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
While I have no pretense that this blog should ever approach anything that could be compared to the likes of "Martha" and/or "Stewart," this collection of recipes and observations on my life in Washington, DC and beyond is for anyone that likes to bake simply for the joy of it and is looking for new and fun dessert recipes, reviews and a place to share.