Tuesday 20 November 2012

how to :: late night, last minute christmas gifting

Got a Christmas party coming up? Need a little homemade gift for your loved ones? Or people you may not love so much but are forced to spend your workdays with who would think less of you if you didn't give them something for Christmas? Here's how you do it.

Dash to the shops late on a Saturday afternoon to collect a handful of supplies for your amazing salads you have been allocated to take to your Christmas party the following day.

While you're there, panic when you realise you haven't bought any Christmas cards to give your friends - seeing as it's a CHRISTMAS party - nor given any thought to the fact you should probably be gifting something to show them you do actually care.

Buy some little cheapo cards and clear cello bags. The important point here is to be absolutely sure you give no thought whatsoever to the fact you only have blue and white twine left at home to use for wrapping, and randomly grab a pack of cards that in NO WAY match your twine.

Call your sister in the confectionary aisle and get her to help you refresh your failing memory on the loose quantities that are involved for your chosen WINNING recipe. Reassure yourself that if you've got the wrong amounts of ingredients, you can make it work regardless. You are that good. When you get home, surprise yourself that your memory is actually useful for the really important stuff - remembering quantities of chocolate.

Plan your enjoyable evening between a festive kitchen stint and editing at the computer. Abort plans when you fall asleep putting your toddler to bed and wake at 9.30pm, groggy and disorientated.

Fight all urges to raise the white flag and head straight for your bed covers. Make a cup of tea. Tell yourself to keep your eyes OPEN.

Get going on THE BEST peppermint bark you will ever taste. (Believe me, I have tried a few different recipes and this one wins, hands down. Don't waste your time on anything else.)

While you're waiting for layers to set, do some editing.

After the stroke of midnight when you have put your final layer on, and your editing is finished, go to bed happy that you actually achieved what you set out to do.

In the morning, leave your bark out for ten minutes to come to room temperature, then try to cut and bag it without the smalls seeing you. Give up after 30 seconds when they can smell it. Like sniffer dogs. Try not to lose your shit when they ask for 753 pieces. Be kind and give them a few dregs.

Write heartfelt messages on your non-matching Christmas cards. Use your kids' fancy Christmas tree shaped hole punch to attach to your bags with your non-matching twine.

When you're bagged and tagged, eat the scraps.

Last and most importantly, feel genuinely happy when your friends are truly grateful for their little Christmas gift. Got it? Good.

My favourite re-hashing edible handmade Christmas gift


  1. oh i am so doing this. probably at the same time of night, too, the way things go around here! have a minty fresh day :)sarah

  2. Gosh your bark looks good stacked like that and I am glad you allowed yourself to eat the scraps..I'm not sure I could contain myself to wait till them but we'll soon find out :)
    Thanks for posting this Tahnee.


  3. Those mismatched twine and card just look ridiculous! (sarcasm font required!!)
    You know I'm going to be whipping this out this year. LOVE!!
    And the story to go along with it - I had a wee giggle, but that kind of stuff makes my heart beat a bit quicker. You are such a machine to get all this done.
    And can I just say, looking back at you linked post from last year, look how far your photography has come! Not that it wasn't any good before, but leaps and bounds lady!! xo

  4. Gold! i love the fact that the tags and twine didn't match...and that recipe will be bookmarked for impromptu midnight baking!

  5. These look delicious Tahnee. The falling asleep in the little ones bed and waking at 9.30, has been done here on more than one occasion.

    I was thinking the same as Millina about your photography, the difference in a year is quite amazing!

    Thanks for the link to the recipe, might need to make these for the day care teachers.
    x Laura

  6. oooh, love how you presented your gift bags, I'm inspired! xx

  7. hi tahnee. i read this post yesterday while waiting in the doctors surgery. trying to leave a comment was futile using my phone. the bark looks amazing as do your photos. i think this is a wonderful idea. very nice. xo

  8. Oh, bless you, Tahnee - great photos and recipe! I too have tried many MANY chocolate bark recipes, but this one looks to take the cake! I think I may have to make a 'test' batch today...you know just to make sure it's as good as it looks ;)

    Sar x

  9. Hi Tahnee - have found your gorgeous blog. Love this post - I seem to fall asleep when putting my little guys to bed too, seems to always coincide with a planned movie night with my (patient) man. Going to bookmark this recipe - looks like a keeper. Following now. Elaina

  10. I have never, ever heard of this before - but it looks pretty special!

  11. I love this recipe and it looks so speacial

  12. Thank you gorgeous, I am so doing this! xo

  13. Oh, this made me laugh... Falling asleep when putting the toddler to bed, trying not to lose my sh*t when they constantly ask for more of something fabulous you've cooked - that's not even being made for them!! Thankyou for the laugh and the recipe.

  14. what brand of chocolate do you use? Do you think it matters? Well done on getting up and being productive after falling asleep with a small!

    1. I use Cadbury Old Gold 70% cocoa for the dark bit and Whittaker's white chocolate which has the highest cocoa count I have found for supermarket shelf chocolate - at 28%. The higher the cocoa count, the less sugary it will taste. Even if you don't like the bitterness of really dark chocolate on it's own, when you add the cream to that layer, and once it is sandwiched between the white layers, it's perfect. If you used milk chocolate, the bark would be sickly sweet. AND I just bought another two batches worth because I got both chocolate brands on sale - half price!! x


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