Have I got something delicious to share today! Is it a giant cookie sheet-sized chocolate bar? Or is it chunks of chocolate bark-like candy? It certainly could be whichever you most fancy, but either way, it makes for a satisfying sweet snack.
I’ve been wanting to make something along these lines for a while and I just kept getting distracted with elaborate recipes to try or old favorites that lure me back to them. Something this simple just kept getting pushed to the wayside. It had to happen that way, I guess, but I am a bit sad for it. I am sad, in fact, for the time I wasted not knowing how wonderful this would turn out to be!
I do realize that some people out there don’t like chocolate. I understand this to be true, but I will not pretend to understand how it is true. Chocolate never fails to please me. I am careful about how much of it I eat, so I don’t get myself too hopped up on sugar, but the nice thing about this is that I find a small portion of really good chocolate will totally satiate my sweet tooth, leaving me content and not yearning for seconds and thirds. Hooray for reasonably satisfied cravings!
The recipe you see below is delicious, but it is also easily adaptable to your preferences. If you favor a different type of fruit and/or nut, those tastes could be accommodated with simple substitutions. Other add-ins I plan to try include: mint extract, quinoa and/or rice puffs, pretzel sticks, dried blueberries, and espresso beans. The possibilities are wonderfully endless!
Plus, given that this is candy that YOU make yourself, it’s candy that you can make to be as real and natural as YOU like – no artificial or processed ingredients need be present in this chocolate bar(k). That is candy worth getting excited about! A further note about this – you can obviously use whatever chocolate you prefer. I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks because I’m a big fan of Enjoy Life products. These mega chunks are vegan and non-GMO verified, made from simple, pure ingredients. This is my personal opinion and not given under any type of prompting from the company – I’m quite certain they have no idea who I am! They also make other tasty items, like Plentils (YUUUMMM) that are suitable to vegans and those who eat gluten-free.
10 oz chocolate chips/chunks or chopped chocolate bars of your choice (I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)
The zest of one medium orange
2 oz raw hazelnuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried unsweetened cherries, chopped small
- Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with a piece of wax paper. Set aside.
- Place a metal bowl over a pot filled with about 1-inch of water (or use a double boiler if you have one). Pour chocolate into bowl and turn on heat to medium. Stir chocolate frequently as it starts to melt over the heat, being careful to keep heat moderate and chocolate moving so as not to burn.
- As chocolate begins to melt, pour in the orange zest and mix well to incorporate. Continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir in half of the chopped nuts and half of the chopped cherries. Mix well.
- Pour chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet. Use a spoon or spatula to spread chocolate out evenly over the cookie sheet. Sprinkle remaining nuts and cherries over the top of the chocolate.
- Place uncovered in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours, or until the chocolate is set. Cut into bars or break into chunks as desired. Chocolate can be stored for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.