It’s hard being away from my family in the lead up to Christmas – while most of my colleagues in the office can pop home for an afternoon or (at worst) a weekend, I have to wait for the one week I spend with my family at Christmas. As a result, it’s hard to hear that I’m missing out on some of the family traditions like the Christmas tree lighting ceremony (when my mother turns on the Christmas lights and makes all of us sing a carol – I’ve yet to be forgiven for the year I hijacked it with “dreidel, dreidel, dreidel””), watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life with my dad, having my sister wake me up at an obscenely early time on Christmas morning (of course, now that I’m the one on European time, I’m the one waking everyone up at 5:30am!)
I’ve been out of America and away from my family for a long time and the older I get, the more I miss being home (and the more I’ve starting thinking about if and when I’d want to go back), but it’s certainly something that has a lot of appeal at this time of year.
Luckily, I have an amazing mum who send me regular care packages when I’m feeling homesick, full of American candy for me to bake with, so I can feel like I’ve just walked out of a Target. You can see all the Christmas goods she found me, including eggnog candy melts, peppermint Christmas M&Ms and most important, gingerbread Oreos. I had found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, and like Tasty Kitchen, I liked the idea of not having to do some dipping of my Oreo truffles – accordingly I pulled out my candy melts for some Oreo gingerbread bark.
Gingerbread Oreo Bark (adapted from The Tasty Kitchen)
1 package of gingerbread Oreos
6 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces chocolate candy melts (I used 24 ounces in my first batch and it was just WAY too much chocolate. Don’t make my mistake.)
Start by crushing up the Oreos into small chunks (Beardy Boyfriend enjoys this part – as you’re not grinding it into dust, we don’t use the food processor, but the meat tenderiser.)
Mix the crushed oreos with the cream cheese, combining it into a texture similar to that of an oreo truffle. Spread evenly on top of the chocolate.
Press various sprinkles in on top of the chocolate layer to create a festive look. Let set overnight and then cut up (don’t worry about making it too perfect – I think bark looks really nice with jagged edges.
So what is everyone else doing for Christmas? Are you with your family? If not, what traditions are you following?