A couple days ago I confessed via Instagram (@SavorySweetLife) I bought Trader Joes’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s and had ate a dozen within hours. I don’t know what it is about those particular cookies, but it is nearly impossible to just eat one… or two, or three… Because I did not participate in Black Friday, eating those holiday chocolate sandwich cookies was my twisted way of ushering in the holiday season. Before anyone passes judgment on me for eating so many cookies, I plead PMS! My cookie binge happened two days ago and my menstrual cycle started today. Yes, I know. TMI. Sorry.
I have been thinking about my holiday cookie strategy this year, and I decided months ago that I am going to make a conscious effort to exercise regularly and only eat sweets worth the calories I work off on the treadmill the next day. Because I can’t seem to give up my sweet tooth, I also decided that I would eat smaller portions of desserts. This way I savor and appreciate them more. In case you’re wondering, those 12 Candy Cane Joe Joe’s were totally worth it.
Most nights I still eat a nice small piece of chocolate before bed. Some people drink a glass of wine before going to sleep, but I eat a piece of dark chocolate – sometimes with a spoonful of Natural Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter. It is a gazillion times better tasting than a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Seriously.
As I thought about what I wanted to make today to kick off my homemade holiday treats collection, I thought about my love of salty-sweet-chocolate anything and everything. And then it hit me. Why not make a small batch of dark chocolate holiday bark where I pack it with my favorite blend of trail mix? This particular trail mix is made up of roasted mixed nuts, yogurt chips, and dried cranberries and blueberries. The more I thought about this combination, the more excited I was to make it. It’s almost like one of those fruit and nut bars coated in chocolate you buy in the stores. I made the bark in under 5 minutes followed by some chilling time in the freezer. After I cut them into small squares, I felt accomplished on so many levels.
First of all, the bark is ridiculously easy to make. Secondly, they are addicting. Finally, because I used a good quality dark chocolate, this protein packed “treat” is relatively healthy. Best of all, I have a new favorite bed time treat. Just one square is all I need.
Good-bye Joe Joe’s. It was fun. Hello Holiday Bark. You and I are going to become really good friends.
For the full recipe with beautiful step-by-step photos, please click here to my PBS Parents post today.