On Tuesday, I invited two of my favorite little ladies their their mom to the house to make fancy Valentine boxes.  Then we filled them with sweet treats.  I was so impressed with the creativity of my little friends.  Within a couple hours each of them has several beautiful boxes made up for teachers, grandparents, and the like.  These little girls are special to me, and we have a bit of a tradition of making fun (and yummy) things together. 

Elizabeth applying her glue dots.
Ana enjoying an after-school crumpet while she designs her boxes.
Wyatt loved playing "boo" with each of our guests.  He was the lucky recipient of a belated birthday Lego train with numbers AND a dog -- his first learning aid from Seattle's famed Math 'n Stuff.  He also received a tiny pink rattle shaped like a guitar, which has quickly become his favorite of all.  He carries the "tar" with him everywhere, and will sing you his version of "wheel bus round" (a.k.a. The Wheels on the Bus) with minimal prompting while strumming the "tar," of course. 

We filled the cute boxes with Hersey kisses, sour lips, and homemade Valentine's peppermint bark.  The bark is a super simple confection.  As a bonus, it's quite nice to nibble in the afternoon with a cup of tea, too.

Easy Valentine's Peppermint Bark

3 packages Ghiradelli's White Chips
2 tsp peppermint flavoring (use less if using extract)
One large peppermint candy cane, crushed to smitherenes
Cute Valentine's sprinkles

Melt the chips in a double boiler over low heat, striring often so the chips melt slowly and don't get too hot on the bottom.   When fully melted, stir in the peppermint flavoring and most of the crushed candy cane.  Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Sprinkle with the remaining candy cane bits and sprinkle liberally with Valentine sprinkles.

Let the bark harden at room temperature for several hours or overnight.  Break into pieces with your hands or the tip of a knife.  Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks (at least that's what I'm told . .  . ours won't last that long.)

Note: Next time I'll try making this bark with good quality white chocolate.  Probably a tad more temperamental to melt and a bit more expensive, but it would likely turn out a bit less sweet and a tad harder, which would suit me fine.


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