Chocolate bark is surprisingly easy to make at home. It's such a wonderfully thoughtful hostess gift - during the holidays, or anytime.
I like to use dark chocolate, pecans, pistachios, and dried cranberries. But you can use whatever you like and happen to have on hand - it's a very flexible recipe.
Dark chocolate is amazing. 🍫 Of course, it's an acquired taste, and indeed, many learn to love it as they get a bit older. It's wonderfully rich and intense, and it's definitely more "chocolaty" than "milky" or "sugary."
I love all kinds of dark chocolate treats (this homemade chocolate is wonderful). But I especially enjoy making this dark chocolate bark. I make it every year during the holidays. It's such an easy dessert to make, but the result is so impressive and pretty.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty treat. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Dark chocolate: As dark as you can go and still enjoy it. The chocolate I use ranges from 70% cacao to 90%, but I most often use 85%. You can use a chocolate bar or chocolate chips - both work.
Oil: You can use any oil you like. I typically use avocado oil. The oil prevents the chocolate from becoming too dry and brittle as it sets.
Mixed dried fruit and nuts. I like to use pecans, pistachios, and dried cranberries. It's best to use unsalted nuts. If you like salted chocolate, you can always sprinkle it with a few grains of sea salt, allowing you control over how salty it turns out.
Making chocolate bark at home is surprisingly easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. You then melt it in the microwave in 30-second sessions, stirring after each session. Now mix in the oil.
Next, you pour the melted chocolate into a wax-paper-lined 8-inch square pan and immediately sprinkle it with the toppings.
Now, cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze it until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the chocolate into four large squares or eight small ones. I often cut it into four large squares, then cut each square into two triangles.
As you can see, this recipe makes a fairly small amount of chocolate bark. But if you'd like, you can easily double the recipe and use a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
Frequently asked questions
It's called "bark" because its rough surface and edges vaguely resemble the rough surface of tree bark.
Yes. Both work. I sometimes use Lindt 90%, my favorite chocolate. I simply break it into small pieces and melt it in the microwave, the same way I would melt chocolate chips.
Sure! Simply add the chocolate pieces and the oil to a small saucepan and heat over VERY low heat, the lowest possible. Chocolate burns easily, so stir it often and remove it from the heat as soon as it's mostly melted.
You can also place it in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl on top of a saucepan with boiling water. This is the best way to ensure it doesn't burn.
Variations and substiutions
I listed the nuts and fruit that I like to use above and in the recipe card below. But I encourage you to have fun with this recipe, get creative, and use any combination of nuts and dried fruit that you personally like and enjoy.
For example, I like to use dried cranberries because they are so pretty, but raisins work well too.
And if you want a low-carb version, simply omit the dried fruit and use just nuts. I've made this recipe without dried fruit and it was still delicious.
Another tasty addition is coconut flakes, especially if you like coconut. And if you do, you can also use coconut oil and melt it with the chocolate.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week.
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Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Cranberries
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips (or a dark chocolate bar, chopped)
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pecans (½ oz)
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachio nuts (½ oz)
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (½ oz)
- Line an 8-inch square pan with wax paper, leaving an overhang.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt it in 30-second sessions, stirring after each session. Stop microwaving when almost fully melted, and stir with a small rubber spatula until fully melted.
- Mix in the oil. You can also mix in a few drops of stevia at this point, though I usually don't.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared pan. Spread it evenly and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.
- Sprinkle it with the pecans, pistachios, and dried cranberries.
- Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut into four large squares or eight small ones. You can also cut it into four large squares, then cut each large square in half to form triangles.