Some of the Moms from the Oak Park/River Forest Baby & Toddler Meetup Group got together for a little holiday fun this week. (i.e. Dress your baby in adorable Christmas attire and sit around stuffing yourself with Christmas treats). Everyone was supposed to bring a sweet treat to pass and I’d been planning to bring my peppermint meringues but, of course, realized the night before the party that we didn’t have any eggs. So organized.
On the morning of the party (which started at 9:30….keep in mind this was a party for mothers of infants so we’d all been up for awhile), I threw together this festive holiday bark. Using little more than a microwave, a cookie sheet and a cutting board, this bark was ready to go in about 30 minutes time and that includes cooling time. Its nothing more than white chocolate sprinkled with chopped pistachios, dried cranberries and kosher salt but the festive colors and unique combination of sweet, salty crunchy and chewy makes this a total standout treat. In fact, Lilly and I received several compliments from some of the other moms (Lilly totally helped make it).
The party was so much fun…between us there were NINE babies in attendance from 3 months to 1 year old. They were quite the wild bunch — Lots of rolling on the floor, squealing & screaming and one even took off her onesie. In all seriousness though, this is a really nice bunch of moms and babies. I feel so grateful to have found a group of moms to hang out with so quickly here in Oak Park. Everyone is so kind and welcoming and many of them live within just a few blocks of our house. Its just one more thing I love about Oak Park.
Tomorrow we head out to Rockford to celebrate Christmas with my parents, Grandma and sister. It should be a laid-back holiday with lots of good food….including another batch of this holiday bark.
Do you have a go-to last-minute holiday treat recipe? What are you doing for Christmas? Big plans or keeping it low-key? Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.
Last Minute Holiday Bark
1.5 lbs white chocolate/almond bark (either chips or chunks)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper and spray lightly with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Follow package instructions to melt the white chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. As soon as the chocolate is melted and smooth pour onto the wax paper. Smooth chocolate to the edges of the pan in one even sheet using a rubber spatulate.
Immediately dot the surface of the white chocolate evenly with the pistachios and cranberries. Sprinkle salt evenly over all. Slap jelly roll pan against the counter several times to help the berries and nuts to settle into the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool and harden completely (you can place the pan in the fridge or freezer to speed the process). Once cool, remove from wax paper and break the bark into bite size pieces. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.