Easy Chocolate Bark: 5 Flavors

Peppermint chocolate bark was one of my favorite holiday treats growing up. It still is - the perfect thing to make when you want to have something delicious that feels like the holidays but you don't have much time. It's one of those easy desserts that looks a little fancy. The whole production takes less than ten minutes.

More recently, I've discovered the joy of chocolate bark all year round. If it's possible to be easier than my childhood holiday bark with peppermint and white chocolate (melt chocolate, mix with peppermint, spread in pan), it is (melt chocolate, spread in pan, sprinkle with goodies).  If you have the right ingredients at home, you can make it in the 8 minutes before guests arrive once you remember that you forgot to pick up something sweet to finish off the meal. Or in the few minutes before bed on a Sunday night so you'll have a treat throughout the week.

The "right" ingredients are some chocolate and whatever fun goodies you can find to throw on top. You might have everything you need in your pantry right now.

I've started you off with five options for easy chocolate bark here, but the possibilities are endless.

Peppermint chocolate bark
chocolate + crushed peppermint candies

Pretzel chocolate bark
chocolate + pretzels

Fruit and nut chocolate bark
chocolate + diced apricots, raisins, and sliced almonds

Lavender chocolate bark
chocolate + dried lavender

Berry chocolate bark 
chocolate + warmed berry jam, drizzled on top and swirled with a toothpick

You could use the chocolate bark that comes in big chunks, but I like to be decadent and use chocolate chips. We're partial to Sunspire grain sweetened dark chocolate chips. They have the perfect rich flavor that I'm looking for from dark chocolate, and they help us reduce our refined sugar intake while we're shoving delicious goodies into our mouths. It's a win win.

If I haven't made it clear yet, the method for this is simple. I'm not even going to call it a recipe.

Here are the steps:

Chocolate Bark

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave 2 cups chocolate chips at 15-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. (You could also use a double-boiler on the stove, but I go the quickest route)
2. While it's melting, lightly grease a cookie sheet and then place a piece of parchment paper onto the cookie sheet to cover it.
3. Pour the melted chocolate onto the cookie sheet, and spread it into a thin layer.
4. Sprinkle goodies on top.
5. Place in refrigerator for about an hour. Break up the pieces once hard.
6. Store chocolate bark in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Other yummies to sprinkle on top:
cinnamon and chili powder
dried cherries and cranberries
sea salt and swirls of caramel
pistachios and pomegranate
marshmallows and peanuts

You can really go wild with the options. Think of your favorite ice cream flavor, and then throw on toppings that would be in that ice cream. Deconstruct your favorite candy bar - what makes it delicious? Put those things on top of your chocolate bark.

And while you think about that, I'll be over here trying to keep from cleaning out the whole stash before breakfast.

p.s. This post on candy-coated pretzel sticks proves I have a distinct chocolate candy making style: easy.