Edible Gift

The Easiest—and Tastiest!—Holiday Treat for Gifting

Why chocolate bark is our go-to goody.

Sponsored
November 29, 2018
Photo by Mark Weinberg

In partnership with If You Care, we're highlighting recipes, tips, and videos that help take the pressure off this holiday season. Here, the sweet and simple formula behind one of our favorite holiday treats.

A few years ago, I decided to make nut brittle for holiday gifts. I planned to send a box each to relatives, friends, and co-workers, which is to say, dozens of boxes. One day, it was all fun and games, buying all the peanuts at the supermarket. The next, my forearms were burnt, my kitchen was covered in melted sugar, and I was only one batch in.

Lesson learned. Nut brittle may be wonderful, not to mention a holiday classic, but it’s painstaking to make in big batches. That’s why, this year, I’m doing things a little differently. I’m making something that’s just as festive, but a whole lot easier: chocolate bark.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

No sugar-boiling, no candy thermometers, and next to no cleanup. If you’re thinking that chocolate bark is just a giant chocolate bar, well, you’re right, and you’re wrong. It is a giant chocolate bar. More than that, though, it’s a giant chocolate bar where you are in control.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I have one version I make with white chocolate, salted (green) pistachios and (red) dried cranberries. Or (red) dried sour cherries. Recipe idea from a lost Canadian magazine, so I can't give credit. But it looks and tastes great. General. Another gift I find works (for Christmas or other food-occasion holidays) is a home made herb blend, and some of the ingredients to serve it on or with. Also a recipe or two. Gives people cooking ideas and real-time snacks. Examples: cocoa mix, dark chocolate, sugar cookies. Za'atar blend, olive oil, pita breads (to make grilled za'atar toast). Italian blend, prepared pizza dough, fresh mozzarella. And so on.”
— Nancy
Comment

Just follow this mini recipe:

  • Line 1 rimmed sheet pan (18 x 13 inches) with parchment paper.
  • Melt 1 1/2 pounds dark, milk, or white chocolate. (You can do this over a double boiler or in the microwave.)
  • Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment-lined sheet pan and spread it out evenly.
  • Sprinkle about 2 cups toppings, plus a couple pinches of flaky salt.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until completely firm, then break into pieces.
Photo by Mark Weinberg

What kind of toppings, though? I’m glad you asked. If I listed them all, we’d be here forever, so let’s cover the big categories:

  • Salty: popcorn, broken-up pretzels, potato chips, and/or crackers
  • Dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, coconut flakes, diced apricots, candied ginger, mango
  • Nutty: roughly chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans (all toasted in advance)

If you’re an overachiever, you can stir some ground spices (like ginger or cayenne) into the melted chocolate; I also love citrus zest (grated or in strips) on top. Beyond that, there are no rules. If you make something you love, your loved ones will love it, too. That’s pretty cheesy, huh? But I believe it. Especially around the holidays.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

For one gift box, I like to mix and match varieties—say, one white, one milk, and one dark chocolate. The good news: Making a lot of chocolate bark isn’t that hard. Actually, it’s pretty fun.

Here are some combinations I love:

  • White chocolate + candied ginger + pistachios + orange zest
  • Milk chocolate + peanuts + potato chips
  • Dark chocolate + coconut + almonds

What toppings would you add to chocolate bark? Tell us your dream combos below!

The sweetest gift is the one you make! In partnership with If You Care, makers of kitchen and household products with a low environmental impact, we're highlighting clever tips and low-lift yet delicious recipes to make your holiday season totally stress-free.

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker
Tags:

4 Comments

Erin C. December 8, 2018
Hi Emma! I love this idea! I am curious how long the bark will last? I'm thinking about doing it a little early before the Holidays... Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. December 9, 2018
Hi Erin! If you stick it in the freezer (well wrapped, in an airtight container), you can definitely make it now and enjoy at the end of the month. Happy holidays!
 
Nancy November 30, 2018
Emma, 2 comments, 1 particular, 1 general<br />Particular. Yes to chocolate bark. I have one version I make with white chocolate, salted (green) pistachios and (red) dried cranberries. Or (red) dried sour cherries. Recipe idea from a lost Canadian magazine, so I can't give credit. But it looks and tastes great.<br />General. Another gift I find works (for Christmas or other food-occasion holidays) is a home made herb blend, and some of the ingredients to serve it on or with. Also a recipe or two. Gives people cooking ideas and real-time snacks. Examples: cocoa mix, dark chocolate, sugar cookies. Za'atar blend, olive oil, pita breads (to make grilled za'atar toast).<br />Italian blend, prepared pizza dough, fresh mozzarella. And so on.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 30, 2018
Hi Nancy! I love those gift ideas!