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This is one of my favorite times of the year!
December brings celebrations of the holidays, gatherings with family and friends, cookie exchanges, gift giving, and food. Lots and lots of food!
At every turn there is something to tempt you – cookies, pies, candy… I know a lot of people who generally stick to a real food diet most of the year, but who jump face first into store bought, processed treats, only to feel the effects the next day or sometimes even the next hour!
Aside from strong will power, what's one to do when faced with so many opportunities to eat poor quality food?
The answer is to bring something you have made yourself using clean ingredients.
Something that will satisfy the urge to eat overly processed candies and junk food.
Something that is quick to put together and that your junk food loving uncle will enjoy too!
That's where these recipes for Dark Chocolate Bark will come in handy!
Each of the recipes I am going to share with you comes together in less than 10 minutes. If you count time for chilling and cutting, you can be out the door in under 30 minutes with a delicious treat ready to gift to the party host, give to a friend, or display on a holiday sweets table.
The beauty of these recipes is that they are just ideas and guidelines.
If you prefer a different nut or dried fruit, go for it.
Just make sure to buy the highest quality ingredients you can find. Look for dried fruit that is just fruit, no nasty additives or seed oils. Buy raw nuts whenever possible and soak them before using for increased digestibility. Check out my tutorial for instructions.
Look for organic dark chocolate that is at least 75% or darker and has no additives or preservatives.
You do not need to be a candy making expert to make these barks – I'm certainly not! You only need to know one special skill: how to use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
How to Make a Double Boiler
To make a double boiler, follow these steps:
- find a glass bowl that will sit atop a sauce pan, leaving about an inch or two of space from the bottom of the saucepan.
- Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pan, making sure it is not touching the glass bowl.
- Add your chocolate to the bowl and turn on the heat.
- As the water simmers, it will warm the bottom of the bowl and melt the chocolate.
- Using a rubber scraper, gently move the chocolate around the bowl until it is melted. Do not stir too quickly, you do not want air bubbles in the chocolate.
- Have a kitchen towel near by and remove the bowl (using hot pads) and place it on the towel.
- Dry off the bottom of the bowl, taking care not to get any water into the chocolate. If water drips into the chocolate, it will cause it to seize, meaning it will get lumpy and chalky looking.
Have fun making these recipes or your coming up with your own ideas! Please share your favorite combinations of toppings in the comments – I'd love to hear your ideas!!
Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations
I am always asked about my favorite brands, so I want to share with you the places I get my ingredients.
My affiliate partner, Vitacost, has really good prices on some of the ingredients in this recipe. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get a coupon for $10 off your first purchase from Vitacost, and when your order ships, I’ll get a $10 off coupon for referring you. The cool thing about this program is that you can then refer your family and friends through your own link and YOU can get the $10 coupons too! 🙂
Thrive Market is another exceptional online grocery store. They are like Costco and Whole Foods combined in an online format. They have great pricing on all sorts of natural and organic foods. If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order and I will get a coupon for referring you.
Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Vitacost and Thrive Market have better deals. If you like saving money, it's good to shop around! 🙂
In addition, my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions, is where I get all of my coconut products from and if you make a purchase from them through any of my links, you will receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
Mountain Rose Herbs is where I get all of my herbs and spices. Because of their exceptional products and customer service, I am happy to support them as one of my affiliate partners. I have tried many brands of herbs over the years and keep coming back to Mountain Rose.
- 6 ounces of high quality organic dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- For the Cranberry Pistachio Bark:
- ⅓ cup of dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup of unsalted pistachios, shells removed
- For the Apricot Cranberry Walnut Bark:
- 8-9 dried apricots, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup of dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup of walnuts, chopped
- For the Toasted Coconut and Hazelnut with Sea Salt Bark:
- ⅓ cup of coconut flakes
- ⅓ cup of hazelnutsA couple of pinches of large grind sea salt (I loveMaldon Sea Salt Flakes)
- Melt the dark chocolate in the double boiler as instructed above.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the melted chocolate into a thin layer. How thin is up to you - if you prefer a thicker bark, do not spread it out too much. Make sure not to spread it so thinly that you see paper through the chocolate.
- Sprinkle your toppings over the chocolate and place it in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to harden.
- Remove the bark from the parchment paper and use a large knife to cut it into randomly shaped pieces.
- For the Toasted Coconut and Hazelnut Bark, spread the coconut and hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 5-8 minutes, checking frequently to avoid burning. Stir the mixture up occasionally to make sure you get even browning. After sprinkling the ingredients over the chocolate, take a few pitches of sea salt and sprinkle it over the bark before chilling.