‘Tis the Season! Candy bark is the workhorse of edible gifting. This dark chocolate bark comes together in minutes and looks fabulously decadent wrapped for gift giving. Sweet cranberries and crunchy toasted pecans are enveloped in dark chocolate to give the bark texture and a nice contrast in flavors. Hidden inside is the surprise bite of candied orange peel to make the bark more interesting. Strewn on top are more cranberries, pecans and the crowning touch: a dusting of Fleur de sel. The finished bark is beautifully festive. For presentation, I filled cellophane bags with the bark and tied them with a cranberry~colored velvet ribbon. These were nestled inside themed birchbark paper cones with a sprig of evergreen tucked in(instructions for making the cones at the end). To save time, you can use commercially available candied orange peel or candied ginger.
Cranberry~Pecan Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange Peel
9 oz of good quality dark chocolate
1 c dried cranberries
1 c pecan pieces, toasted
2 T candied orange peel( commercial or make your own below)
pinch of flaky salt, such as Fleur de sel
To make the candied peel: Using a potato peeler, thinly peel a Navel orange keeping the peel whole. In a small saucepan, place your peel, add one cup of sugar and one cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about an hour until peel is softened and translucent. Place on a piece or parchment to dry. Chop into small pieces. You will have left overs for another use.
Line a rimless sheet with parchment paper. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. Add half of your cranberries, half of the pecans and all of the candied orange peel.
Using a spatula, spread the chocolate thinly on the prepared pan. You will have approximately a 13″X9″ chocolate bark. On top, sprinkle the rest of the cranberries and pecans, pressing gently with your hand to have them adhere to the bark. Dust lightly with the salt. Chill for about an hour or overnight, covered, in your refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Transfer to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the bark into pieces on the diagonal. Package for gift giving.
For gift giving I bagged the bark in cellophane bags tied with velvet ribbon. I then made paper cones out of birch bark wrapping paper that was nice and thick. I cut the paper 9″ X 6″ and simply rolled it into a cone form, working form the longest length right to left. I secure the cone with pieces of packing tape for its strength and transparency. I tucked each cello package of candy in the top with a sprig of evergreen. Each cone was placed standing up in a basket adorned with a larger velvet ribbon and more greens for a festive delivery to friends.
To see detailed instructions on making paper cones, please click here.