Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter Bark

Since Valentine's Day is coming up I wanted to do a few more posts about little treats I like to make and give to people I love : ) This one is perfect because I can make something for people I love using something I love: Almond Bark. I told you you would be hearing more about him. I love him because he's so awesome and so under appreciated. More versatile and sturdier than real chocolate, cleaner than frosting and always a quick and easy treat. What's not to love? 


At Christmas time it seems like every store has their own gourmet version of peppermint bark, (which I'd like to note that I was making before it was popular) but after the holidays it seems like everyone packs away their almond bark 'til next year. But there are so many more bark options! I call this one "Bird Bark" because it's a delicious mix of nuts, seeds and berries, but I guess "Winter Bark" probably sounds more appealing. 


The batch above is chocolate almond bark, chopped cashews, almonds, pecans, craisens and sunflower kernels. Any combination of seeds, nuts and dried fruit is pretty much sure to be delicious. 


Here's the quick rundown:
First I roughly chop all the toppings. Then I melt 6 blocks of vanilla or chocolate almond bark and pour it onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. (I only did 4 below so that's why it's not a full pan).


Then I sprinkle on the toppings and press them in a little using the side of the large chopping knife.


Finally, to make the bark look smooth and even I bang the pan flat on the counter a few times. This helps the toppings settle into the chocolate. You can see it even out. Then I let it cool for a while in the garage.


You can tell that it's set because the chocolate will go from glossy to matte finish. Then break into pieces.


Try not to scold your husband for eating it all before you can give any away. He probably deserves it the most anyway.
Mine does : )


Thanks for reading.
-Haley

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