Chocolate Bark

This is easy baking (if you can call it that) at it’s best!  I love a dessert/cookie that looks like I’ve labored over it for hours, but in reality, there are so many shortcuts, I’m almost embarrassed to admit them.  Nonetheless, I’m a terrible liar, so when I’m asked for this recipe over and over again, I have to fess-up.  So here goes……

You will need (in any quantity you desire, but if this is your first trial, I’d suggest about 1 1/2 cups of plain unsalted almonds.  Pecans can also be used.

About 1 1/2 – 2 cups of candy making chocolate disks. These come in an assortment of colors from traditional ‘brown’ to red, green and white (great for the holidays).  In my pictures I used red and white.

Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.  Turn off oven, open door slightly and leave the baking sheet with the nuts on it in the oven.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate pieces.  This is the only tricky part.  Melting or tempering chocolate must be done slowly and with very low heat otherwise the chocolate “breaks”, and becomes chunky, unspreadable and essentially unusable.  Tempering can be done with a double boiler (or one smaller pot placed in a slightly larger pot with water in it), or in the microwave on the lowest power setting.  Melt the chocolate pieces slowly, checking every 2 minutes or so to stir.  When the chocolate is smooth and stirs easily, pour it randomly over the nuts on the still slightly warm baking sheet.  Do the same with the other colors of chocolate (if using).  To get the marbelized effect, spread the chocolate lightly with a knife in a random pattern.  Next lift the baking sheet slightly and drop on the counter to get the chocolate to cover evenly.  Place in a cool area to set or in the refrigerator.  When completely cool, remove the chocolate, it should come off the baking sheet very easily.  Break into desired size pieces. Store in an airtight container.