Miss A Columnist

Shawna Nadelman is a Gemini vegetarian who enjoys long walks on the beach and curling up on the couch to take in the latest episode of, well anything on Bravo. The staff at Trader Joe’s (the Encinitas location) know her by name. She can spout off almost any celebrity’s dating history, refer to Friends episodes in daily conversation and would give anything to marry a man like Coach Eric Taylor (of Friday Night Lights). She’s never met a ruffle, oversized flower or horizontal stripe that she didn't love and though her entire wardrobe hails from J.Crew and Anthropologie, she'll never buy an item at full price (momma loves a good sale!). Sure, some may argue she's the whitest gal they know, but (surprise!) she's fluent in Spanish and left a part of her heart in Madrid, Spain after a summer abroad in college. Her family is her everything and she certainly does not deserve her friends. Left to her own devices, she could probably finish off a jar of peanut/almond butter in one sitting.

Emma’s Bark: Chocolate Holiday Treat

Remember that one time you had the stomach flu? I know, why did I have to go and remind you about that horrible 24-hours when you were all but out of commission?

Because I wanted to refresh your memory about that purchase you made at the grocery store to soothe your aching belly. Those saltine crackers you snacked on in an attempt to revive you back to your functioning state. Well, considering that I’m pretty sure the only time saltine crackers are purchased is a) when you’re feeling ill or b) to crumble into your bowl of chili (but let’s be honest, how often are you eating chili?), chances are you have a half-eaten box of saltines lurking around in the back of your cupboard.

Photo Credit: beautyandbedlam.com

So as to avoid having those babies succumb to the staleness gods, I have a solution. A delicious one at that! A solution that will take those crackers from bland to blowing-your-mind.

Emma’s Bark

Ingredients:

Saltine crackers

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 bag milk chocolate chips

1 bag white chocolate chips

1 can Planters dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and fold over the edge. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Slowly add sugar to pan and bring to a boil, stirring for a minute while boiling. Pour mixture over crackers and spread evenly with spatula. Bake for 8 minutes until golden and bubbly. Immediately pour chocolate chip mixture over the crackers (the heat from the butter and crackers will melt the chips). Wait one minute, then use spatula to spread chips evenly over crackers, making sure to cover every inch. Sprinkle with nuts and pat down. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for one hour. Remove from foil and break into pieces. Serve on a festive snowman plate or wrap a few pieces in cellophane paper and tie with a red ribbon to give as gifts to co-workers and friends!

Emma’s Bark is not only delicious and super easy to make, but offers you the flexibility to customize the ingredients to your personal taste buds. For added anti-oxidants, why not add a few dried cranberries or raisins into the mix? And if peanuts aren’t your thing, then swap them out for almonds, pecans or even macadamia nuts! Go crazy, use dark chocolate instead of milk and this time of year, why not add a little color with peppermint shavings? The possibilities are endless!

So in a season dedicated to gingerbread and sugar cookies, Emma’s Bark will be a welcomed alternative at your next Holiday party.

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