Magic Bark

Tis the season….all year long really…but especially during the holiday season, this Magic Bark recipe is a crowd pleaser.  Wendy’s recipe is inspired from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia.  She had a post in a Yoga Journal many years ago and headed strait for the kitchen to whip up my own creation.  This recipe is one of our many delicious additions to our nourish – a community supported cookbook 2nd Edition.  It has since been made many different ways but there are a couple of secrets that make this a ‘better bark’ than you’ve ever tasted.

  1. Buy the BEST, organic, Fair Trade dark chocolate – don’t skimp!  and don’t buy one with anything added – just plain dark chocolate.  You can buy chips or bars – whatever you wish.  Look for ones that don’t have any soy too.
  2. Toast the seeds and nuts – it gives it a richer flavor
  3. Be sure the dried fruit you purchase is without unnecessary preservatives or added sugar.
  4. The coffee adds not only an ‘other worldly” flavor but also a nice bitter to balance the sweet – Buy organic.

part one: prep chocolate

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or 16-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar, broken into pieces *
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 drops of Young Living Peppermint Vitality Essential Oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate over a simmer. Use a double boiler OR one stainless steel pot over the other (not touching the simmering water).  Do NOT overcook the chocolate or it will become pasty and difficult to spread.

Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and peppermint oil.

part two: add flavor

  • 1/3 c dried tart cherries
  • ¾ c almonds, chopped then toasted
  • ½ c sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 2 T coffee beans, ground but not too fine
  • 1/8 t sea salt

While the chocolate is melting, combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl.

part three: assemble

Add half the flavor mixture to the chocolate and mix well.

Pour the chocolate mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it around to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Top the chocolate with the remaining mix and press into the chocolate.

Cool in the refrigerator until it hardens – about 2 hours.  Break into chunks and store in an airtight glass container.

Variations:

  • use cardamom instead of cinnamon (that’s one of Louisa’s ideas)
  • swap the almonds for walnuts or cashews
  • swap pistachios for the seeds
  • skip the coffee beans if you must but they add an ‘other worldly’ dimension
  • if you don’t have the best food grade peppermint oil, you can skip that but it rocks the flavor – especially during the holiday
  • add a bit of cayenne pepper for a spicy twist
  • swap the cherries with Himalayan raisins or apricots or goji berries (that would look lovely during the holidays)

Need another quick dessert dish – find one here!

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