Chocolate bark

A great Christmas present…

Chocolate bark looks very luxurious when you put it in a fancy box or bag with curled ribbons, but it’s cheap and very easy to make, and only takes a few minutes of work (plus a couple of hours to cool). And, like chocolate mousse, it doesn’t even use the stove.

How to make chocolate bark:

In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix 10-12 ounces (one package) of dark chocolate chips (or milk chocolate if you like that better) with a couple of teaspoons of butter and microwave for 2 minutes until the chocolate is pretty melted. Take it out and stir until all the chocolate is melted.

Meanwhile, if you want hazelnuts in your chocolate bark, take a large handful of hazelnuts and smash them into bits in a mortar (or inside a paper bag, using a rolling pin or a can of soup). All the nuts should be at least broken in half; you want a variety of different sizes.

Add a large pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla to the chocolate. Mix about 2/3 of the nuts into the chocolate, or, if you don’t like nuts, you could add coconut or raisins instead. Cover a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, and use a spatula to spread the chocolate-nut mixture on the parchment paper until it covers about 2/3 of the cookie sheet. Don’t make it too thin around the edges; you want it about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick everywhere.

Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top, and press them down a little with the spatula. Set the tray someplace pretty cool – the refrigerator is fine, but an unheated porch or basement is fine too – and leave it for a couple of hours. Then peel the parchment paper off (you can reuse it for the next batch), break up the chocolate bark into pieces, and put them in a tupperware in the fridge or in a cool place for storage.

Vegetarian or vegan

Just naturally vegetarian! Enjoy! The butter makes it not vegan, but you could substitute coconut fat.

Can I keep this for later?

Sure. Chocolate bark will last for at least several weeks, if you can keep from eating it.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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