Holiday (or any day!) Yummy Chocolate Bark

December 7, 2023

By Anna Varriano

This chocolate bark is SO easy to make! The dark chocolate base is a good source of magnesium (the anti-stress mineral) as well as various health-boosting flavonoids and antioxidants that have been linked to numerous  health benefits including protection from disease-causing free radicals and supporting cardiovascular and cognitive health.

The healthy goodness of the bark’s chocolate base is boosted by topping it with nutrition-packed sprinkles including raw nuts and seeds, dried unsweetened coconut, and dried fruits and berries!

This recipe will result in an 11 inch x 17 inch baking sheet/pan of bark that you will then break up into pieces. You can adjust the amounts of ingredients if you want to make more or less … although I can’t imagine why you’d want less!

It took me less than 30 minutes to make this bark (not including the setting time) and I did it without tempering the chocolate. I suppose if you want to feel like a chocolatier, you can temper the chocolate. The risk of not tempering chocolate is that it may not be shiny and it won’t snap. I have never tempered chocolate and have always had good results. Maybe I’m just lucky! :)

What You’ll Need

  • An 11 x 17 inch baking pan covered with a sheet of wax paper
  • A spatula
  • A glass or stainless steel bowl that is big enough to hold 4 cups of chocolate chips and that will also comfortably sit on top of a sauce pan (see Step 1 photos)
  • 4 cups of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Note that even though semi-sweet chocolate is a form of dark chocolate, it will contain more sugar compared with dark chocolate.
  • 1 TBSP of coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (you could use more)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of mixed toppings. I used 1.5 cups and suggest you prepare that much too and when it comes time to sprinkle them on your chocolate base, you can decide if you want to use them all or not. I suggest you have more toppings than less ready to go as it’s easier to decide not to use all of the toppings once you get to the topping stage than it is to realize you need more. Any leftover toppings make a great addition to plain yogurt or a salad. Have all these toppings prepared BEFORE you start melting the chocolate, so they are ready to go as soon as you pour the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet. The sooner you get the toppings onto the melted chocolate, the better they will stick to it. You can get creative here, while still keeping your health-conscious hat on! You can use whatever combination and proportion of ingredients you like for the toppings. This time around, I used what I had on hand which included equal amounts (about 4 TBSP each) of:
    • dried cranberries
    • chopped up dried apricots
    • chopped up dried cherries
    • the following raw nuts (chopped up): almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews (to be clear, 4 TBSP of each of them). Some green pistachios would have been nice for colour, but I didn’t have any. Maybe next time!
    • raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup of unsweeted coconut flakes
  • other topping ideas that you may want to consider: dried ginger, Goji berries, sunflower seeds, a VERY light sprinkle of coarse unrefined sea salt.

Step 1 (A to C): Melting the Chocolate Chips

A) Put a couple of inches of water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a healthy simmer over medium heat.

B: Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and cinnamon in the bowl, put the bowl over the pan.

C: Continually stir the chocolate chips with a spatula until ALMOST all the chips are fully melted, then take the bowl off the pot (use oven mitts!) and continue to stir until all the chocolate chips are fully melted and you have a nice, smooth bowl of melted chocolate.

Step 2: Create the Chocolate Base

Evenly pour the chocolate onto the wax-paper lined baking sheet. Use the spatula to get every last bit of that lovely melted chocolate out of the bowl and then use the spatula to evenly spread out the chocolate. Try to work as quickly as you can here as the toppings will ‘stick’ better to a chocolate base that is still warm and melty.

Step 3: Sprinkle and Pat Down the Toppings

Get your toppings and sprinkle them on evenly. I am VERY generous with my toppings. You can add more or less. I used the full 1.5 cups of topping and the 1/3 cup of coconut flakes. Feel free to use less if you don’t want your bark to be as loaded as mine was. Using a spatula or a flipper, GENTLY pat down the toppings to encourage them to stick to the chocolate. GENTLY, because I think it’s nicer to have a somewhat 3-D bark rather than one where all the toppings have been pushed into the chocolate.

Step 4: Set It Up … Then Break it Up!

Let your bark set until it is as hard as a chocolate bar. You can let it set at room temperature, but it will be faster if you put it in the fridge. I didn’t have room in my fridge so I put it out in the garage (early December in Ottawa – perfect temperature!) and it was ready in about 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you can easily snap a piece off (test a corner).

Once the bark is fully set, carefully peel off the wax paper, leaving the bark in the baking sheet. Using your hands, break the bark up into whatever sized pieces you want. It’s nice to have random sized pieces. Work quickly so the heat of your hands doesn’t melt the chocolate. Enjoy snacking on any toppings that fall off into the pan and/or any pieces of bark that are too small to serve. ;)

Step 5: Serve, Gift, or Save

Your chocolate bark creation is now ready to serve … or gift, or save. Bark will typically keep perfectly at room temperature for 5 to 7 days and in the fridge for several weeks (in an airtight container). You could also try freezing it, although sometimes this makes chocolate have white spots on it, especially if it’s in the freezer for over 6 months. Wrap several pieces up in celophane with ribbon for a lovely gift or loot bag at any time of year!



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