I’m so excited for the arrival of Spring! In Orlando, this close to the equator, I get to receive it pretty early, (as a Portland native, I’m still getting used to it). Spring weather quickly melts into the hot and sticky summer of the South. I intend to celebrate the fleeting – cooler and more bearable – sunshine by turning some ordinary dried cranberries and blueberries into melt-in-your-mouth morsels to share with friends at work.
I experimented with a few different recipes before deciding on my favorite. I tried adding cream cheese and sugar substitutes. Some recipes called for butter, some were runny and others wouldn’t harden. None of the healthier ingredients I tried produced the berries I was looking for (like the yogurt covered raisins in stores). As it turns out, very little of the ‘yogurt-covered’ variety of foods are predominantly yogurt, and the stabilizers are often highly processed, in order to yield the individually covered look. I had no idea! This recipe has only a few ingredients, and is easy, delicious, and looks delightful.
• 4 ounces White Chocolate Bark
• 2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt (I used non-fat)
• ½ cup Splenda (a good texture substitute for powdered sugar)
• 1 ½ Cups Dried Cranberries
• 1 ½ Cups Dried Blueberries
First thing I did was come up with a way to steam the dried berries. You don’t need a fancy steamer for this recipe; the berries will only steam for about five minutes. I used a plastic colander set atop a large pot, filled with two inches of water. Boil the water, and once you see the steam rising, pour the berries into the colander. Steam for no more than five minutes. You are just plumping the berries, without rehydrating completely. Set the colander aside.
Prepare two cookie sheets lined with wax paper to arrange the final clusters. Break your white chocolate bark into smaller thumb-sized pieces (there are usually already natural break-lines intended by the manufacturer to aid in measuring). Place the chocolate into a glass bowl, microwave in one-minute intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Stir in the yogurt and Splenda, and mix well. Depending on the thickness of your yogurt and the texture you want, you may need to add more Splenda to soak up the additional moisture. I prefer a cake-batter consistency.
I popped the clusters into a few lovely golden organza bags. Then marked them with my own personalized tags in the aptly blooming theme of Spring. I went into work slightly early and placed the quaint parcels on everyone’s desk on Monday- they were a big hit on a day that many of us dread!