How To Make Holiday Desserts That Won’t Kill You

Chocolate bark.
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Looking for some waistline-friendly holiday desserts?

Join personal chef Jeanne Tennis in the demonstration kitchen at the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital for a hands-on cooking class Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon or Dec. 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The demonstration kitchen at the Bone and Joint Institute

You’ll learn how to make several quick, easy, affordable and nutritional treats. Registration, with a $45 fee, is required. To register, click here or call 1.855.442.4373.

Here’s one of the treats you’ll make and take home — or dress up as a holiday gift.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Bark

Prep time: 15 – 20 minutes, plus time to cool and set


  • 1 9-ounce package dark chocolate morsels, such as Enjoy Life
  • 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil or coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of spice of choice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract or peppermint flavor
  • 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Add-ons: slivered almonds and shaved coconut, dried goji berries, cranberries or blueberries, raisins, chopped walnuts, Matcha green tea, finely chopped candied ginger, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fennel seeds, crumbled dried nori or dulse seaweed, crushed peppermint candy.


  • Line a large baking sheet or 9×13 glass dish with parchment paper.
  • Melt the chocolate morsels and the coconut oil together in a double boiler on your stove top.
  • Whisk in the vanilla or almond extract or flavoring.
  • Continue whisking until a smooth consistency has been reached.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Using a spatula spread the chocolate mixture onto the parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle the sea salt or seaweed sprinkles on top of the cacao mixture.
  • Sprinkle on your chosen Add-ons to create the taste and look you desire.
  • Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.
  • Break up the bark into bite size pieces using the parchment paper when completely cooled.

Store bark in a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

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