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chocolate 064Homemade gifts during the holiday season can be so lovely, cheerful, bright and yet terrible for your waistline.   My dark chocolate bark is filled with antioxidants, heart healthy fat from nuts, and of course tons of flavor.  Stack and wrap these goodies up in little decorative treat bags with festive ribbon to spread some Christmas cheer.

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Also, these cost less and taste just as delicious as the expensive treats from the gourmet chocolate shops.  So grab some bars of chocolate and turn your kitchen into a healthy, holiday treat shop.  And even better, you can customize your flavors.  The melted dark chocolate is just a canvas for any flavor combinations under the sun.

dark chocolate ~ so shiny, so rich, so beautiful!

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Here are some other combos I thought would be yummy:

  • Peanut Butter-Pretzel (Add ¼ c. real peanut butter to chocolate & 2/3 c. crushed pretzels – chopped peanuts)
  • Cherry-Pistachio (Add 2/3 c. dried cherries & shelled pistachios)
  • Apricot-Walnut (Add 2/3 c. chopped walnuts & chopped dried apricots)
  • Trail Mix (Add a chopped mixed nuts & variety of dried fruit)
  • Mexican Spiced Nut (add ground cinnamon-nutmeg-cayenne to chocolate & chopped mixed nuts)

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It makes two large batches so you can give and give, or freeze treats ahead for all seasonal parties.  The chocolate bark is gorgeous served in rows on a big white platter.  Add some strawberries, grapes or my Mini Berry Cheesecakes (130 calories each) and you’ve got an effortless, beautiful dessert platter.

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To make gluten-free, just use any variety of GF chocolate.

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COCONUT-ALMOND DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

makes about 24 pieces

  • 14 oz DARK CHOCOLATE BAR(S)
  • 1/4 tsp PURE ALMOND EXTRACT
  • 28 ALMONDS, whole
  • 1/2 cup UNSWEETENED COCONUT, shredded
  • 1/4 cup ALMONDS, sliced
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

my huge hunk….. of chocolate that is.

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2. Roughly chop the chocolate bar(s) and melt in a microwave or on the stove top. Stir 1/4 t. pure almond extract and 28 whole almonds into melted chocolate then pour out into the middle of the prepared pan. Spread evenly into a large rectangle with a spatula. Sprinkle top with 1/2 c. shredded coconut and 1/4 c. sliced almonds, press toppings gently into the chocolate to adhere.

3. Let chocolate cool to room temperature then refrigerate several hours until set and firm. Break into 24, or desired number of pieces. Serving size: 1 piece.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING:  110 calories, 7g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 11g carb, 9g sugar, 1g protein

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CRANBERRY-ORANGE & PECAN DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

makes about 24 pieces

  • 14 oz DARK CHOCOLATE BAR(S)
  • 1 1/2 tsp FRESH ORANGE ZEST
  • 2/3 cup PECANS, chopped
  • 2/3 cup DRIED CRANBERRIES
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

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2. Roughly chop the chocolate bar(s) and melt in a microwave or on the stove top. Stir 1 1/2 t. fresh orange zest into melted chocolate, and then pour out into the middle of the prepared pan. Spread evenly into a large rectangle with a spatula. Sprinkle top with 2/3 c. chopped pecans and 2/3 c. dried cranberries, press toppings gently into the chocolate to adhere.

3. Let chocolate cool to room temperature then refrigerate several hours until set and firm. Break into 24, or desired number of pieces.  Serving size: 1 piece.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING:  120 calories, 7g fat, 3g sat fat, 13g carb, 1g fiber, 11g sugar, 1g protein

PRINT RECIPES – PDF

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