Sunday, October 21, 2012

White Chocolate Bark

If you are a Facebook friend of mine, you already know that we had a fire in our home last week. Gratefully, no one was hurt and nothing was lost….just a lot of smoke and soot damage.  For the past 10 days, there have been many people traipsing through our home, cleaning walls, ceilings, furniture, carpets and drapes.  They took all of our clothes to have them dry cleaned, along with every rug, pillow, bedspread and tablecloth we own.  With all of this going on, you can be sure that the furthest thing from my mind was cooking anything.  But I made a promise to post a recipe every 2 weeks, and I’m committed to keeping that promise.  So I inventoried my pantry at 10:00am and was nibbling on these delicious treats at 10:30am.  It doesn’t get easier than that.

§     2 pounds white chocolate, finely chopped
§     1 cup almonds, slivered or sliced
§     1 cup dried cranberries
§     1/2 cup chopped pecans

Optional Toppings
§     Peppermint candy, finely chopped
§     Pretzels, roughly chopped
§     Mini M&M Candies
§     Walnuts
§     Raisins
§     Chocolate Chips

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To toast the pecans, place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Once the nuts are cooled, chop coarsely.  I prefer to use slivered or sliced almonds because they are ready to use, but today I only had whole almonds in my pantry, so I cut each almond into thirds.  I chopped them by hand because I like to recognize the almond on the bark.  If I run then through the food processor, they become powdery.  Chop the white chocolate and place into a glass bowl.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring with a rubber spatula every 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.  Depending on how finely you chopped the chocolate, this process should take between 1 - 3 minutes total.  
Pour the chocolate onto the prepared sheet and spread to cover the entire surface and form an even layer.  Sprinkle the top evenly with the nuts and cranberries.
Gently press the toppings into the melted chocolate.  Set aside to cool.  When firm, cut or break into small pieces.

Serve at room temperature. White Chocolate Bank stores well at room temperature in an air tight container.  For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to White Chocolate Bark. Enjoy!

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