The winter holidays are undeniably joyous. Twinkling lights, endless caroling, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, a fat man with a bag of presents: all of these factors help to make the season bright.
But hold up. Take a moment to read that list one more time. Notice anything peculiar? Twinkling lights, endless caroling, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and a fat man with a bag of presents. All of these things, though they’re wonderful as wonderful can be, are highly characteristic of Christmas. In today’s commercialized society, Christmas has been transformed from a modest gathering of friends and family to a rollicking rager. As a result, other holidays may seem to take a backseat.
Think about it. How often do you hear “Sevivon” or “Oh Chanukah!” on the radio? Now, take that value in your head, divide it by 100, and you’ve got approximately the frequency at which Kwanzaa is acknowledged.
For an interfaith girl like me, this situation brings about a troubling dilemma. I absolutely love Hanukah: the latkes, the dreidels, and the eight crazy nights. However, amidst the Christmas hubbub (those carols—though fabulous to listen to—literally follow you everywhere), it’s hard for me to give each component of my culture equal attention. If you can sympathize with this not-so-merry crisis, fear not! Another no-bake dessert awaits to save the day.
In honor of all winter holidays, I present to you a seasonal bark. Garnished predominantly with Oreos and York Peppermint Patties, the chocolaty treat not only has a satisfying crunch but also features a cool peppermint flavor that brings to mind chilly winter weather. Decorated with red, green, and blue M&M’s, it pays tribute to the colors of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah all at once.
This culturally comprehensive confection is also ridiculously uncomplicated. Prep time takes no more than 15 minutes, and to top it all off, I was able to successfully complete all the required steps in the confines of a dorm room.
1 12 oz. bag semi sweet chocolate chips
4-6 large york peppermint paties
6-8 oreo cookies
mixture of red, green, and blue m&m’s
1. Break desired amount of York Peppermint Patties and Oreos into chunks (sizes can vary) and set aside with red, green, and blue M&M’s.
2. Melt chocolate chips. This can be accomplished using a double boiler or even a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, but in a dorm setting, a microwave works perfectly. If you use a microwave, combining the melted chocolate with a touch of oil (I used coconut oil) helps create a favorable consistency.
3. Pour chocolate onto a baking sheet and spread into an even layer
4. Sprinkle cookies and candies over the chocolate and embed the toppings by gently pressing them into the mixture.
5. Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm and break the bark into sizeable pieces.