Holiday Chocolate Barks

Holiday Chocolate Barks

I love chocolate, especially good quality dark chocolate. Motivated by a selfish desire to have some fun chocolate around the house this winter, I made chocolate bark as gifts for some of our co-workers and relatives.

You can put almost anything on a bark. We opted for a chocolate-cherry-almond bark and peppermint crunch bark. I actually thought I was buying dried cranberries but when I got home realized they were cherries. Luckily, they both are delicious with chocolate and almonds!

I recommend using bittersweet chocolate for the peppermint bark base and semi-sweet chocolate for the chocolate-cherry-almond. Bittersweet chocolate has a higher coca content, which I thought could hold up to the sweetness the white chocolate and peppermint would add. The chocolate-cherry-almond bark had no additional sweet elements so I thought would be better with the sweeter semi-sweet chocolate.

There are a number of methods of melting chocolate on the Internet but I used a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own! All you need is a heatproof bowl that fits on top of a small pot. Fill the pot with 1 inch of water then place the bowl or top of the double boiler on top. Place the chocolate in the top of the double boiler and turn the burner on to medium-low. The water will boil, heating the chocolate slowly to prevent it from burning.

Peppermint Bark

Prepare the base for your bark. Measure a rectangle 8 in. x 9 in. on a piece of parchment paper, then flip it over so you aren’t putting chocolate directly onto the pen. Place the parchment on cookie sheet for easy portability.

Prepare the peppermint bits by putting 3 candy canes in a ziplock bag and placing the bag on a cutting board. Firmly roll a rolling pin back and forth over the bag to break the candy canes into small pieces. The bag will probably get holes in it but it will help contain the pieces from flying across your kitchen!

Melt 12 oz. of bittersweet chocolate until smooth.

Pour the chocolate onto the paper and then spread it carefully with a spatula to the edges of your diagram.

Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 8 minutes so the chocolate is set but not hard. When you touch the chocolate it should be slightly tacky, but not as hard as a chocolate bar.

While the bittersweet chocolate is setting, melt 8 oz. of white chocolate. White chocolate melts faster than dark chocolate, so watch it carefully!

Once the white chocolate is melted, add ½ tsp of peppermint extract and half of the peppermint shards. If possible, try to use the smaller/dusty pieces for this step and save the larger pieces for the top. I love the extra crunch provided by putting peppermint pieces in the white chocolate.

When the bittersweet chocolate is ready, spread the white chocolate mixture carefully over the dark chocolate base. Once the white chocolate is spread out, top with the remaining peppermint pieces.

Let stand until fully hardened, then cut into the triangles.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark

Prepare the base for your bark. Measure a rectangle 8 in. x 9 in. on a piece of parchment paper, then flip it over so you aren’t putting chocolate directly onto the pen. Place the parchment on cookie sheet for easy portability.

Prepare the toppings by chopping ½ cup dried cherries. I used leftover sliced almonds so didn’t need to chop these, but if you are starting with whole almonds chop these as well.

Melt 16 oz. of bittersweet chocolate until smooth.

Pour the chocolate onto the paper and then spread it carefully with a spatula to the edges of your diagram.

Immediately top the chocolate with the cherry and almond pieces. Press slightly so that they adhere to the chocolate.

Let stand until fully hardened, then cut into the triangles.

Print

Peppermint Bark and Chocolate Cherry Bark

You can use bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for either recipe. I prefer using bittersweet for peppermint bark because the white chocolate layer adds sweetness. I prefer using semi-sweet for the chocolate cherry almond because it balances the tart cherries well.

Be sure to use baking chocolate bars and not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have a coating to prevent them from losing their shape so do not melt down properly for making candy.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author the brave radish

Ingredients

Peppermint Bark

  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 candy canes crushed

Chocolate Cherry Bark

  • 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

Peppermint Bark

  1. Prepare the base for your bark. Measure a rectangle 8 in. x 9 in. on a piece of parchment paper, then flip it over so you aren’t putting chocolate directly onto the pen. Place the parchment on cookie sheet for easy portability.
  2. Prepare the peppermint bits by putting 3 candy canes in a ziplock bag and placing the bag on a cutting board. Firmly roll a rolling pin back and forth over the bag to break the candy canes into small pieces. The bag will probably get holes in it but it will help contain the pieces from flying across your kitchen!
  3. Melt 12 oz. of bittersweet chocolate until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate onto the paper and then spread it carefully with a spatula to the edges of your diagram.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 8 minutes so the chocolate is set but not hard. When you touch the chocolate it should be slightly tacky, but not as hard as a chocolate bar.
  6. While the bittersweet chocolate is setting, melt 8 oz. of white chocolate. White chocolate melts faster than dark chocolate, so watch it carefully!
  7. Once the white chocolate is melted, add ½ tsp of peppermint extract and half of the peppermint shards. If possible, try to use the smaller/dusty pieces for this step and save the larger pieces for the top.
  8. When the bittersweet chocolate is ready, spread the white chocolate mixture carefully over the dark chocolate base. Once the white chocolate is spread out, top with the remaining peppermint pieces. Let stand until fully hardened, then cut into the triangles.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark

  1. Prepare the base for your bark. Measure a rectangle 8 in. x 9 in. on a piece of parchment paper, then flip it over so you aren’t putting chocolate directly onto the pen. Place the parchment on cookie sheet for easy portability.
  2. Prepare the toppings by chopping ½ cup dried cherries. I used leftover sliced almonds so didn’t need to chop these, but if you are starting with whole almonds chop these as well.
  3. Melt 16 oz. of bittersweet chocolate until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate onto the paper and then spread it carefully with a spatula to the edges of your diagram.
  5. Immediately top the chocolate with the cherry and almond pieces. Press slightly so that they adhere to the chocolate.
  6. Let stand until fully hardened, then cut into the triangles.