‘Tis the season for chocolate bark.
It doesn’t really have to be the holidays for you to enjoy chocolate bark, but I feel like it’s something you see a lot this time of year. I love making chocolate bark because it’s super easy, but totally impresses your friends/family and you can really add anything to it to make it your own.
The first bark I made was this peppermint bark which you can find on my first blog, The Pastry Posts. The first time I made it was when I worked for Williams-Sonoma and absolutely fell in love with their famous peppermint bark. I had just gotten my Masters when I worked for them, so my broke post-grad budget wasn’t working for how much bark I was buying (even with my amazing employee discount). Because of that, I decided to try my hand at making my own. I’ve made it at least once a year since and it is always a HUGE hit and people are so floored at how easy it is to make.
I’ve been wanting to make a new bark for a while and thought the yummy toasted almonds and dried fruit would be perfect to add to chocolate for a great, festive holiday treat.
This is the time of year when you’re going to holiday parties and gatherings left and right and this is the perfect make-ahead treat to contribute to any potluck because you can make a couple of weeks ahead of time. It’s also nice to just have on-hand for surprise guests or last minute gifts for friends or family.
Seriously, make this for your friends and they’ll love you forever!
Salted Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried Fruit
12 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole, raw almonds
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Flaky Sea Salt (like Maldon or Jacobsen)
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper that fits into your freezer.
- Place all but a handful of chocolate in heat-proof bowl over simmering water (or a double boiler) and stir occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning.
- While the chocolate is melting, place the almonds in a pan over medium-high heat to toast – about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently so they do not burn.
- Let the almonds cool and then coarsely chop them and mix in a small bowl with the cherries and cranberries
- When the chocolate is melted, turn off the heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon and stir to combine then add the last handful of chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, gently stir the chocolate until completely melted.
- Spread the melted chocolate in a thin, even layer onto the parchment-covered cookie sheet.
- Add the almond and fruit mixture to the top of the chocolate and gently press down to set it in the chocolate.
- Top with a couple of sprinkles of flaky sea salt.
- Place in the freezer until completely set, approximately two hours.
- Break the chocolate bark apart into whatever size piece you prefer and top with one last sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
- Enjoy immediately or store in layers between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container. This will keep in your freezer for up to two weeks.
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