Recipe of the Month

December 2015: Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark

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Holiday season usually entails lots of sweets and desserts, which is why we found a decadent, healthier option that is less than 5 ingredients! This bark doesn’t require much time to prepare (under 15 minutes prep), making it an easy treat or a great holiday gift. Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains more healthy fats, fiber, iron, magnesium and theobromine (the bitter alkaloid cacao that helps lower blood pressure). The tart cherries compliment the bitterness of the dark chocolate, while the almonds add a little crunch and protein. Be careful though…this bark is amazingly delicious!!
Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup whole almonds
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. On a baking sheet, toast ¾ cup whole almonds until fragrant and light gold, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Fill a medium microwave safe bowl with 10 ounces of dark chocolate and microwave for 2-2.5 minutes (I started with 1 minute at a time to monitor how quickly it melted). This can also be done on the stove by filling a medium saucepan with 1” water; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a large heatproof bowl on top of saucepan, making sure water doesn’t touch bottom of bowl. Place 10 ounces of dark chocolate in bowl and cook, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and then add in extra two ounces of dark chocolate and stir until smooth.
  3. After 2.5 minutes, remove from microwave and stir. Add in the other 2 ounces of dark chocolate and stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, toasted almonds and 1/3 cup dried cherries.
  5. Pour mixture onto baking sheet and spread into an even layer about 1/4” thick.
  6. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Break into small pieces.

Adapted from Epicurious