Editor's Note: Emma Rogers and Tyson Bird are senior journalism majors who write "Dinner for 2ish" for the Daily News. Their views do not necessarily agree with those of the paper.

We started cooking together in the summer of 2015 and have planned and cooked a dinner every week since. Our recipes are often inspired by the New York Times’ cooking website but are adapted to fit Muncie availability and a college budget. If you're like us, you are probably looking forward to some much-needed downtime the next three weeks. If you find yourself bored, impress your friends and family by whipping up some of these holiday goodies.



Peppermint bark

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (using chocolate chips is perfect)
  • 1 pound white chocolate
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract (divided into two 3/4 teaspoon servings)
  • 8 candy canes, crushed

Directions:

  1. Look around your kitchen and find a small saucepan and bowl that fit together so that the bowl sits on top of the saucepan with some space in the saucepan below.
  2. Place about an inch of water in the saucepan and heat over medium-low. Do NOT boil the water. Place the fitted bowl over the saucepan and place almost all of the semi-sweet chocolate inside.
  3. Stirring often, melt the chocolate. If the chocolate becomes too hot, it will seize and be unusable. You want to take a really long time preparing the chocolate — we spent about 10 minutes on this step alone.
  4. While the chocolate is first starting to melt, line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminium foil. 
  5. Once the chocolate has fully melted, stir in the first 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Spread this into the foil-lined pan and freeze while you melt the white chocolate.
  6. Melt the white chocolate using the same process as above. Add the peppermint extract and spread over the chilled semi-sweet chocolate. 
  7. Drop the crushed candy canes onto the white chocolate. Allow to sit for about an hour, then remove the foil from the pan and peel it away from the chocolate.
  8. Use a large knife to cut the bark into smaller pieces for serving.

Kolaczkis

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Pie filling (we used cherry, but you can use your favorite)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using your hands, combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Make it as consistent and smooth as possible before adding the flour.
  3. Add the flour in four parts, combining the dough more with your hands after each addition. Once the dough stays together but is still very soft, place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour a flat surface and rolling pin (or, a wine bottle, if you don't have a rolling pin). Roll the dough out to slightly less than 1/4 inch.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into several squares. Move the squares to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Place a dollop of pie filling in middle, and fold two corners to the center.
  6. Cram as many kolaczkis as possible onto the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly brown.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar and store tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.