My last two barks are done and my gifts sent off. It's a good thing, too. Even though I've gotten pretty good at not over indulging in my own sweets, these barks got the better of me. I couldn't wrap and ship them fast enough.
The Cherry Hazelnut Bark uses dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, and plump dried cherries. It will have a nice crunch from the nuts and a sweet chewiness from the cherries. What can I say about dark chocolate that you don't already know? It's the best.
Cherry Hazelnut Bark
oven to 350
1 cup whole, raw hazelnuts
2 10 oz bags of bittersweet, dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries
- Put raw whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Give the pan a shake from time to time. Cool the nuts and then chop them.
- Put both bags of chocolate in a glass bowl (a quart sized glass measuring cup works great) and microwave for 60 seconds. Continue microwaving and checking every 30 seconds until the chips are melted, stirring each time. The two bags will take longer and more stirring than just one.
- Quickly mix in the nuts and cherries and spread out on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Don't worry about making it an even rectangle because you're going to be breaking it up into irregular shapes anyway, just try to get the bark to a relatively even thickness.
- Refrigerate until completely set, at least an hour or more.
- Break the bark into whatever sized pieces you want.
Next is the classic Peppermint Bark, it wouldn't be the holidays without it. Something magic happens when you mix the white chocolate with the candy cane bits...the result is far far better than the sum of its parts.
1 10 oz bag of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 10 oz bag of white chocolate chips
6 regular sized candy canes, crushed
- Melt the dark chocolate as above, and spread out on a lined baking sheet. Put in the fridge to cool completely, about an hour.
- Melt the white chocolate and stir in the peppermint bits.
- Spread out on top of the hardened dark chocolate.
- Put back in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Break into pieces. Sometimes the white layer breaks off from the dark layer in spots, don't worry about it. This stuff is so good it doesn't matter how it gets in your mouth, just that it gets there.
After I got back from the post office I realized there was a small plate of the peppermint bark that didn't get wrapped up and sent off as planned. I stashed it in a baggie and threw it in the freezer...out of sight, out of mind.
Turns out I'm on to myself. I almost broke a tooth.