How To Make Holiday Desserts That Won’t Kill You

Chocolate bark.
Print icon

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.

What's New

Serious-looking couple on beach.

How You Can Avoid Esophageal Cancer

Smoking, often associated with lung cancer, is also one of the leading causes of esophageal cancer. Smokers have a 500 percent greater chance than non-smokers of developing cancer in the esophagus, a muscular tube in the digestive tract that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. Alcohol also increases...

DAWN: A New Approach To Treating Stroke Patients

A groundbreaking new study is changing the way doctors are able to treat people who have a stroke. Dr. Amre Nouh is the Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Hartford Hospital.  Q: What is this new study? What does it mean for stroke patients?  A: This is very exciting...

Study: Extending Treatment Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence

Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer, going through the treatment and hearing that you are cancer-free, only to receive another related cancer diagnosis 10 or 15 years later. That happens to many women with estrogen receptor positive (ER-positive) breast cancer, which is fueled by their estrogen levels, says Dr. Sapna...