Mama Steph's fruit and nut chocolate bark - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Mama Steph's fruit and nut chocolate bark

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How about an easy holiday recipe that will literally take you about five minutes to make? This one is perfect for setting out at parties, or for putting in pretty tins or bags and sharing as teacher gifts or hostess gifts.

Mama Steph's fruit and nut chocolate bark

One bag of white chocolate or dark chocolate chips (usually around 12 ounces)

dried fruit, such as cherries, cranberries, or apricots (about 1 1/2 cups)

nuts, such as pistachios, edamame or pecans (about one cup)

Other toppings you may enjoy: broken pretzel pieces, M&Ms, etc.

Method:

Line a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, place chocolate chips and microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring at the end of each interval. The number of 30-second intervals necessary will vary by microwave; in my microwave at home, it took two 30 second intervals, plus ten more seconds.

Remove from microwave, stir well.

Pour melted chocolate in center of parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Use an offset spatula or other handy utensil to spread into about an 8x10 shape (about the size of a sheet of copier paper).

While chocolate is still melty, sprinkle with cranberries, dried cherries (I cut the cherries in half, since they are larger), nuts, etc. It's fun to use pistachios with red fruits, as you get the traditional green and red colors for your holiday parties and gift-giving, but it will work equally well with other toppings.

If you'd like, you may press the toppings down ever-so-gently into the chocolate. However, if the chocolate is still in a sufficiently melted state, that isn't really necessary.

Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or in a pinch, stick in the freezer for ten minutes. Don't allow to freeze!

I like the look of breaking the chocolate bark into random pieces instead of boring squares, but you do what you like. ;)

Package into tins lined with parchment, small bakery bags, etc.

Enjoy!

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