With school closings, cancelations and emerging calls for social distancing, each day inside the house seems longer than the one before. I found the contents of my pantry and refrigerator to be just as boring and dull as the abundant amount of time that had been given to me this week. I refused to let this get in the way of my creativity, though. In every quarantined day, there is a silver lining. In this case, the silver lining was actually parchment paper lining the sheet pan that would ultimately hold a sweet treat for my entire household in approximately two hours — DIY yogurt bark.
Yogurt bark is essentially a healthier rendition of the classic holiday-style peppermint bark that is loaded with candy cane chunks and additional toppings that depend on personal preferences. I guess there was something about being together with my family, despite it being somewhat forced this time around, that made me want to recreate this treat that would normally be eaten on special days.
Usually, yogurt bark has a base of Greek yogurt that can be sweetened with honey, agave or even maple syrup. I decided to make use of what was already in my refrigerator— two single-serving cups of Siggi’s Skyr Icelandic-style strained non-fat vanilla yogurt. I emptied out their contents into a small bowl and measured out approximately two tablespoons of honey to mix in with it. Siggi’s yogurt is known to be made with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar, so this measurement can be adjusted to your preference.
After spreading out the yogurt on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, you can really use anything you already have lying around in the kitchen. The toppings enhance the flavor and can be entirely customizable to cater towards different people. My family and I chose to split the single sheet of yogurt into three different sections, each crafting a different flavor. We used almonds and dried cranberries for a simple and nutty combination, frozen berries from a pre-packaged smoothie pack for tartness and what was left over from our chocolate granola cereal for a sweet and crunchy twist.
The sky — or house ceiling, in this case — is the limit with the toppings! We wanted to keep ours pretty simple, but my brother also wanted to try extreme flavors for next time. For those who are feeling adventurous, I suggest crushed cookie crumbs, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chunks, M&Ms, colorful sprinkles or even swirling dollops of strawberry jam and crunchy almond butter into the yogurt itself.
I was content with the toppings themselves, but this treat could be taken one step further by adding on some chocolate or caramel drizzle on top of the bark before freezing. After freezing for two to four hours, the yogurt bark can be broken up by hand and enjoyed right out of the refrigerator. For the pieces that are to be saved for another time, they should be placed in a separate container and put back into the freezer.
Although I used vanilla flavored yogurt, this treat could also feature a flavored base. The options are endless when it comes to the yogurt base — from various non-dairy options to exotic flavors like coconut pineapple and even root beer float, the opportunities to be creative with this treat are inumerable.
Additional add-ins to the yogurt base itself can also amp up the flavor. Incorporating cocoa powder to a plain yogurt to create a rich, chocolate flavor or even adding just a dash of cinnamon before mixing it all together can make all the difference.
You won’t even have to go out of your way to be creative with this treat. All of these ingredients can be found in the common household, allowing you to simply create with what you already have, a mindset that seems to be appreciated more often now than ever before. This basic snack can be completely changed or kept plain, making it easily enjoyable for the daring and simple personalities in your household.