet to decide on the best method for this. I used my mini food processor this time. You have to be careful not to turn the candy to dust using this method.)

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Melt the white chocolate chips and pour onto the wax paper spread to about 1/4 in thick or a little less (it will NOT cover the entire cookie sheet)
Let the white chocolate cool.

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Melt the “regular” chocolate chips and spread on top of the cooled white chocolate.

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While still warm sprinkle the crushed candy canes on the top.

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Place and refrigerator and let cool.
Once cool break into pieces

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This doesn’t make a lot, consider doubling the recipe.

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Voila! My very simple, very average, not overdone, after the fact hostess gift.

Now…what WOULD I have brought as my hostess gift had I done it correctly? Stay tuned for the next post with host/hostess gift ideas and etiquette!

Jenn Marie P

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Happy Holidays!

Jenn Marie P

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