“As we give presents at Christmas, we need to recognize that sharing our time and ourselves is such an important part of giving” – Gordon B Hinckley
We have made it to day number two in the 12 days of holiday baking. If you missed yesterday’s recipe, it was for an old classic called Special K Bars. I will say that these go great with your coffee in the morning. It’s almost like a bowl of cereal, covered with chocolate. Ok…maybe not… Just accept that it’s a piece of candy with your coffee and enjoy it guilt free.
Last year at this time, I was in Boston freezing off my you know what, working at America’s Test Kitchen. It was not a permanent position with them, so I decided to rent a furnished studio basement apartment and keep all my belongings at home. My kitchen was almost nonexistent. I had a hot plate and a microwave. I had a bed, a chair and a TV. I didn’t even have a car. Definitely quite different than the lifestyle I had come from. But it was this experience that reminded me how wonderful it could be to share our time and ourselves. I didn’t have anything else to give. I also wasn’t use to the kitchen shutting down at 5:00pm. It had been 20 years since I was done working at 5:00pm on a daily basis. Wow, did I ever have time! I made some of the best friends there. It’s amazing what happens when we have time and share it with others. It seems in today’s world of electronics, we pretty much don’t need anyone, and there is almost no need to ever actually speak to someone. I can now just text them, email them, Skype them. We can buy anything one could possibly want with the click of a button on Amazon and never leave the house. Wow how times have changed and it’s so easy to forget to share our time and ourselves.
It just felt right to whip up a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen this year to share with others. So I pulled out a special interest publication from them on holiday baking. I’m a big fan of holiday barks. They had a nice little rocky road bark. So I figured why not. Looks good and who doesn’t love chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows? I’m just going to say, good grief, it was so simple and perfect for holiday presents.
Next time I try this, I think I will fancy it up a bit. We made graham crackers a while back for a cheesecake. Those would be great for this bark. And a homemade marshmallow instead of the mass produced mini marshmallows that come in a bag. The more that I think about it, it’s safe to say the recipe is coming soon.
I hope you enjoy the bark, and don’t forget to save some for yourself.
- 6 whole graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
- Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil is tucked into all corners and that at least 1 inch of foil overhangs top of pans on all sides.
- Line bottom of pan with graham crackers in a single layer, breaking them if necessary to fit tightly.
- Combine butter, brown sugar, and salt in small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved.
- Scrape butter-sugar mixture onto graham crackers and smooth with small rubber spatula to cover crackers. Bake until caramel is bubbling. 10-12 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven, sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips, and return to oven to soften chocolate, 2 minutes. Remove pan from oven and, using rubber spatula, smooth chocolate into even layer.
- Sprinkle marshmallows and then nuts over chocolate. Press lightly with fingertips to adhere marshmallows and nuts to chocolate.
- Cool on wire rack 30 minutes, then freeze until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.
- Grabbing foil overhang, lift from pan onto cutting board and use knife to cut bark into 2-inch squares. Layer pieces between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.