This time of year is the perfect time to start thinking about homemade and handmade gifts. And I do not know about you, but I find that gifts of food are always welcome. Traditionally, when people think of chocolate bark, they think of peppermint bark, but I am offering up a different kind of recipe because I am just not a peppermint bark kind of gal. I know, you may not think it is possible, but it is true — and trust me, no one will miss it.
You see, although there is no crunch from peppermint or flavor of mint at all, this recipe does still have crunch and fresh flavor. But in this recipe, the crunch comes from cereal…
•1/2 pound good quality white chocolate, chopped
•1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract
•1/2 cup crisped rice cereal
•1/4 cup dried cranberries
•Orange paste food coloring
First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Then prepare a double boiler. If you do not have one, create your own by placing a glass bowl over a large saucepan filled with just enough water that it will not touch the bowl. Bring the water to a low simmer, and add the chocolate and orange extract to the bowl. Stir until melted and smooth.
Once melted, remove the bowl from the double boiler (remove 2 tablespoons of chocolate for coloring and set aside) and mix in the cranberries and crisped rice. If you are drizzling orange chocolate on top, mix it with the orange coloring now and mix well.
Pour the cranberry/crisped rice mixture onto the parchment paper with an offset spatula, and spread it to an even thickness (about 1/4-inch thick). With a small fork, drizzle the orange colored chocolate over the surface of the bark, making a striped effect.
Refrigerate the chocolate for a minimum of 1 hour before breaking it into large pieces. Now you can eat it, place and tie it up in cellophane bags, or place it into a bell jar and wrap with a ribbon and tag to present as a gift.
Servings: Varies based on size of pieces and how it is packaged, but simply double the recipe if you need more and you are ready to gift away!
Speaking of gifting, the ‘Organically Raised Cooking for Babies & Toddler’ Cookbook giveaway is still open!