Easter is just about two weeks away and, as you may remember from last year, that means that I have to put on my candy-making hat and hop on into the kitchen. Last year, feeling exceptionally motivated, I made peanut butter eggs. This year, however, I decided to cater to the less-motivated crowd with chocolate bark!
Despite my tendency to candify everything, I kept this one light with salty pistachios and sweet dried cherries and mixed them with delightful dark chocolate. The end result was a chocolate bark with an amazing snap that was a flavor explosion of salty, crunchy, and sweet all at once. Of course you can use any combination of fruit and nuts that you like, but I definitely recommend you give this combo a try.
As always, I used the Chocoley Candy & Molding Chocolate that I love for its unbeatable “snap” as well as its great flavor. Once I used it for the first time I was hooked, and I use it pretty much any time I have to make any chocolate confections. I also found my pistachio oil on their site, but if you can’t find any then you can just leave it out, your bark will still be delicious. They also have like a gazillion other flavor oils to choose form, if pistachio isn’t your jam.
Inspired by a recent pistachio chocolate bar that I fell in love with, I changed up my usual M-O of “sprinkling everything on top” and decided to mix some of the fixins in as well. Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever go back to the old way! I used an 8-by-8 inch baking pan which made the bark a bit on the thicker side. You could easily upgrade to a 9-by-9 or possibly even an 11-by-7 inch pan, but I didn’t want to deal with trying to spread out a pistachio-filled melty chocolate onto a baking sheet. Plus, I really like the clean edges that using a baking pan gives me.
- 1 pound dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup (appx 2 ounces) shelled salted pistachios
- 1/3 cup (appx 2 to 2.5 ounces) dried cherries
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 drops pistachio flavor oil
- Line a 8-by-8 or 9-by-9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and parchment; set aside.
- Chop pistachios and cherries, set aside.
- Mix dark chocolate and flavoring oil in a large bowl over a double-boiler. Heat water to a gentle simmer and stir chocolate until it is completely melted.
- Once chocolate is melted, carefully remove from double boiler (I set mine on top of a kitchen towel on the counter). Stir just over half of the pistachios and cherries into the melted chocolate, and carefully pour into the lined baking pan.
- Sprinkle remaining pistachios and cherries onto the chocolate and gently press into the chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside to cool, about one hour.
- Once hardened, remove from pan and chop bark into desired size and shape.