Cinnamon Bear Chocolate Bark {Just like chocolate covered cinnamon bears, only better!}

This spring has kind of been a bit crazy. If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you may know that my family went through a crazy ordeal last year. I sort of dropped off the face of the earth, or out of the bloggy world and have just recently been back at it. If you hung in there with me through it all, thank you. I haven’t said much, and won’t drag you through the details, but I ended up in the hospital {three hours away from my family} for nearly two months due to complications with a high risk pregnancy. Some of that time I was there before the baby was born, as she required constant monitoring, and some of the time after she was born recovering from my surgery and with her in NBICU, working hard to get her strong enough to come home. The last few weeks have been strange because there are dates, holidays, and events that connect with memories from the hospital and I find I am flooded with emotions as I relive parts of the experience. I think while it was all happening, I was in survival mode and didn’t dare to think too much about what might have happened. And it could have been tragic. Now as things calm down and I reflect on the situation, the seriousness, and extreme risk I was facing, is right there in my face. I will forever be grateful to my husband, mom and dad, boys, and extended family for all that they did to keep my family together. I will never forget the team of medical professionals at the University of Utah Hospital, Women’s Special Care Unit, for the care I received and also for everyone in the NBICU, who took care of my little girl. She’s just turned one and I hope they all know how much their care means to us! I think of my doctors and nurses all the time, wondering how they all are and wishing them the best. I also think of my little girl’s doctors and nurses, especially her primary nurses, Rebecca, Terri, Stephanie, Jane, Heather, and Denise. I wish they could see her now, and know how far she has come. While she is still tiny (14 1/2 pounds at 11 months), her spirit is fierce and she is happy. I think somehow she already knows that life is a gift and she is simply happy to be alive. We count our blessings everyday and will honestly never ever take a single moment with any of my children for granted. It’s been an entire year. We made it. My family survived! Now it’s time to party!!!  Cinnamon Bear Chocolate Bark is the perfect treat to celebrate with! It’s kind of a tribute to those who took care of us. One of our daughter’s nurses, (hi, Terri!) loves chocolate covered cinnamon bears. Although it was an incredibly stressful and difficult journey, we made it with the support of those around us. This included our nurses and sharing bits and pieces of our lives along the way. Of course some of the details were on the serious side, but there were lighter moments as well. And this Cinnamon Bear Chocolate Bark is inspired from some of those moments. I created this treat as a tribute to Terri, and each and every other person who helped us along the way. From the doctors, surgeons, and nurses, to the people who took care of my meals, washed my laundry, and cleaned my hospital room. I wish I could hand deliver some treats to the hospital, but for now, this post, and my gratitude will have to do. Hopefully you were not only able to take something away from my story but will enjoy this treat too. I mean, who could resist those cute little bears swimming in their yummy pool of chocolate?

Cinnamon Bear Chocolate Bark
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (12 oz). pkg high quality chocolate chips, like Guittard's extra dark chocolate, semisweet, or milk chocolate
  2. 1 1/2 - 2 cups cinnamon bears
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate as directed on package. Pour just enough chocolate over waxed paper to thinly coat the bottom, moving side to side across the pan. Spread with spatula. Set 13-15 bears on top of the chocolate evenly spaced. Pour the rest of the chocolate to cover bears, again moving side to side across the pan. Use a spatula to help spread the chocolate evenly over the bears, being careful not to move the bears too much. You don't want them to end up bunched all together. Gently press the rest of the bears into the chocolate. Spread them so they are evenly spaced all over the top of the chocolate. Place in fridge to set. Once set, break bark into pieces. I find that smaller pieces work best because large chunks could get soft and messy before you have a chance to finish them, depending on the type of chocolate you use. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I would cut the 13-15 bears spread inside the bark in half. This would make it easier to break the bark into pieces once finished.
Jasey's Crazy Daisy http://jaseyscrazydaisy.com/

PS – If this post makes it back to the University of Utah Hospital, I would love to keep in touch with you all. You can find me on Facebook and/or email me. And thanks again, without you my family would have been lost.

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