Almond-Cherry Chocolate Bark - Easy

Elegant-looking enough for gift-giving, almond-cherry chocolate bark takes almost as much time to make as to read this post.

In blogs past, I've talked about all the candy I make this time of year for hubs to give out to some of his clients.   There are a few favs which I make every year.  There are some that I drop due to boredom (mine).  Those slots get quickly filled by other candies I resurrect or find along the way.

One of the newbies is almond-cherry chocolate bark.

Found at Joy of Kosher, the original version uses dried cranberries.  I made the executive decision to sub with chopped maraschino cherries.  Okay, the real reason is that this time of year I'd rather serve oatmeal for dinner than head over to the supermarket to fight my way through the Thanksgiving crowd and massive long lines at the checkout so I hauled out a jar of maraschinos hiding in the back of the pantry.  Plus maraschinos are so bright and cherry.  I mean cheery.

Although I give ingredient quantities, I didn't really measure for this batch, since quantities aren't really that important here.  Use more or less of any of the ingredients.  The only rule is to use good ingredients.   And only 1 teaspoon of veggie shortening for each cup of chocolate.

Almond-Cherry Chocolate Bark - Easy
Adapted from Joy of Kosher

1 (6 oz.) jar Maraschino cherries, without stems
16 oz. package good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp. solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
1 cup slivered almonds
4 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Drain Maraschino cherries (reserve liquid for another recipe or discard).   Rinse well in cold water, drain again then coarsely chop.  Spread out on a plate lined with paper towels.  Blot with additional paper towels ... they need to be perfectly dry to adhere to the chocolate.  Set aside.

 Place semi-sweet chocolate in a 1-quart heat-safe bowl.  Nuke at full power in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Continue to heat and stir at 30 second intervals, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Once melted, spread it into a thin evenly thick layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Immediately sprinkle evenly with the chopped cherries and  almonds, lightly pressing down to make sure it is all in direct contact with the chocolate.  Let chocolate set up slightly.

Place white chocolate in a small heat-safe bowl.  Nuke at full power at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Spoon white chocolate into a piping bag or a small freezer bag.

I may have gone a little overboard on the white chocolate.

Snip off a small corner of the bag and scatter the chocolate over the toppings.

Place baking sheet in fridge for at least 1 hour for the chocolate to harden completely. Break into pieces and serve immediately or up to a week, covered tightly and refrigerated.  You may also freeze the bark for up to a month.


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