Do you remember how, before cellphones, doting grandmothers would carry around mini photo albums known as brag books, which they'd whip out at every opportunity, and foist on their helpless victims?
I fear I'm just as bad with sharing snaps of both my dog - the world's most indulged mutt - and my favorite, culinary creations.
It's just so much fun to inspire others and, when I create a dish I really love, I can't wait to let others in on my not-so-secret secret.
This spectacular Jeweled Granola Bark is my latest obsession.
I've made it 4 times in the last week alone - including today when I tested out a vegan version - and have happily passed on the recipe to as many friends and family members as I possibly could.
I'm now gladly sharing it with you.
It's incredibly easy to make, amazingly impressive, and tastes even better than it looks.
A winning combination and a wonderful photo opportunity.
Be sure to scroll down for my 'how to' photo collage and see 'notes' for essential hints.
3 cups store-bought granola
3 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 egg whites (see notes for vegan alternatives)
Generous pinch of salt
3 tbsp melted butter or oil
200-300g dark chocolate
1/4 cups dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup coconut shavings
1/4 cup dried banana crisps
1/4 cup pistachios or pumpkin seeds
Line a tray with baking paper, then mix together granola, peanut butter, egg whites, melted butter, salt and sugar.
Press granola down very firmly on the baking sheet (I like to do this in a rectangle, using the edge of a knife to make the sides straight). Bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a pot of simmering water; then stir in 2 tsp of canola oil until smooth.
Pour chocolate over granola slab and spread it out to create an even coating.
Sprinkle the ingredients over chocolate in rows (see below). I like to repeat the different toppings in a number of narrow rows for maximum contrast.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to firm up, then lift out of tray and place on a serving platter. Using a sharp knife, cut the bark on the diagonal to make squares.
Granola bark keeps well for days, but is usually eaten so fast that you're unlikely to need it to.
You can use any store-bought granola for this, including gluten free versions, although I would advise against using one with lots of large chunks as these don't lie flat.
Bark can easily be made vegan by replacing egg whites with 2 tbsp of applesauce or a flax egg (mix together 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds with 3 tbsp of water and allow to stand for 10 minutes until thick and egg-like).
I love contrast in my rows, so I use a wide variety of toppings out of whatever I have lying around. These can include chocolate or peanut butter chips, chopped dried fruits, nuts or any of the suggestions in the recipe above. Any of these can easily be bought in small quantities at your local spice shop.
I prefer serving this as a full rectangle on a platter rather than individual cookies, as it looks so beautiful served whole. Just make sure you have a serving plate large enough to accommodate it when you press your granola mix into your baking tray.