Friday, December 17, 2010

"Bua Bark" and Sweet Pretzel Treats for CHRISTmas Gifts!

 "Bua Bark"

I'm sure you've seen either chocolate or peppermint bark in stores.  I know Costco sells some great peppermint bark this time of year! Would you like to know how to make bark with...saltine crackers?  Yes, crackers!  Oh so yummy!
Many years ago my Aunt gave me a recipe for chocolate bark that I have been making each CHRISTmas season for family and friends.  I have named the bark "Bua Bark" since "Bua" is my maiden name and my Aunt's.  It's an unusual and awesome last name and "Bua Bark" is one awesome and easy treat to make and eat!  I have also made "Bua Bark" for Pro-Life bake sales at my church and it always sells fast and it's enjoyed by all.  So I would like to share with you this family favorite recipe in hopes that you will try it and enjoy it!

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line edged cookie sheet with aluminum foil

Step 2:  Take 1 stick of butter and rub it over all the foil.

Step 3:  Line buttered foil with saltine crackers (salty side up), breaking crackers apart to fit along the edges.   I use about 1 to 1 1/2 reams of crackers, I think.

Step 4:  Take the one stick of butter that you rubbed on foil and another stick of butter and add it with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan.

Step 5:  Melt the butter and sugar together until it becomes thick.  You don't need to boil the mixture, just cook it long enough for it to all melt and become a thick consistency.

 Step 6:  Pour melted butter/sugar mixture all over crackers and spread evenly.

Step 7:  Put cookie sheet in preheated oven for 5 minutes so the butter/sugar on top of crackers gets hot and bubbly.

 It will look like this when it comes out of the oven after 5 minutes:

Step 8:  Immediately sprinkle a 11.5 or 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips over the hot crackers/butter/sugar.

It will not seem that you have enough chocolate chips to spread around, but keep spreading with a spatula and eventually all the chips will melt and cover over all the crackers.   Here is a photo of whole and melted chips in the middle of the process:

And here is the melted chocolate spread over all the crackers.

Step 9:  When the chocolate is evenly melted and spread, put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer to harden the chocolate.  It will look like this when it comes out of the freezer after a few hours:

Step 10:  Next you will break the bark apart and peel away the foil from the back of the crackers like this.  Be sure to not leave any foil on the bark especially on the edges.  (One year my sister-in-law ate a small piece of foil that was left on the bark which I overlooked.  I felt so bad!)

My family loves this easy and yummy recipe and I always get people asking how I make it when I serve this dessert or give it as gifts.  I can make 3 to 4 plates of bark for friends and family with one tray of bark, depending on how big I break the bark apart and how much I put on a plate.  

Pretzel Treats
Another family favorite sweet treat that I like to give to family and friends along with the plate of bark are Pretzel Treats.  For these, you just need  a bag of Mini Pretzel Twists, a big bag of Hershey Kisses, and a bag of red/green Holiday M&Ms.  (These pretzel treats are a year round treat though since I can make them using any colored M&Ms, including Valentine and pastel (Easter) M&Ms!)   The hardest thing about this recipe is unwrapping so many kisses (that's what children and a husband are for) and trying not to pop M&Ms in my mouth while making them. 

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an edged cookie sheet with as many mini pretzels as you can fit:

Step 2:  Place one unwrapped Hershey Kiss on each pretzel

Step 3:  Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 2 minutes.  You just want the kisses to become soft enough to push a M&M in the middle of each kiss.  If you put them in longer than 2 minutes the chocolate won't melt, rather the chocolate will crumble to pieces.  I've learned the hard way on this and had to throw a whole tray of kisses away because I left them in too long :(  The kisses will have a shiny look to them after you take them out after 2 minutes.  Here is what they will look like:

Step 4:  Immediately start pressing one red/green M&M into the center of each kiss that is on top of each pretzel.  My children enjoy doing this, although it is tough to keep them from eating M&Ms during the process!

Step 5:  I then place the whole tray in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.  Fridge works best vs. freezer because I have tried both ways and the chocolate pops off too easily after being in the freezer.  (I've learned the hard way on this too because one year I had lots of pretzels with no chocolate kisses/M&Ms attached!)

 Here is a plate with "Bua Bark" and Pretzel Treats.  These chocolates are so easy and fun to make and I can make several plates from one tray of bark and pretzels.

We love saving the fronts of all the beautiful CHRISTmas cards we get from years past and these cards are great name tags for the plates of chocolate.  I just write a message on the back like this:

In the photo below, I also made white chocolate angel lollipops to decorate the top of the plate and taped them under the card.  Now, I'm off to make more "Bua Bark" and Pretzel Treats....Enjoy!
I am linking this sweet post up to Kylie's "World Wide Classroom" CHRISTmas Fun Party Week Three.  If you want to get more CHRISTmas crafts/ideas and link up your ideas to spread good cheer and fun, visit World Wide Classroom!
 Our Worldwide Classroom

I give Joy to the World when I share with others what brings my family and eating sweet CHRISTmas treats! 


Unknown said...

I posted the same bark recipe yesterday! we love it too :) so easy and yummy, it doesn't last long. Thanks for the reminder on the pretzels, we love to eat them but haven't made them yet. Maybe we will get to them next week. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

Hi Jen!
I just visited your blog and checked out your Pine Bark recipe! It's so addictive, isn't? Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your beautiful family and posts in 2010 with us!
God bless!

Unknown said...

My mouth is watering over the Bua Bark. I HAVE to try that. My mom always wants peanut brittle, but I hate to make it. The Bua Bark looks much easier to make. I will have to find a way to make it with less sugar though. hmmmm, maybe not. Mom with just have to go without. lol We did make the pretzels last year. I think it is the combination of the salt and sugar. Now I'm hungry. Have to go bake. =)
I voted for you. Have a blessed day.

Mom2Seven said...

Ohmigosh! I am making both of these next week. I have some traditional favorites that even the ladies at the public library look forward to every year (I started taking a tray of goodies when my son volunteered there and just continued all these years later), but I was thinking that I needed to try some new things to go with my usual baking. The younger kids are going to love helping with the pretzels. Genuinely excited, Tracy! Have a great weekend. ~Annita

These are great recipes we are going to be making them this week. I have made peppermint bark before. My kids will love the pretzel ones:) Salt and chocolate...its a good thing:) Voted for you today

Hi Lynda! I was thinking you could use Splenda, rather than "real" sugar, but I'm sure it won't taste the same :0 I hope you get to try it and like it and maybe your mom can taste a little crumb of it, although it is addictive so maybe that's not a good idea after all. Yes, the salt and sweet taste is always a good combination! Have a blessed Saturday!

Hi Annita!
That is so nice of you to make treats for the library staff! I bet you never have to pay late fees on books since they love you so much :) LOL
If you try the bark/pretzels let me know how it turns out :) I'm glad you enjoyed this post and I hope you will enjoy making these and eating them too!
Have a blessed day!

Hi Anna-Marie,
I've never made peppermint bark before, although I'm sure I could sprinkle some peppermint candies on the chocolate for a different taste. Let me know how your pretzels turn out if you do try them. Yes, salt and chocolate...the perfect combo! Thanks for your continued support and I voted for you too :) Have a blessed weekend!

Angela said...

Oooh..the pretzels turn out so pretty! Love that! And also love that you posted so many pics of the bua bark baking process! (I'm a visual learner and that REALLY helps me in the baking department!)

Unknown said...

I hope you are having a wonderful day. I just received your CHRISTmas card in the mail. You have such a beautiful family. God Bless! I voted for you.

Hi Angela,
I'm a visual learner too and the more instructions and pictures when it comes to baking and cooking, the better, even though I can follow recipes exactly and still mess them up! I'm not a natural when it comes to baking and cooking! I hope you have a blessed Christmas with your beautiful family!

Renee said...

Thanks for the great recipes! I'm for anything that I can make a lot of and quickly for my kids at school. The Bua Bark especially looks great!

Hi Lynda!
I'm glad you got our card! Thanks so much for you kind comment! I had a busy day staying in from all the rain and preparing gifts for grandparents from my children! Thanks always for your continued support and commments and I hope you had a great day as well. God bless!

Hi Renee Ann!
I hope you get a chance to try the recipe(s). I've been making tray after tray this past week and this week and I'm glad it's fast and easy to make, and not to mention delicious (but not low fat :(
Have a blessed Christmas! :)

Letting you know the kids and I made the preztels half with kisses and half with rolo tops Yummy. Going to try the Bau Bark tomorrow:) Thanks for the quick and easy recipes

That sounds so good with the rolo tops! So glad you enjoyed making (and eating) them! :) I hope you enjoy the ADDICTIVE Bua Bark too!

Chris said...

Here I am, commenting, 4 years after you originally shared the recipes!!
Love the bark idea. I think I'll try that as a winter treat in coming weeks.....

For today, we're doing the pretzels. I've seen them elsewhere too and they look clever and yummy.

Since I have meting choc wafers, ( what you put in those molds?) I'm trying that instead of kisses. ( we actually have kisses on hand bc we're using them for the ggbread house decor)But now we don't have to unwrap the choc if we just use the melters! We'll see how it goes and let you know.

Have a GREAT day!

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