If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday recipe to bring to a party, I’ve got you covered! No need to make a batch of cookies when you can whip up some chocolate bark.
This chocolate bark recipe is so easy to make, and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry already. Today, I’m sharing my favorite chocolate bark recipe, plus tips on how to change it up.
The chocolate bark you see here features dark chocolate (you can even use good chocolate chips), topped with toasted chopped nuts and seeds and dried cranberries.
I sprinkled it lightly with flaky sea salt, which basically makes it taste like sweet-and-salty trail mix chocolate bark. You could call it gourmet and healthy (in moderation, like everything else). Let’s make some!
Chocolate Bark Notes & Tips
For a festive appearance, incorporate something green, like pistachios or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) and something red, like dried cranberries. Other options include chopped dried ginger, which will add some golden sparkle, or even crushed candy canes.
The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe bowl and warm the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one. Don’t get impatient and skip a stir, and don’t overdo it!
No microwave? Melting white chocolate? Use a double boiler. Place the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Cook until the chocolate is almost entirely melted, stirring frequently. Carefully wipe any condensation from the bottom of the bowl before scooping the chocolate onto your baking sheet (water and chocolate do not mix!).
If you’re in a hurry, chill the chocolate bark in the refrigerator. Your chocolate bark will be perfect for tonight’s party.
If you have time, let the chocolate bark cool at room temperature for a few hours. The trouble with the refrigerator is that the chocolate can develop some light condensation on the surface. When the water evaporates overnight, you’ll see little swirls of dissolved sugar on top (called sugar bloom).
Chocolate Bark Variations
For this recipe, you’ll need about 3/4 cup toppings. Choose from any of the following, and chop or crush them if they’re large:
- Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, cashews or peanuts
- Seeds, such as pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- Dried fruit: dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, candied ginger
- Candied citrus
- Coconut: dried unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- Candy canes
- White chocolate: Buy high-quality white chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. Drizzle a small amount of melted white chocolate over the melted dark chocolate, and swirl it gently with a toothpick. Top as desired.
Please let me know how this chocolate bark turns out for you in the comments! I hope it’s a big hit.
Craving more simple holiday treats? Here are a few more favorites (no cookies here):
- Peppermint Bark Popcorn
- Chocolate Peppermint Cups
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge
- Sesame Caramel Corn
- Cranberry Orange Granola
- Easy Salted Oat Fudge
- Gingerbread Granola
Easy Chocolate Bark
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes (plus 15 minutes cool time)
- Yield: 25 pieces
- Category: Candy
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
This chocolate bark recipe is so easy to make, and ready in a hurry! I typed up my favorite dark chocolate trail mix chocolate bark recipe below. Use this technique and change it up using the ideas provided within the post. Recipe yields about 25 pieces.
- 12 ounces quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I like bittersweet/about 60% cocao content)
- ¾ cup raw nuts or seeds (choose from almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios and/or pepitas)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (dried cherries, apricots and/or candied ginger—chopped if large)
- About ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, optional
- If you have time, toast the nuts/seeds: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the nuts/seeds on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and turning lightly golden on the edges, about 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and roughly chop them.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring after each one. Don’t overdo it. The chocolate is done when it’s about 90% melted—keep stirring off the heat and the pieces should completely dissolve. (Alternately, you can use melt it in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water.)
- Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to spread chocolate evenly over the center area of the baking sheet—aim for about ¼″ thickness (it won’t reach the edges).
- Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the chocolate, followed by the dried fruit. If you’re adding flaky salt, crush it between your fingers as you sprinkle it over the chocolate. Lightly use your palms to press the toppings into the chocolate.
- If you’re in a hurry, place the pan on a flat surface in the refrigerator to harden for about 15 minutes. If you’re not, let the chocolate cool at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until completely hardened.
- Once the chocolate is completely hardened, use your hands to break it into about 25 pieces. Serve immediately, or cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make it nut free: Use pepitas and/or sunflower seeds instead of nuts.
Make it vegan/dairy free: Use vegan/dairy free chocolate, such as Enjoy Life brand.