Monday, January 30, 2017

Cherry Almond Chocolate Bark

Whenever anyone comes to visit I always like to have some homemade cookies on hand. The last time my parents visited I still made some cookies, but I decided to change things up a bit with the addition of some chocolate bark. Bark is one of the easiest sweet treats to throw together, and the flavor combinations are endless. The tart cherries really complement the creamy dark chocolate in this version. You can stir all of the toppings into the chocolate before spreading on the baking sheet to cool, but I like to reserve one-third of each to add to the top because I think it looks more visually appealing. Based on how quickly this bark disappeared, I'm declaring it a winner!

Adapted from epicurious

3/4 cup whole raw almonds
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa), chopped
1/3 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil toast the almonds until fragrant and light gold, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely; coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch water; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a large heatproof bowl atop the saucepan, making sure water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Place 10 ounces dark chocolate in the bowl; cook, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan; add the remaining 2 ounces dark chocolate and stir until smooth.

3. Stir in two-thirds of the toasted chopped almonds and two-thirds of the chopped dried cherries. Pour onto baking sheet; spread into an even layer about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped almonds and cherries, gently pressing to ensure almonds and cherries will stick to the chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Break into 24 pieces.

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