Chocolate candy slab

1-1/2 lbs chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (semisweet, dark, or milk)
A couple of small handfuls of candy: Peppermint patties, peppermint hard candies or broken candy canes, nonpareils, butterscotch discs, peanut butter cups, broken Butterfingers or Heath Bars

In a 2-quart bowl, place 1-1/2 lbs of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Add 1/4 C shortening and stir. In an even larger bowl, put about an inch of very warm tap water — about 110 F. Place the chocolate bowl in the water bowl, taking care not to get any water in the chocolate.

Stir the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until it’s all melted and shiny and smooth. (When the water becomes too cool, dump it out and pour in a fresh inch of warm water.)

Remove the chocolate bowl from the water bowl and set it down on a towel, drying the bottom carefully.

Line an 11×7 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the edges to extend beyond the pan. Pour half the chocolate into this pan and put about half the candy on it. Pour the other half of the chocolate over the top and then arrange the remainder of the candy on that. Let it stand for at least an hour until firm.

You can break this up before serving it, or allow guests to break off pieces themselves.