Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Chocolate Bark Treats
I found this basic recipe in the December issue of Health magazine. The ingredients they had listed are as follows: 3/4 cups dried cherries, 1/2 up unsalted pistachios, 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 7 oz dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids) chopped into chunks.
Combine cherries, pistachios, and ginger in a medium bowl. Line baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, chill pan. Melt chocolate in double boiler or the microwave, stirring frequently. Stir in half of fruit mixture and spread into prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread chocolate evenly onto baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle remaining fruit mixture evenly over top of chocolate. Chill about 10 minutes. Break into pieces and serve.
Now there are definitely a ton of modifications you can make to this. First of all, you can certainly leave out the ginger. It can be hard to find and also it can have a strong flavor that you may not want. No big deal to leave it out. I made this version minus the ginger and it was great. And when I couldn't find pistachios, I substituted chopped walnuts instead.
I also wanted to make another version that didn't involve nuts, as I've mentioned there are several people in my family with nut allergies. So I came up with the idea of using coconut (which is a fruit, not a nut) and pretzel sticks to give it a sweet/salty flavor like nuts would have done.
You can also use any kind of chocolate...milk, semi-sweet, even white chocolate. As long as it melts, you're good. As for toppings, the possibilities are endless. Using unsalted nuts of any kind with dried fruit of any kind will help keep it on the healthier end. You could also probably melt in some peanut butter into the chocolate for a more decadent version. For other mix-ins, you can use peppermint (great for Christmas), granola or any kind of cereal (hmm, I wonder what fruit loops would be like?), marshmallows and graham crackers for a smores effect...I could go on and on.
And in 10-15 minutes you have a great home-made treat to share with friends or eat for yourself!