Whenever I stay at my grandma’s (Mama Martha’s) house we enjoy a few pieces of frozen dark chocolate before bed. Her freezer is well-stocked with rich dark chocolate Kisses and bittersweet chocolate bars–she updates me daily “Every night I open up the freezer and break off a piece of chocolate for myself”. Not only is dark chocolate delicious and satisfying, it’s also full of antioxidants. Personally, it just makes me happy, and in the mood!
My dark chocolate bark, inspired by Food & Wine is no exception–I just threw a dinner party and my friends gave it rave reviews. This bark, gets an extra health boost from walnuts and almonds. The M&M’s don’t add any nutritional value, but not everything has to be good for you– And, you know that “moderation rule”– well, not every night. Sometimes, it’s just more fun that way….
Serves 20 (serves 10 of my friends)
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup Peanut M&M’s, ground
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried pineapple
2 tablespoons Peanut M&M’s for color and garnish (optional)
Place 1/2 cup Peanut M&M’s in a food processor (I used a coffee grinder) and grind until very fine, place aside. Chop the walnuts, dried pineapple and cherries and combine with the sliced almonds, place aside.
In a glass bowl, heat the chocolate in a microwave in 30-second bursts until melted. Give the chocolate a quick stir between each 30-second burst to prevent it from burning. Stir the chocolate until smooth. Stir in the ground M&M’s until smooth. Add in the chopped walnuts, cherries, dried pineapple, and almonds until evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a rectangle. Top with reserved Peanut M&M’s for color and garnish. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until firm enough to break. Break up the bark with your hands and transfer to a glass candy jar. Serve frozen, chilled or at room temperature.