Delectable treats to warm your soul

It’s the start of the new semester, and for those of us who fear the snow and icy wind, this begins the start of the dorm-room lockdown period. Staying in can often get boring or repetitive β€” one can only watch so many movies β€” and we may find ourselves searching desperately for some fresh and exciting activities to partake in. This week, instead of the usual day to night tasks, try gathering some friends together and whipping up these delicious recipes in your dorm kitchen.

Marble Bark:

Ingredients: 6 squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate, 6 squares of white baking chocolate, 1 cup crushed peppermint candies, 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Note: Use 17 ounces dark chocolate and 10 ounces white chocolate chips.

  1. Microwave the semi-sweet and white chocolates in separate medium microwavable bowls on high for two minutes or until almost melted, stirring halfway through heating time.
  2. Stir until completely melted.
  3. Stir 1/2 cup of the peppermint candies into each bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to each bowl.
  5. Alternately spoon melted chocolates onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Swirl chocolates together with knife to marbleize.
  7. Refrigerate one hour or until firm.
  8. Break into pieces.

Makes about one pound.

Note: Use mini food processor to crush peppermint candies.

Penuche Fudge:

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup light cream, 1/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup walnut pieces

  1. Butter a nine-inch square baking dish. Butter the sides of a heavy two-quart saucepan.
  2. Combine sugars, cream, milk, and butter in saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. Cook to soft ball stage (238 degrees on candy thermometer), stirring only if necessary.
  4. Immediately remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (110 degrees). Do not stir.
  5. Add vanilla and beat vigorously until very thick and mixture starts to lose its gloss.
  6. Quickly stir in nuts and spread into prepared baking dish.
  7. Score while warm and cut when firm.

This recipe makes three dozen 1.5-inch squares.

Chocolate Orange Shortbread:

Ingredients: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup softened butter, 1 tbsp. grated orange peel, 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Glaze: 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 tsp. shortening

  1. Beat powdered sugar and butter until fluffy.
  2. Add orange peel. Blend well.
  3. Stir in flour and cornstarch. Mix well.
  4. Mix in mini chocolate chips.
  5. Divide dough into 4 parts. Shape each into a ball.
  6. On non-greased cookie sheets, press each ball of dough into a six-inch circle, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  7. With a knife, score into eight wedges, leaving wedges in place.
  8. Prick each wedge three times with a fork. Repeat for other balls.

Bake at 325 degrees for 17–27 minutes, or until edges are browned. Cool for five minutes and re-cut wedges. Cool completely.

Melt one cup of chips and shortening until smooth. Dip fat end of cookie in chocolate and place on wax paper. Refrigerate to set chocolate, then serve.