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The Best Of Bridge:Holiday Classics:Food Gifts

Do you need a special Christmas gift this year? Why not,a homemade gift? They are extremely thoughtful and great for the hard to get person.Homemade is the most generous gift you can give.Everyone appreciates the hard work you put towards creating something for them.So if you're on board, I can definitely help you out by suggesting some lovely food gifts that will certainly impress.

The Best Of Bridge Holiday Classic has a vast variety of food gifts such as nut mixes,brittles and even chutneys.The bridge ladies cover just about all the simple edible gifts that you can give at Christmas.The recipes also have a long shelf life,meaning you can definitely make them ahead to save time and the treats look lovely in just about any container.Now the gifts that I made were Cranberry pistachio bark and turtles.

The cranberry pistachio bark is a very quick as well as simple treat to create.The recipe is easy to understand and is adaptable if necessary.The recipe also includes ingredients that are expensive;however well worth the cost for the overall product.The bark is quick to make; however it does includes a one hour to overnight wait so It can be definitely made ahead of time if necessary.

 Now, it may be expensive to create this treat,but the person you give this to will definitely be surprised with how much work you put towards it.The cranberry pistachio bark is a beautiful and delicate treat with creamy white chocolate scattered with red cranberries along with lime green roasted pistachios.This combination is exceptional and the colors just pop through the white chocolate.However the flavor is what everyone is looking for and I will say now that it is delightful.The white chocolate has a smooth as well as creamy consistency with a slight sweetness.The pistachios have a soft, velvety crunch with a nutty flavor and lastly the cranberries are sweet and tart.Every ingredient balances one another out to create an excellent chocolate bark.It a beautiful,simple and effortless recipe and I give it two thumbs up.

Now we cannot leave out our special little turtles, now can we?.Everyone knows about these little guys and what they taste like.But what if I said that these homemade ones are much better,would you believe me? Well your gonna have to find out and make this simple turtle recipe.But try one out if you are giving them away as a gift because they are too good to just give all away.

These turtles are simple as can be to make and are cheaper in the long run then the store bought.You can make 50 chocolates or more with this recipe.It does include expensive ingredients however you end up with alot more and better quality.The recipe is also easy to follow as per usual with the bridge ladies and include excellent tips.Its also a treat that you must work quickly with in assembling and to constantly be at watch. But besides that it's actually a very fun treat to create and be able to test out the end product.

 Now of course the best part is the taste testing and I would say its much better then the store bought.The turtles melt in your mouth instantly with a very smooth and rich quality milk chocolate.The pecans are fresh with a soft crunch and the caramel is gooey, creamy and sweet.Its just the best combination ever and anyone would be super lucky to receive these as a gift.I know I would be. It gets another two thumbs up from me.  

So take your pick and see how good they really are.


Cranberry Pistachio Bark

1 lb good quality White Chocolate (Lindt)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shelled pistachios

I melted the chocolate in the top of a double boiler.Then I let it cool to room temperature.

Using already roasted unsalted pistachio,I shelled 1 cup.If roasting raw, shell 1 cup of pistachios and place on a cookie sheet to bake at 350F for 5 to 7 minutes.Then set aside to cool.
Then I stirred in the cranberries and pistachios into the melted chocolate.Then I pour the mixture onto a large 15 by 10 inch rimmed baking sheet.Then I let it set for 1 hour to overnight in the refrigerator and then broke into pieces.

Yield 50+ turtles

50 caramels,unwrapped
2 tbsp half and half cream
1 1/2 lb good quality milk chocolate (Used 2 Bars Water bridge Belgian Milk Chocolate)
150  whole pecans or halves

Placed wrapped caramels in the freezer for 30 minutes to help the wrapper come off more easily.I placed the caramels in a small pot over low heat and added cream.

In a double boiler,I melted the milk chocolate to a smooth consistency.

I lined two large cookies sheet with waxed paper,greasing the bottoms to help the paper stay in place.I made the turtles by placing 3 pecans on the cookie sheet in a Y shape and if the pieces were to big I placed two on the bottom and one on top. They all should be about 1 to 2 inches apart.

Then once the caramels were melted, I spooned about 1 tsp each over the top of the pecans.Then I placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

After I pick each turtle with a fork and submerge it in the melted chocolate.I held each turtle above the pan to let excess chocolate fall into bowl and then placed it back on to the waxed paper cookie sheet.Then I let the turtles set in the refrigerator and once done I store them in an airtight container and kept in a cool place.

Tip:Leftover chocolate and caramel.Make more turtles if you have more pecan on hands.If not use towards another recipe or make caramel chocolates with candy molds.

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