Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Candy - Chocolate Bark

Chocolate Bark - the Christmas candy spans the spectrum from melted chocolate spread into a plate and then broken into pieces to a combination of chocolate, nuts, berries, candies and cookies.
Chocolate bark most probably started as a way for candy makers to use up chocolate scraps-- turning the excess chocolate into an easy to make "bark" studded with whatever leftover dried fruits or nuts were available.
Today, there are as many flavors of "bark" as there are colors under the sun.
They are simple to make and can be tailor made to your guest.
Here is the basic recipe.
Melt chocolate in a microwave - slowly or in a double boiler.
Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet and spread to an even thickness - between a 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
Sprinkle with toppings of your choice, mixing and matching from the following:
fruits - dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, current, apricots,
nuts - chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, cashews
candies - crushed lemon drops, pop rocks, candy canes, sprinkles
snacks - chopped pretzels, chopped oreos, chopped chocolate chip cookies, rice krispies

Specific combinations -
Chocolate anise - anise seeds, chopped dried cherries, apricots & cashews
Krispy - rice krispies, chopped apricots, raisins
Lavender - white chocolate with lavender and shredded lemon rind or lemon candy, chopped
Reindeer Bark - Chopped Oreos, chopped pretzels and little m&m's
Christmas - Chocolate sprinkled with crushed candy canes and drizzled with melted chocolate

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