Recipe: Black and White Holiday Bark
This bark is a breeze to make, tasty, texturally interesting and looks festive – everything you want out of a holiday treat. It is a lovely option to have for company or to give away as a homemade gift. We have little bags of it to Sofie’s preschool teachers this year along with elf ornaments we made together.
Regarding allergens, it is egg and nut free! Perfect for our daughter and anyone else with such allergies, which makes it great for a gift or a treat to bring to parties or school events. Just be sure to verify that your ingredients do not have any chance of allergen contamination from processing. Chocolate in particular often has warnings of potential allergens from their equipment, but you can find some without. If you want to know some brands we just ask.
The original recipe is from the American Test Kitchen’s Holiday Cookies 2010 Special Issue. I picked it up while checking out at the grocery store a few weeks ago and we went through to find all the nut free and egg free recipes to try to make over the holidays. This was the first one we tried.
Black and White Holiday Bark
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup rice Krispies cereal
3/4 cup dried cranberries or dried sour cherries, chopped (I used dried cherries, unsweetened)
1 pound white chocolate, choppedNotes: They recommend the use of good quality chocolate bars verses chips to get the best texture and flavor.
1. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. Microwave all but 2 tablespoons of chopped bittersweet chocolate in a bowl on medium power (50%) for 1 to 1.5 minutes. Stir, scraping down the sides. Continue heating for 15-second intervals at medium power, stirring between each, until just small lumps remain. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top; chill until firm, 30 minutes.
My notes on this step: Be sure you have some space in the fridge for the pan beforehand for the chilling. I would actually recommend a larger pan. We used an 8-inch square pan, and while the bars look really good, I think they would be a little easier to eat if they were a tiny bit little thinner. So if you have a pan with maybe just another inch on it, I’d go with that. If not, the 8-inch works just fine. My problem with the thickness may just be that I’m trying to eat them right out of the fridge while still very firm! I microwaved in 30 second intervals after the first 1 – 1.5 minutes and it still took forever to melt the dark chocolate. Next time I think I’ll do a double boiler.
2. Combine cereal and 1/2 cup of dried fruit in bowl and mix together. Melt white chocolate in same fashion as bittersweet. (White chocolate melts at a lower temperature than bittersweet; take care not to scorch it.) Gently fold cereal mixture into the white chocolate until evenly coated. Spread over bittersweet chocolate in even layer. Sprinkle with remaining fruit. Chill until set, 30 minutes.
My notes on this step: I used dried cherries for a couple reasons. First of all, I didn’t want to add more sugar and it seems I can only ever find sweetened dried cranberries. Secondly, it can be hard to find dried fruit that doesn’t have warnings about potential nut traces. But there is a brand of dried fruit, Bare Fruit, which makes organic bake-dried, unsweetened fruit with no nut warnings. So I used their dried cherries.
3. Melt remaining bittersweet chocolate and transfer to a small plastic bag with corner cut out. Drizzle chocolate over the top of bark. Let bark sit for 10 minutes, then use foil overhang to lift candy and transfer it to cutting board. Carefully peel away and discard (recycle!) foil. Cut bark into squares with Chef’s knife.
My notes on this step: Instead of using a plastic bag, we just just a small spoon to drizzle the chocolate onto the bark. It worked well.
The bark can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.