I’ve got a major weakness for chocolate. I actually eat a small piece just about every single night. Many of my friends and family have admitted to the same indulgence, making me think that this bark may be the perfect little homemade gift for this coming holiday season.
I’m not going to tell you that topping chocolate off with nuts, fruits, chia seeds and hemp seeds is going to create a guiltless healthy treat. I wish I could. But really, any chance to throw healthy ingredients into our diet is just a good thing. And, when you pair them with chocolate…that’s an even better thing. Right? This bark has such great crunch from the nuts and seeds, pops of sweetness from the cranberries and raisins, and that perfect balance of sweet and salty from those crunchy bits of coarse sea salt on top.
Making chocolate bark is incredibly simple, but I think my lazy-girl method is even easier. I like to use the low heat of the oven to get the nuts toasty…don’t skip that step…it makes all the difference in the world. Once they are done, I melt the chocolate in the oven. It’s just much gentler than using a microwave, which can really zap the chocolate with too much heat and simpler than using a double-boiler over the stove…and less to clean up…always a plus.
Don’t tell my friends, but everyone is getting a bag of this bark for the holidays!
Hippie Chocolate Bark
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons pepitas shelled pumpkin seeds
- 10 to 12 ounces dark chocolate or your favorite chocolate
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries I prefer the reduced-sugar variety
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons shelled hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine the pecans, pistachios, almonds and pepitas on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven and toast for about 10 to 12 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to avoid getting too toasty. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you melt the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Set it in the oven, still at 250 degrees, for about 5 minutes. Keep peeking at it and as soon as the chocolate has softened, remove it from the oven.
- Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate out into about 1/8 inch thick slab. Sprinkle on the toasted nuts and continue with the remaining ingredients.
- Slide the slab with the parchment onto a cool counter, marble pastry board or cutting board to cool and harden. This will just give you a nice flat surface in case your baking sheet is a bit wobbly like mine is. Cool for about one hour or more if needed. If your room temperature is not cool, it may take longer. You can slide the board into a freezer for just two minutes to get things going.
- Cut into random shapes with a sharp knife. If packaging the bark for gift-giving, be sure it’s cooled and hardened completely and stored in a cool spot.