Does eating to much dessert feel as bad when its gluten-free, paleo and contains no dairy or refined sugars? The answer is… FUCK NO it doesn’t. What is it about sugar and the holidays that go so well together? Maybe it’s the fact that New Years is just around the corner and I’ve convinced myself (once again) that I’ll be magically cured of my sugar demon when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. That or everyone around me has gone on a baking binge and I can’t get away from it.
I’m serious though. Nowhere is safe. The office? Nope. My office is actually the worst place to be if you’re trying to maintain any kind of good health. Every day at the office in December we get some sort of holiday gift from other companies. These gifts typically include irresistible, gluten-filled processed goods. Last year, we actually got a GIANT chocolate bar that came with a hammer… a hammer you guys. I witnessed people physically hammering this chocolate bar to get a piece of it. This past week we’ve already received 2 things so far. What is Friday going to bring? Ugh.
My moms house? Hell no. You know what I think is funny? I think it’s funny how when I lived with my parents growing up, my mother did everything in her power to hide ALL of the goods. Now when I go visit her pantry looks like a convenient store. Why does that happen? Why did you neglect our need for chocolate bars and Oreo’s mom?
My house? Well, when desserts like this are around I know it won’t last long. You are talking to a girl with the ultimate sweet tooth. The only problem here is the fact that sugar is really not good for you, let’s be real. It really is just straight up addicting. That, my friends, is why I make my own desserts. At least then I can monitor the ingredients used and dial down the sugar as best as I can without sacrificing the taste of the treat.
Think about it. When you make your own stuff, you have control over what you put into it. Yes, it’s true that the desserts I make have a lot of natural sugars in them (coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, honey…) BUT at least I know they are free of gluten, they have no overly processed ingredients and they are still fucking delicious.
Fun fact: When you make healthier versions of desserts, it’s amazing the amount of food guilt you DON’T feel, even if it is indulgent.
I’m all about balance, and this is my definition of balance around the holidays. It’s actually the only way I can stay sane and stop myself from eating my bodyweight in yummy Costco baked goods.
But for real, try this bark. It’s unreal and super addicting so consider yourself warned. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can get one at any type of grocery store or order one online. They are super cheap and totally worth it to have around! You can find the Enjoy Life chocolate chips I used here and the coconut palm sugar I used here.
- 2 cups coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
- 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt
- 1 cup of roughly chopped pecans
- 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter
- Line a 9" baking dish with tin foil
- Add the chopped pecans. Spread them evenly across the botom
- Add the sugar, butter and milk to a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from splitting
- Once the mixture starts bubbling, add a candy thermometer to it and stir occasionally until the temperature hits 290F-300F or "hard crack"
- Once you've hit this temperate, remove the caramel from heat and pour evenly over the pecans. Let this cool for 1 minute
- Sprinkle 1 cup of your Enjoy Life chocolate chips over the caramel base.
- Drizzle the cashew/almond butter over the chocolate chips
- Cover with foil and let the chocolate melt. Once it is melted, take a spatula to spread it evenly over the caramel base
- Cover your bark and place in the fridge. Let it cool for 2 hours before eating it