Chocolate is a candy that is a comfort to so many. Sometimes plain chocolate is just that plain. We still love its creamy taste. Now there is no way to improve upon this perfect confection. Chocolate is chocolate, and in itself is perfect.
So without changing the base of our confection let’s add to it. Nuts are healthy, flavorful and crunchy. Seeds and fruit have both a sweet and slightly bitter taste. Combining them all together with the chocolate will bring out so many flavors and textures that your mouth will start to water just thinking about eating this homemade bark.
SuperValu and Wal-mart are having after holidays sales. All the nuts and packaged fruits that didn’t fly off the shelves are being reduced. So take advantage of the mark downs and use it to your advantage to make a chocolate bark candy treat with a chocolate confetti cake whole foods like no other ever seen or tasted.
But this is the perfect candy confection to prepare especially during the National Chocolate Candy Day! Food holidays are fun and ones that include chocolate are just another reason to celebrate something oh so sweet.
- 1 pound of milk
- semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup of hazelnuts
- whole ½ cup of pistachios, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup of almonds, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons of cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg fahrenheit
- Shell all the nuts and seeds, coarsely chop the nuts and place them on a cookie sheet.
- Toast nuts and seeds in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven.
- Transfer the nuts and seeds to another cookie sheet and set aside. Allow the nuts and seeds to cool completely.
- Break apart the chocolate of your choice and place in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave – this should take about two minutes.
- Transfer all the seeds and nuts into a medium sized bowl. Add the raisins and cranberries and toss with the nuts and seeds.
- Remove the bowl of chocolate and allow it to rest for one minute. Mix the chocolate with a spoon or spatula until the creamy chocolate is smooth. If it isn’t completely melted – place back into microwave for 15 seconds at a time until completely all the chocolate is completely melted.
- Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper. Use a pan with dimensions that are at least 8 by 12 or 10 by 14. Spread out the chocolate into the lined pan with a spatula so the chocolate is even over the pan bottom. Take the bowl with the nut mixture in it and using handfuls begin to add the mixture to the chocolate.
- Scatter the nuts, fruit and seeds. You want some of the chocolate to show through and not have too many nuts and seeds in one area or another. Now lift the pan with the chocolate nut bark and gently tap it on the counter top or cutting board. This will allow the additions to settle slightly into the chocolate as well as adhere to it. Allow the pan to rest for 15 minutes.
- Place pan in the refrigerator for one hour to set completely. Once the chocolate is completely cooled it can be broken into pieces or cut into chunks or shaped with cookie cutters. Store in an airtight container with waxed or parchment paper between each layer of bark. Keep in a dark, cool place or keep refrigerated. Enjoy!
Diabetic chocolate can also be used as the base to make this treat. Chocolate nut bark will last in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Chocolate nut bark can be frozen for three to six months. The chocolate bark will thaw out very quickly once taken from the freezer. Half in the refrigerator and half in the freezer will always give you a semi-healthy candy snack when you are in the mood for something sweet. Place some of the homemade chocolate nut bark in small boxes. Wrap and give as gifts. Or, place the bark in clear plastic drinking cups. Wrap with cellophane or saran wrap. Leaving extra at the top of the glass and gather it in the center. Then take a ribbon and tie it off with a bow. This is just another way to give this chocolate bark as a gift to any chocolate lover. Serve vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Instead of adding the syrup, whipped cream and cherry add a two inch piece of nut back and place it into the scoop of ice cream. The ice cream has that little extra and it is easy to decorate without having to empty the refrigerator with ice cream toppings.