A no-nonsense way to cure your cravings. Go ahead. Indulge yourself.
Years ago, I babysat for a family that seemed to always have a tin of chocolate bark sitting out. In between playing with the kids and loading the dishwasher, it was part of my tradition to sneak a piece. It made my night.
From the initial snap as you break off a morsel to the melting sensation as the chocolate dissolves in your mouth... sometimes something simple is hard to beat.
Especially when you add crushed peppermint on top. Which I obviously had to do.
I know what you're thinking. And no, this won't ruin your new years resolution diet. At least, not if you have self control and use the right ingredients. Here's why:
First, dark chocolate is good for you. It can cure your sweet tooth without causing a spike in your blood sugar -- which means it won't leave you high and dry thirty minutes later, which would cause you to eat more. Add to that the powerful antioxidant qualities of dark chocolate (and a laundry list of other benefits which you can read about here) and you've got yourself a good deal.
The key? Make sure you're finding dark chocolate. Most store bought barks don't use dark chocolate, and frequently companies add oils to the mixture to help keep the melted chocolate texture consistent. Those changes degrade the health benefits while adding extra calories. So, take it from me: find some dark chocolate to melt!
If you don't eat it all, this is a great treat to share. Bring it into the office and leave it out for your coworkers, or place it in a beautiful glass jar to give as a gift.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint BarkRecipe Size: Fills one pan
Serving Size: ~2 pieces
- 3 cups dark chocolate morsels (or chopped up)
- 1 cup soft peppermint - Peppermint can be in stick or small candy form, and can use soft or hard peppermint. soft peppermint is easier to break, so if you can find it, I suggest that.
- Parchment paper
- Line a pan (preferably a deeper pan, like a cake pan) with parchment paper. If possible, try to make sure the paper lines the sides as well. If you need to use multiple sheets to do this, go ahead.
- Break peppermint into small, crumble size pieces. To do this, I used sticks of softer peppermint and put them inside three layers of plastic bags. Then, I placed them on a wood cutting board and used a mallet (a blunt meat tenderizer would also work) to hammer the pieces until they break into small pieces.
- Melt chocolate in a medium or large bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds, then stir before putting it back in the microwave for 15 second intervals (only do one or two of these 15 second intervals, and be sure to stir well in between). Once most of the lumps are gone after stirring, stop microwave intervals and stir until the lumps dissolve.
- Pour melted chocolate onto the parchment paper. Spread and even out the chocolate using a large spoon.
- Sprinkle peppermint pieces on top. If you want the pieces to be deeper in the bark, feel free to press them down with clean fingers.
- Place in the freezer to cool until hardened. Remove from the freezer and wait an hour before breaking into small pieces.
P.S. What's your favorite wintertime snack?