This week, Betsy from Desserts Required is doing a guest post! I love Betsy and I know you will too! We’ve been friends for a few years now and I must tell you, when you are around her – a good time will be had, whether you like it or not! 🙂 She is a ball of energy, a ray of sunshine and has a serious sweet-tooth just like your truly. Betsy is a “girl’s girl”, a cheerleader & champion of her friends, the kind of friend everyone should have.
Hello Pook’s Pantry readers!
I am so excited to guest blog while Cheryl takes some much needed time to recover from her surgery. I met Cheryl at Food Wine Conference a couple of years ago and last year she was my roommate. To say that I love and adore her would be an understatement. I mean, seriously, you already know how fabulous her sense of humor is in addition to her talent in the kitchen but I got to see it firsthand. Cheryl was on team Betsy’s Balls in the Chopped competition and, holy moly, can that woman cook!
My blog is Desserts Required and I live by the mantra, “Without desserts, life would not be as sweet.” If there is a delicious dessert within reach, driving distance or flying distance, I am always up for giving it a try. That goes for candy, too.
Since Thanksgiving is two days away, I thought it would be best to offer a quick and delish option to make; Holiday Candy Bark. I love the idea of making something that is as easy to serve at home as it is to take to someone for a hostess gift.
The key is to use high quality chocolate. I love bittersweet chocolate but Holiday Candy Bark will work just as well with semisweet, milk or even white chocolate. When I was at Whole Foods buying dried cranberries and unsweetened shredded coconut, I had trouble locating dried apricots. I was directed to a bin of very dark, almost black, apricots. I thought something was wrong with them but learned that they were Turkish apricots and, as such, did not contain sulphur, which gives that very bright unnatural orange color. Although, initially, I wanted that bright orange color, I opted for the natural dried fruit. Feel free to use whichever dried apricot you prefer.
Assembly is a breeze. It’s just a matter of adding layers of dried fruit, coconut and toasted pecans over most of the melted chocolate and then drizzling more melted chocolate over the top to keep the goodies in place.
Best of all, Holiday Candy Bark is great throughout this holiday season. I’ve even heard a rumor that Santa loves a batch with his milk and cookies!
- 1 cup (141 grams) dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 cup (172 grams) dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup (120 grams) pecan pieces, toasted
- ½ cup (40 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 pounds (910 grams) bittersweet, semisweet, milk or white chocolate, melted
- Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Add 4/5 of the melted chocolate and use a small offset metal spatula to spread it evenly in the pan. Top with the cranberries, apricots and most of the pecans and coconut.
- Drizzle half of the remaining chocolate over the top. Sprinkle the remaining pecans and coconut over this. Lastly, drizzle the rest of the chocolate on top to ‘glue’ the pecans and coconut onto the bark.
- Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. If the block of chocolate is too hard to cut through, allow it to sit out on the counter until a knife cuts through the chocolate without breaking it into shards of chocolate. Cut in squares.