Seasonal Holiday Chocolate Bark

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.

 

EQUIPMENT:

Double boiler or pots of equal size

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Rubber spatula

Parchment paper

9 by 13 inch brownie or cake pan

Large sharp knife

INGREDIENTS:

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

1/2 pistachios

METHOD:

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!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery

Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!

Seasonal Holiday Cranberry Sauce

SEASONAL HOLIDAY CRANBERRY SAUCE

We are all getting into the spirit of holidays and I really love this time of year.  It always has this cozy feeling and I get really excited about all the traditional holiday recipes.  I have to say cranberry sauce is one of my favorite additions to the thanksgiving table and the color alone of these gorgeous vibrant seasonal cranberries get me every time!  It is not limited to Thanksgiving either, be sure to use this at Christmas or with any holiday roast!  There is a reason too that cranberries are in season this time of year as the are packed with powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamin C making them a powerful immunity booster.  We sure could use all the help we can get during flu season with all the holiday hustle and bustle and I’m always amazed how nature supports us.

I absolutely love this recipe because the tartness of the cranberries is paired with a touch of citrus.   I also like to cut the sugar in half as I really don’t think cranberry sauce needs all that sugar and it allows the true flavor of the cranberries to reveal themselves while still not becoming to tart.  This recipe is super easy, delicious and quick and in my opinion and so much better than the cranberry sauce that comes in a can.  I also like to double the recipe and then tie the glass containers with a bow to give out as gifts or to bring to a party.

EQUIPMENT:

Medium saucepan

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Microplane or zester for grating

INGREDIENTS:

Zest of one organic lemon

Zest one organic orange 

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Grated fresh nutmeg, the equivalent of 1 tsp (optional)

1 1/2 cup organic sugar

1 1/2 cup water

1 package organic cranberries 

METHOD:

Put all of the above ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then let reduce for 30 minutes till the liquid reduces to about half and sauce is nice and thick.  Let cool and then store in glass containers and place in your refrigerator.  Can be kept in an airtight glass container for up to 7-10 days in your fridge.

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!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my Continue reading

Vegan Dark Chocolate “Almond Joys”

 

 

VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND JOYS

I absolutely love this time of year.  It really inspires me to think of creative ways to make treats that are absolutely delicious but good for you too!  I grew up loving this traditional candy bar as a child but as Rose-Marie Swift recently said, “We live in a world where chemicals are gods and naturals are ridiculed.” It got me thinking about how I could make a delicious version of the traditional “Almond Joy” favorite without all the extra ingredients that we don’t need.  I love how this recipe turned out because they are not too sweet and are the perfect combination of crunchy almonds, coconut flakes, sea salt and chocolate.

There are a little tricky to make because of the cocoa butter but if you have the patience,  they are well worth it and I think your up for the challenge.  I’ve been really enjoying one of these babies with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon and it really hits the spot!  I can’t wait for you to try them too.

EQUIPMENT

Parchment paper

A double boiler or two pots of equal size

8 by 8 by 2” baking pan

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Rubber Spatula

Sharp knife

INGREDIENTS 

2 cups organic cocoa butter

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened shredded organic coconut flakes

3 tbs organic real maple syrup

5 to 6 of your favorite dark chocolate bars for melting

16 organic almonds

METHOD

Take a double boiler or two pots of the same size.  Place water in the pot that will be on the bottom, then place the other pot on top.  Add the cocoa butter and place heat on medium.  The cocoa butter will begin to melt slowly.  As it is melting, add a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla extract.  Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add the coconut flakes, maple syrup and stir with a spoon till all the ingredients are fully combined.  Take a 8 by 8 by 2″ pan and line it with parchment paper.  Take the coconut, cocoa butter mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly so that fills the whole pan.  Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes till the mixture becomes nice and firm.

While the mixture is getting firm, clean your double boiler or two pots and now once again place water in the pot on the bottom.  Place the other pot on top and add the chocolate, then place the heat on medium.  Let the chocolate completely melt. Then set aside.

Once the coconut, cocoa butter mixture is hard, remove it from the refrigerator.  Lift it carefully out of the pan keeping the parchment paper on the back.  Use a sharp knife and cut them into rectangular bars.  This recipe made 8 bars.  Place 2 almonds on top of each bar.

 

Now lets get to the tricky part because you need to work quickly because the melted chocolate will start to melt the cocoa butter in the bars!  Place a clean piece of parchment paper down next to your melted chocolate, then also have a spoon ready for your melted chocolate.  Use a spatula and place one of the rectangular bars at a time onto the spatula then very gently place it into the melted chocolate using a spoon to pour the chocolate over the top of the bar so that it is fully covered with chocolate. Then let is rest on the parchment paper and repeat till you’ve done this with all the bars.    I like to sprinkle additional sea salt on each bar but this is a preference.  Now quickly slide the parchment paper onto a firm flat surface like a cookie sheet and then place into your refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes till hard.

Once hard, remove from refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut around each one so that they are in nicely shaped rectangular bars.  Now use a firm spatula and remove each bar from parchment paper and store in an airtight glass container with a top in your refrigerator or at room temperature.  These will last in the refrigerator for at least 9-10 days and at room temperature for 5-7 days.

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!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery

Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️