Easy Chocolate Bark

 Easy Chocolate Bark

If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday recipe to bring to a party, I’ve got you covered! No need to make a batch of cookies when you can whip up some chocolate bark.

This chocolate bark recipe is so easy to make, and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry already. Today, I’m sharing my favorite chocolate bark recipe, plus tips on how to change it up.

The chocolate bark you see here features dark chocolate (you can even use good chocolate chips), topped with toasted chopped nuts and seeds and dried cranberries.

I sprinkled it lightly with flaky sea salt, which basically makes it taste like sweet-and-salty trail mix chocolate bark. You could call it gourmet and healthy (in moderation, like everything else). Let’s make some!

Chocolate Bark Notes & Tips

For a festive appearance, incorporate something green, like pistachios or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) and something red, like dried cranberries. Other options include chopped dried ginger, which will add some golden sparkle, or even crushed candy canes.

The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe bowl and warm the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one. Don’t get impatient and skip a stir, and don’t overdo it!

No microwave? Melting white chocolate? Use a double boiler. Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Cook until the chocolate is almost entirely melted, stirring frequently. Carefully wipe any condensation from the bottom of the bowl before scooping the chocolate onto your baking sheet (water and chocolate do not mix!).

If you’re in a hurry, chill the chocolate bark in the refrigerator. Your chocolate bark will be perfect for tonight’s party.

If you have time, let the chocolate bark cool at room temperature for a few hours. The trouble with the refrigerator is that the chocolate can develop some light condensation on the surface. When the water evaporates overnight, you’ll see little swirls of dissolved sugar on top (called sugar bloom).

Chocolate Bark Variations

For this recipe, you’ll need about 3/4 cup toppings. Choose from any of the following, and chop or crush them if they’re large:

  • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, cashews or peanuts
  • Seeds, such as pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • Dried fruit: dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, candied ginger
  • Candied citrus
  • Coconut: dried unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • Candy canes
  • Pretzels
  • White chocolate: Buy high-quality white chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. Drizzle a small amount of melted white chocolate over the melted dark chocolate, and swirl it gently with a toothpick. Top as desired.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I like bittersweet/about 60% cocao content)
  • ¾ cup raw nuts or seeds (choose from almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios and/or pepitas)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (dried cherries, apricots and/or candied ginger—chopped if large)
  • About ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, optional

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