SEASONAL HOLIDAY CHOCOLATE BARK
Call me crazy, but this is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love the holiday season. The smells, the lights, the Christmas tree, the wild and excited kiddos. I know one day they will not be this age and so I really try to cherish each year that we still have where they are so ever present in the magic of the holidays. We have certain traditions, certain foods that we come back to year after year and this holiday bark is one of them. It makes the most fabulous gift and is so easy to do too! It is especially fun to do with kiddos and the options are honestly endless. You can use whatever chocolate you like (milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate) and add whatever nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, crushed candy canes for peppermint bark! You can go super gourmet such as black pepper, dried apricots and lemon zest or pistachio, sea salt with dried cherries just to name a few!
It is really hard to mess this recipe up not to mention everyone who receives it will absolutely love it. People really appreciate homemade gifts because you’ve made them with your own hands. You took the time to slow down a bit and make something from the heart. I think there the best gifts anyway. Most importantly though, I really believe the holidays are about finding ways to gather and connect. Food and the traditions around food and the holidays can be such a beautiful way to bring people together. If this recipe can do just that, then I’ve done my job.
Double boiler or pots of equal size
9 by 13 inch brownie or cake pan
Large sharp knife
5-6 3.5 oz Chocolate Bars (I like Green & Blacks 70% & 85% dark chocolate bars) broken into pieces
1 tbs unrefined coconut oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup dried and sweetened cranberreis
1 cup roasted almonds
First take your brownie or cake pan and line it with parchment paper, then set it aside. Take a double boiler or pots of equal size and place water in the bottom pot, then place the other pot directly on top. Add the pieces of chocolate along with the coconut oil and place your stove top to medium heat. As chocolate begins to melt, reduce the heat to low. Once the chocolate is completely melted, use your rubber spatula to pour the melted chocolate into your parchment lined pan making sure the chocolate is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chocolate with the sea salt evenly then follow with the dried cranberries, almonds and pistachios or whatever you are adding to your bark. I like to let my chocolate set up overnight but you can quicken the process by placing your chocolate in the freezer for 1-2 hours till it becomes firm (just watch it closely so it does not freeze). Once firm, remove the chocolate with the parchment paper out of the pan. Take a sharp knife and cut the chocolate bark into “bark like” pieces. Once all the chocolate has been cut, you can store the bark in an airtight glass container such as a Pyrex. It will keep well for at least 7-10 days at room temperature or you can store it in the refrigerator. Assemble them when your ready into gifts by placing two to three pieces of bark in a clear cookie bag, then tie with a pretty ribbon. They make the most lovely gifts!
For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link. It makes a great holiday gift too!!!
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Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!
Oxoxoxo Chef Emery
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