Healthy Holiday Baking

Hello Everyone,

Last night was our Healthy Holiday Baking class and we had so much fun! The goal was to enjoy some delicious treats while also watching our sugar and whole grains intake. On the menu last night was gingerbread cookies, vegan peppermint cupcakes, dried cherry and pistachio chocolate bark, fruit crumble, and peanut butter fudge.

Here is a picture of our spoils from last night. Many thanks to Shaquala for the beautiful pictures!

One of the easiest recipes from last night was the Dried cherry and pistachio chocolate bark (recipe can be found here). I love this recipe because it is delicious, very easy to make and is a great hostess gift or a quick addition to a party menu. It also includes lots of healthy fruit and nuts while only having a small amount of sugar.

Our beautiful chocolate bark last night.

We hope you all have a lovely holiday season and hope to see you in the New Year. We are currently in the planning stages of class offerings for next year but will keep you all updated!


Happy Holidays,


Jessica and the Columbia’s Cooking Team


Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cherries | Serves 48


    • 3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, or almonds (3 ounces), coarsely chopped
    • 3/4 cup dried cherries, or dried cranberries
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
    • 24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided


  • 1 Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion.
  • 2 Melt 18 ounces chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly.
  • 3 Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6 ounces chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth.
  • 4 Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes.
  • 5 Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks.

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