Having a chocolate emergency? I totally get you.
If you have a bag of chocolate chips on hand…..well, there’s your remedy right there. Grab a handful and dispense them, epi-Pen style (but far less expensive – wait, that’s not even funny), and you should be good to go. Don’t you think? Not so much?
Still feeling that emergency but you’d like something with a little more, say….heft? Textural interest? A bit of crunch? Sweet, tart, maybe even a sophisticated hit of salt? ANd you want this right NOW?
Okay, then……still have those choco chips out?
Good, because in less than ten minutes of hands on time and about ten additional minutes chilling time, you could be munching on these……
Straight up out of your kitchen, any way you like ’em, chocolate bark. This stuff is so simple! No recipe needed! In times of emergencies, help is right there in your pantry.
For this particular batch, I used dark chocolate chips (I love this particular brand, but you do yours) some pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), hemp hearts (super yummy little super food, check ’em out right here if you are unfamiliar), and dried cherries. Love almonds? Use almonds then, for the love of ya mothah! Same goes for walnuts, or macadamia nuts, or whatever. Dried cranberries are perfect in place of cherries……you get the idea, whatever you have on hand. This is what I used for my bark, but believe me when I tell you, I mix it up all the time (um….okay so I make this a lot. I guess I live in a state of emergency).
Start with your seeds by placing about a quarter cup of the raw pepitas into a medium hot pan with just a drop of olive oil. Really, just a drop or two of oil is all that you need. Flip these around for about two to three minutes, or until you get a nice golden color on them. This can happen pretty quickly, so keep a careful eyeball on ’em. Once you have them looking roasty and gah-geous, give them a sprinkle of kosher salt and get them out of the pan and spread onto a plate to cool down a bit. OBVIOUSLY, this step is unnecessary if you happen to have procured pre-roasted, salted seeds (aren’t you the smartie pants).
Chop up 6-10 dried cherries into itty bitty pieces. A little of this goes a looong way so don’t go too crazy with the dried fruit, okay? Get yourself about a quarter cup of hemp hearts ready.
Then melt your chocolate chips by measuring out about a cup into a medium-sized glass bowl. Pop this into your microwave oven for about 50 seconds, then let them sit for another 20 seconds or so. Go in and give them a stir. If they don’t all melt together (this will all depend on your microwave), give ’em another whirl for 10 second intervals, until your chocolate is a lovely, melted pool.
Prepare a flat pan or cutting board, something that will for sure fit in your freezer by covering it with a piece of tin foil. You want to have that ready to go because now you are in the home stretch.
Mix everybody together (leave out a teaspoon of your pumpkin seeds) into that bowl of liquid love. Quickly dump the whole she-bang out onto your tin-foiled surface, and spread it all out with a rubber scraper or the back of a spoon. An off-set spatula works really well for this but for some reason…..I don’t have one! This will fight with you just a little, but you can do it! The thinner the better. No matter how ugly you think it looks now I promise in ten minutes that will just be a faded memory.
Sprinkle those leftover pepitas over the top. Hit the whole thing with a dusting of kosher salt. Just a pinch, and flourish it over from way high above……it makes you feel fancy (plus it helps to disperse the salt sparsely and evenly). Right into the freezer this goes, for at least ten minutes. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill.
Oh yeah, that and cleaning the bowl. What a mess. But I had a pretty easy time with the spatula.
Once your bark has nicely hardened, peel it off of the foil, break it into whatever size pieces you like! I like small pieces, so that I can fool myself into thinking I consumed a small amount. Pretty tricky.
Never mind that I generally eat it all myself.
- I know I said no recipe.......so just use this as a guide and switch it up as you like. Leave out the dried fruit if you like, or forget the nuts all together if you aren't into them.
- You can use roasted or raw nuts.
- You can use dried cherries, cranberries, coconut, raisins, anything you like.
- Any proportions that you want!
- For this particular batch I used
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts (straight out of the bag, no chopping required, gotta love that)
- 8 dried cherries finely chopped
- Kosher Salt or course sea salt, to taste
- A teeny smidge (less than a teaspoon) of olive oil*
- Prepare a cutting board or pan that will fit into the freezer by coving it with a layer of tin foil.
- Roast the raw pumpkin seeds by flipping them around in a hot pan with a drop or two of olive oil for about 3 minutes, or until the seeds are browned and roasty. Add a pinch of kosher salt and mix well. Remove them to a plate to cool.
- Melt the chocolate in a medium glass bowl in the microwave oven for 50 seconds. Give them a stir. If the chips are not completely melted give them another ten seconds in the microwave. Do this until you have a smooth melted bowl of chocolate.
- Combine the chopped cherries, hemp hearts and all but about a teaspoon of the pumpkin seeds with the melted chocolate. Stir until well combined.
- Dump the chocolate mixture out onto your tin foil covered sheet. Spread this out to a 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. The thinner the better if you ask me.
- Sprinkle the leftover pumpkin seeds over the top, along with another pinch of salt.
- Place this into the freezer for at least ten minutes, to set up and harden. Longer is better if you can manage it.
- Remove the bark from the freezer and peel it off of the tin foil, breaking it into piece as you go.
- Store this in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- *Only required if you are pan roasting raw nuts or seeds.
- This is so quick and easy and such a totally neat little sweet snack! Thank you barkTHINS, you are my inspiration.