As a less-than-enthusiastic baker, I love chocolate bark. Start with your favorite semi-sweet and dark chocolate, melt and add toppings... that's it! And with abundance of candy and cookie balls this time of year, I love getting creative with dried fruits and nuts. Grown up treats.
Also, pardon the photo quality today guys. I'm having iPhoto export issues and the sun refused to shine when I was cooking over the weekend.
Since you need the chocolate to harden, it's a good idea to temper it. This just means you melt 2/3 over heat and then add the rest off the heat; stirring quickly and vigorously to get it shiny. I'm admittedly only two for three on proper tempering this year. I got distracted... have you seen my dog? He's adorable.
Pour out the melted chocolate on to parchment. Draw a 9x10 square on the other side first, so that you can guide the thickness of your barks.
Then all you do is add your toppings and let it cool completely.
I like to do some lovely gift wrap too. You spend a lot of time with your co-workers, so make 'em feel special when you can.
Makes 32 squares
1 12oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 12oz bag dark chocolate chips
Draw 9x10 squares on two sheets of parchment and reserve on cookie sheets. Melt two-thirds of chocolate over a double-boiler with water just simmering (not boiling). Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate, stirring quickly and vigorously.
Split chocolate between two sheets and evenly spread to fill squares. Top with toppings and allow chocolate to cool. Cut into squares and wrap in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.
*I like Ghirardelli chocolate for this
Cranberry Apricot Ginger
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Coconut Banana Chip
2 cups banana chips
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1 cup chopped cashews
White Chocolate Cherry Walnut
*Swirl in 1/2 cup melted white chocolate
2 cups dried cherries
1 cup walnuts