I remember my early elementary days in Yeshiva Dov Revel Day School
where Tu B’Shvat was celebrated with all the gusto and joy it so richly deserves.
Mini pre schoolers walking around the halls in their floppy tree crowns made of oak tag on their heads
the days before filled with art projects of trees and fruit, that now brightly decorated the endless classroom corridors bulletin boards.
the 5th grade boys who always got in trouble for “how far can you spit your boxer seed” contests held on the roof
the small paper bag that we waited breathlessly for…
our little manna from heaven, filled with shriveled dried apricots, raw almonds, fresh dates,and the hardest chewy boxer ever.
and of course the half day assembly where instead of a day usually spent with our heads in books, we were enraptured with fun inspirational mini choirs and skits
in those days… I truly felt like I celebrated Tu B’Shvat.
It is a long way since my 5th grade days…
but I am welcoming in Tu B’Shvat this year with something delicious and just as memorable, with my Orange Chocolate Pomegranate KitKat Squares.
I first infused my favorite bittersweet chocolate with bits of orange and lemon zest. Then I make the most addictive crunchy honey and orange liquor chocolate rice crisp as a base to shmear that chocolate on. Where I then top it all off with the sweetest of fresh pomegranate seeds, roasted almond slivers and more orange and lemon zest.
These KitKat inspired chocolate squares, are my little ode to God’s Trees and what their fruits can provide us.
Happy Tu B’Shvat All!
Orange Chocolate Pomegranate KitKat Squares
The inspiration for this recipe came from a combination of this chocolate pomegranate bark recipe and my recent kitchen dabbling for my upcoming party inspired cookbook. I have been arduously baking and eating, all in the name of trying to perfect the art of tweaking the recipes to my favorite brand candy bars . Its rough work, I know.
While working on my KitKat recipe, I realized the key to the perfect crisp is not corn flakes as most recipes I found had, but actually Rice Chex cereal. Add to it your favorite melted chocolate and a little hot honey and you have a crisp crunchy bottom that is way better than the real thing. For Tu B’Shavt I went a little crazy and added some orange liquor for a more sophisticated flavor, but feel free to leave it out if you think your kids would not appreciate the liquor taste.
PS. These bars also make a terrific Purim treat for your M’shloach Manot.
For the crust:
6 cups rice chex cereal
3/4 cups roasted slivered almonds
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp. orange liqour (optional)
For the Chocolate Topping:
7oz bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp. butter
zest from 1 large orange
zest from 1 large lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh pomegranate seeds
3/4 cups roasted slivered almonds
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter together (2 minutes). Remove from microwave and mix until smooth and all the chocolate bits have melted.
In a small sauce pan heat the honey on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the liquor and mix. Pour the heated honey into the chex and chocolate mixture and combine totally. You should now have a crispy mixture that sticks together and is ready to be formed into your kitkat square crust.
In a wax paper lined 11×14 tray (spray the wax paper with non-stick spray), add the crushed chex and chocolate mixture. Using your hands, mold and press the chex mixture into a flat even crust that is about 1/2 inch thick. Refridgerate for 20-30 minutes
In another microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter for the topping.
Using a rubber spatula or knife, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the chex crust.
Quickly add both zests, pomegranate seeds and roasted almonds all over the chocolate. Place back in refrigerator for another 20 minutes.
Remove the chocolate (still on the wax paper) from the tin and place onto flat surface.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the ragged edges off – making an even rectangle.
Then slice long strips, and then cut into 1 1/2-2 inch wide squares.
Serve and enjoy