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One of the holiday traditions in our family is to bake Christmas cookies together.  Each December, we pull out our cookie recipes and pick out our favorites, gather and shop for the ingredients, turn up the Christmas music, and get to baking.  I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember – back when I lived at home with my parents and baked with my mom and brother and sisters, when I moved out and lived on my own and baked cookies for everyone at work, when I got married and baked cookies for family parties and gifts, and now the tradition has come full circle and I am baking with my kids.  It’s such a great feeling and so comforting to take part in a tradition that has been passed down over the years!

This year, when we looked over our recipes, the kids and I came up with the following list, which we hope to package together and use as gifts for each of their teachers, our mailman, the bus driver, their great-grandparents, the barber, our neighbors, and anyone else that we think of who seems like they could use some Christmas cheer in the form of sweets!

  • Soft Molasses Cookies (our favorite newcomer from last year’s baking list)
  • Holiday Gingerbread Cookies (quickly becoming an old standby for our family and a fun tradition for the kids to use the cookie cutters and decorate the final result with homemade icing)
  • Gingerbread Biscotti (a new recipe we are trying this year – seems promising!)
  • Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites (a variation on my Granola Energy Bites)
  • Christmas Chocolate Bark (a variation on my Chili Chocolate Bark)

Here is how we made the Christmas Chocolate Bark:
making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 1

Place 12 ounces of chopped dark chocolate (70% or higher), 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon of ground Ceylon cinnamon in a double boiler.  I like to use a glass mixing bowl over a medium pot of boiling water.  Heat and stir until melted and smooth. 

making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 2

Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger plus ¾ cup each of dried cranberries and pepitas.

making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 3

Pour chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. 

making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 4

Sprinkle with another 1/4 cup each of dried cranberries and pepitas, as well as some coarse sea salt.  Use the spatula to gently press the fruit, nuts and salt into the chocolate ever so slightly.  You want the red and green colors to still be visible in the end product but you need to press them in enough that they will stay put when the bark is cooled.

making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 5

Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until hardened.

making Christmas Chocolate Bark - step 6

Break into pieces and serve immediately or store in fridge or freezer in airtight container. Enjoy!

Christmas Chocolate Bark

Whether you are planning a baking extravaganza as we are, or you just need a little pick-me-up in the form of chocolate, or maybe you signed up to bring a dessert to your holiday party – here is a recipe that is sure to be a winner!

 

AuthorMaria

Christmas Chocolate Bark
Yields1 Serving
 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
 1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
 2 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
 1 cup pistachios (roughly chopped) or pepitas (whole)
 coarse sea salt
1

Place chocolate, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a double boiler (I like to use a glass mixing bowl over a medium pot of boiling water) and heat and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in all of the crystallized ginger plus ¾ cup each of the dried fruit and nuts/seeds, reserving remaining fruit and nuts/seeds for topping.

2

Pour chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with remaining dried fruit and nuts/seeds, as well as coarse sea salt. Use the spatula to gently press the fruit, nuts/seeds and salt into the chocolate ever so slightly. (You want the red and green colors to still be visible in the end product but you need to press them in enough that they will stay put when the bark is cooled.)

3

Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in fridge or freezer in airtight container. Enjoy!

Ingredients

 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
 1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
 2 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
 1 cup pistachios (roughly chopped) or pepitas (whole)
 coarse sea salt

Directions

1

Place chocolate, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a double boiler (I like to use a glass mixing bowl over a medium pot of boiling water) and heat and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in all of the crystallized ginger plus ¾ cup each of the dried fruit and nuts/seeds, reserving remaining fruit and nuts/seeds for topping.

2

Pour chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with remaining dried fruit and nuts/seeds, as well as coarse sea salt. Use the spatula to gently press the fruit, nuts/seeds and salt into the chocolate ever so slightly. (You want the red and green colors to still be visible in the end product but you need to press them in enough that they will stay put when the bark is cooled.)

3

Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in fridge or freezer in airtight container. Enjoy!

Christmas Chocolate Bark

 

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. they’re so pretty and bet, yummy. I baked some simple sugar cookies for Uncle Dave. They’ll last him for a while, only eating one or two a day! As you know, I don’t eat sweets, so it’s a true labor of love.

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, Maria and Joe. We’ll be celebrating in Yuma, Arizona

    Aunt Gerri and Uncle Dave

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