This is another recipe for Chocolate Bark – this time with dried fruits and nuts.
Chocolate Fruit Bark is as simple as Chocolate Nut Bark but with a combination of dried fruits that add a touch of tartness. I have even convinced myself that this is healthy (because we all know that dried fruit is a great source of fiber and iron!) so I can allow myself to eat even more of this yummy chocolate treat.
2 cups chocolate bits (semisweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate or any combination)
1/2 cup dried apricots chopped
1/2 cup cranberry craisins
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped peanuts OR any combination of dried fruits like dates or figs, banana chips – anything!
Before we start making the bark, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. If you spray the cookie sheet with just a touch of cooking spray the paper will stick and won't slide around.
Okay, the next step is to melt the chocolate. I am a total heretic and actually do this in the microwave. Real chocolatiers will scoff at this. It works for me. But, if you don't want to melt the chocolate in the microwave, place the chocolate bits (chocolate chips) in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water until melted. Or put the bowl in the microwave for a minute or two – watching very, very carefully not to over-zap it, until melted. Stir to ensure there are no lumps
Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and form it into a rectangle of about 25x25 cm (10x10 in.). Do this quickly so the chocolate does not set before you are satisfied with the smoothness of your chocolate. Now sprinkle the nuts and fruit over the top of the chocolate so that they stick well (you can use your hands to push them in a bit).
Let the bark set for about two hours at room temperature. Using a very sharp knife, cut the bark into squares or break into bite-size pieces. I like to tie the pieces together with coloured ribbon and give them as gifts. Chocolate Fruit Bark also makes a great hostess gift or holiday stocking stuffer!
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