By Rosie Hawthorne on December 8, 2011
I pack all this into sparkly gift containers for family, friends, and neighbors.
The Hawthorne kitchen kicks into gear the first week in December and continues until Christmas Eve. As I bake, I put everything in freezer bags and Tupperware and put it in the freezer. I assemble the trays on Christmas Eve and distribute them, except for the ones I’ve already mailed out.
This year, you’re invited to come along for the ride, or as I like to call it, the Rosiethon.
My Christmas present for my readers is Twelve Days of Christmas Baking. Each installment, I’ll be offering you a favorite recipe to try for your own Christmas baking. These are all tested recipes that I’ve been making for over 20 years and I hope they become some of your favorite Christmas recipes too.
The one I get the most requests and comments on is one of the simplest — Nut and Berry Bark — a combination of white chocolate with dried cranberries and toasted pistachios.
3 cups shelled, raw, unsalted pistachios
3 cups dried cranberries
2 ½ pounds white chocolate, finely chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pistachios in a baking pan and bake for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook or the pistachios will lose their bright green color. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place a steamer basket in a medium saucepan filled with ½ inch of water. Bring to boil over moderately high heat. Put cranberries in basket, cover, and steam for 3-4 minutes until soft and moist. Transfer berries to a paper towel. Blot dry and let cool.
Place the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted.
Reserve 4 TB each of the cranberries and the greenest of the pistachios. Stir remaining cranberries and pistachios into chocolate mixture. Turn mixture out onto 2 parchment-lined 10 x 14-inch baking sheets. Using an offset spatula, spread mixture evenly. Scatter reserved nuts and berries over top and refrigerate until hardened. Break into pieces.