I know everybody is over the whole holiday sweets and things and onto cleansing and detoxing, the gym and new year’s resolutions, sugar-free and fun-free – but this recipe is too good not to share. Really it’s hardly a recipe, it’s so simple to throw together in about 5-minutes to take to a party, or to wrap up in a nice jar as a hostess gift. I made this for quite a few different holiday get togethers this year and it was always well received. I even made it for a party that we rushed out the door for, where I had to shower, get dressed and be out the door in less than 45-minutes after coming home from Christmas shipping. I walked into the house, melted the chocolate in the microwave and tossed the goodies on top and threw it in the fridge to cool while I got ready. It was that simple and it was ready to go when we were.
The other nice thing about this no-bake sweet treat is that it’s good for just about everyone. If you make sure to buy dairy-free dark chocolate it is perfect for those with dairy intolerances, it’s great for vegans and of course for us gluten-free folk. You can also mix it up and play around with different combinations of toppings. You can try different nuts, dried fruits, shredded coconut, candied ginger, chile flakes, citrus zest, etc. Oooh – how good would broken up pieces of gluten-free pretzels be on top? Yum. You can also play around with swirling in peanut butter or melted white chocolate and making a pretty design. Or you could add mint extract and/or broken up candy canes for some real holiday flair. You could add cinnamon or toasted brown rice cereal…the possibilities are endless. I want to make this for every single get-together I go to, now.
Believe it or not, for a dessert – this dark chocolate bark is a pretty healthy option, too. With dark chocolate a little goes a long way, so you will definitely eat less. Plus, dark chocolate is low in sugar and it’s chock full of antioxidants including theobromine, which combats inflammation and is good for your blood pressure and additionally dark chocolate is known to be mood enhancing. The pistachios offer a wide variety of health benefits such as being high in dietary fiber, they are cholesterol-free and are loaded with various other antioxidants and minerals. Dried cherries are also high in fiber and minerals. So, go ahead and treat yourself guilt-free, even after the holidays, while reading over your list of 2012 new year’s resolutions.
Not quite ready for the sweets in 2012 yet? If nothing else, remember this simple recipe idea for a great homemade gift-giving option.
What was your go-to dish or sweet this holiday season?
Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios Dried Bing Cherries and Grey Sea Salt
Serves 10 to 12
12 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao) – make sure it is non-dairy if you wish for this to be vegan – I use Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate
1/2 cup organic dried bing cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon grey sea salt (Fleur de sel)
Line the bottom of baking sheet with parchment paper leaving a small overhang. (I drizzle a small amount of oil on the pan first so the parchment paper will stay put and not wrinkle).
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Or in a microwave on low in 30-second bursts. Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly.
Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet and smooth with a spatula into an even layer. Sprinkle with pistachios, cherries and sea salt (or whatever toppings you choose). Chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 20-30 minutes.
Peel off the parchment paper and break into irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.