Monday, December 28, 2009

Chocolate bark with peanuts and orange zest

I'm sure you are probably tired of the holiday cooking and the baking—I know I am. I'm tempted, in fact, to toss what's left of the cookies and the cupcakes and the rich desserts. But New Year's is coming, and if you have been invited out for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, or even if you are planning quiet time at home, you might be in the market for something sweet and different and well, chocolate to go with your champagne toast.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. So easy, in fact, that it is my new go-to hostess gift. It's a Martha Stewart recipe, found it in the new issue of Holiday Sweets. And it is beyond delicious.

The original recipe calls for 1 pound of good chocolate for melting. I couldn't figure out how to measure that, so I used a package of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. It was definitely less than a pound because it took a much smaller pan than the recipe calls for, but it was enough for what I needed. I made two batches in the days before Christmas. I gave away more than half as gifts and still had plenty left over for us.

I'm going to give you the amounts from the original recipe, but if you decide to use less chocolate, it's simple enough to scale back on the other three ingredients as well.

Here's what you need:

Seriously, that's it. Four ingredients and a jelly roll pan.

1 navel orange
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups of chopped unsalted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt

Line the jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and chill.

Zest the orange and set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (I improvise here. I use a small aluminum bowl that fits nicely inside the rim of one of my saucepans. I'm sure you could melt the chocolate in the microwave, but I find it easier to control the heat and the melting time stovetop.)

When the chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in about 3/4 of the chopped nuts and half of the orange zest. Pour the mixture onto the chilled jelly roll pan and smooth it into a nice even layer. You can rock the pan back and forth or use the back of a spoon to help even the chocolate, but remember, this will set fast because the pan is chilled. Sprinkle with the rest of the nuts, the zest and the salt.


Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Break into pieces. And enjoy!

The chocolate keeps in a refrigerated airtight container (I put wax paper between the layers) for three days, according to the original recipe, but trust lasts much longer. We've been snacking on it for days!!


  1. That sounds really good, but I have to ask...Do they say why they think this would go bad after a couple of days??? I'd think chocolate would/could last for AGES.

  2. TC, I'm not sure why the original recipe states such a short shelf-life. And as you know, I'm I bit of a fanatic about expiration dates and all that, but yes, we've already been eating the original batch for a little over a week and it's perfectly fine.

  3. I will vouch for how delicious this chocolate bark is....I was a recipient of this amazing hostess gift...I did not even serve it to my guests...I saved it all for myself!