June 13, 2014

Chocolate Bark: Best. (Adult) Treat. Ever.

This stuff is so seriously good. Addictively good. If you've read any recipe posts on this blog you know that delicious + easy is my holy grail...my piece de resistance...my titanic wreckage. And in the land of treats, this recipe is a total find. It is so simple. (It took me about ten minutes to make it.) And yet it is so, so good. It combines sweet and salty and bitter so beautifully. It makes it, well, so hard to stop eating once you take a bite. It makes the perfect special treat to have on hand for yourself or a great little gift. Perfect for a thank you or a little pick-me-up for a friend who's down. Perfect for a little after dinner or afternoon treat for yourself...as long as you can keep yourself to just one piece (which I cannot).

So, without further ado, here's this week's recipe...

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Chocolate Bark

3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 c. mixed salted nuts, coarsely chopped (I used a mix of cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts and brazil nuts)
1/2 c. dried cranberries (or raisins, or dried cherries, or other favorite dried fruit)
1 c. broken-up pretzels (I used a combination of leftovers-- little broken twists and sticks)
1 lb. semisweet chocolate chips (I used a bag of 60% cacao Ghirardelli baking chips. Remember: the better the chocolate, the better the bark.)

*Note: Don't get overly worried about measuring things for this recipe. I just eyeballed everything.

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Heat oven (or toaster oven...that's what I used) to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a small, second baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until coconut becomes lightly golden. (Pay attention to it so you don't burn it. This step is the "hardest" part of the whole recipe.) Let the toasted coconut cool completely. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the chopped nuts, dried fruit and broken pretzel pieces and stir to combine.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth. Stir in half of the nut mixture. Spread the chocolate-nut mixture about 3/8 inch thick onto the prepared baking sheet, then sprinkle with the remaining half of the nut mixture. Refrigerate over night. Break the bark into 2 inch pieces. Store the bark between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. (You can keep it at room temperature or in the fridge...I keep mine in the fridge.)

That's it. Super simple. Super delicious. Love it.

Until next time, happy snacking!

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