It’s no surprise to me that this entire holiday season has been jam packed with trying to cook and bake all the delicious Pinterest recipes I have saved over the last year. I always want to cook and bake to impress all my family and friends! This year I decided to dedicate a lot of my time to cooking holiday themed dinners, shaking up some holiday themed drinks and baking some classic holiday themed desserts. And low and behold, this holiday dessert here is not one you even have to bake. Nevertheless, here it is, and it’s delicious.
The hardest part of this recipe is melting the chocolate just right. But that’s it! It really is just a whole lot of melting chocolate, pouring it on a tray and throwing the extras into the liquid mixture before it sets. Then, you place it in the fridge to harden and wait. Then you get to enjoy your delicious treat. Or, break it apart and decide if you really want to share. If that’s the case, bark is one of the easiest, most delicious, and beautiful holiday treats you can give to someone. I recommend throwing a few pieces of each type into clear bags and tying them with a nice red bow. Your recipients will be very impressed that you made it yourself.
I decided to try two different types of bark this year. From when I was a young one, my dad would always have chocolate almond bark around Christmas time. I don’t even know where he got it half the time, but there always seemed to be a bag of it around the house. I wanted to recreate his ideal bark. I know there is one thing for sure if he was here, the bark would all be gone before I even got a chance to photograph it! I also wanted to create a very Christmasy bark that involves white chocolate, as my boyfriend is obsessed with it. The pairing of the saltiness of the pistachios, the sweetness of the cranberries and the creaminess of the white chocolate is quite the treat. It actually tastes like a mouthful of Christmas. Anyways enough of the descriptions, here it is:
Chocolate Almond Bark
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil, 1 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 ounces semi-sweet/dark chocolate (I used dark)
Instructions: line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or wax paper. Or line baking sheet with baking parchment, lightly coat cooking spray. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Once butter has melted, add sliced almonds and salt. Toss to coat. Stir occasionally to avoid burning, toast nuts until fragrant and golden. About 5-7 minutes. Let cool slightly. Melt chocolate according to package instructions. Stir in toasted almonds to incorporate. Spread mixture in a thin layer in lined baking sheet. Place in a cool spot to allow to firm up (I placed the tray in the fridge for 1 hour). Once chocolate has solidified, break into pieces. Store chocolate bark up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container in a cool place.
White Chocolate, Pistachio & Cranberry Bark
Ingredients: 8 ounces premium white chocolate, finely chopped,1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped and divided, 1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios, chopped and divided, 1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Instructions: Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20% power for 15 seconds; remove bowl from microwave and stir. Repeat process until most of the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until all of the chocolate melts and is smooth. Set aside 1 tablespoon each cranberries and pistachios. Stir remaining cranberries and remaining pistachios into chocolate. Spread mixture onto parchment paper in an even (1/4-inch-thick) layer. Top evenly with reserved cranberries and pistachios, and sprinkle evenly with salt, pressing gently to adhere. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set. Break into bite-size pieces.