Saturday, December 25, 2010


Once I discovered that it doesn't always take 9 years to make candy (if you're doing correctly), I guess maybe you could say I went a little overboard on the confectionaries.  But once I saw the gorge display of unique holiday chocolate barks in last month's issue of Martha Stewart Living, I couldn't wait to try out a few to finish off my holiday candy boxes.

I know it may be a little late for holiday cooking at this point, but just wait for that week-long lull between Christmas and New Year's when you've got nothing but piles of leftover dried fruit, nuts, and citrus falling down around you.  Then you'll be back :)

The basic recipe for this bark is super simple: just 1 pound of chopped dark, white or bittersweet chocolate depending on the recipe, and then whatever toppings your little heart desires.  Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or, let's be honest, a pan placed on top of another pan of simmering water) pour into prepared pans, top as desired, then pop them into the fridge to cool. And that's it. Srsly. 

A note on prep: there are also about a million ways to prepare these (...or at least 3) depending on the final look you're going for.  The easiest is simply to grease a cookie sheet or line it with a silicone baking mat, then break it into pieces by hand once it has cooled.  A great idea for gifting would be to line mini loaf pans with parchment then wrap the final product like homemade candy bars.  I just sprayed aluminum loaf pans with cooking spray, but I imagine you could also pour these into adorable holiday candy molds too.  See? A million ways.

Dried Cranberry, Pistachio and Toasted-Coconut White Chocolate Bark
1 lb white chocolate, chopped, melted and poured into prepared pans
1/4 cup each dried cranberries, roasted salted pistachios, large flake unsweetened coconut

Dried Cherry and Orange Zest Bittersweet Chocolate Bark
1 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and poured into prepared pans
1/4 cup each dried cherries and finely grated orange zest

Each recipe fills 2 regular-sized loaf pans

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