Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Dairy-free

Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Dairy-free
The holidays tend to bring out the chocolate peppermint type desserts. Maybe it’s the candy cane influence! Regardless, as a chocolate and peppermint lover, I definitely don’t think such desserts are seasonal – you can enjoy them at any time. As I’m writing this it’s December and the holiday season is upon us. Stores are full of decadent candies and chocolates filled with artificial colors and flavors, an abundance of sugar, dairy and bad fats. Definitely not the direction we want you to take! What I love about this dessert is it’s a variation, with some peppermint flavor, of my original chocolate bark recipe. That recipe is here. You can also watch the how-to video here. The original recipe came about when we bought a favorite chocolate bar with almonds and the almonds were rancid. It got me thinking I could make a healthier, fresher version with my own ingredients. What was born was the original recipe. This recipe boasts coconut and cranberries for a fun “red and white” appearance so frequently seen with holiday candy. But you can feel good about the health content because there is nothing artificial, no dairy, no bad oils and it’s quite low in sugar. Please let me know how you and your family and friends enjoy it!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz. organic semi-sweet baking chips gluten free & dairy free
  • 6 oz. organic bittersweet chocolate or cacao nibs. Note: the bittersweet chocolate will yield a smooth creamy bark. Use of the cacao nibs will result in a chocolate with more texture because the nibs don’t fully melt. Personally I enjoy smooth chocolate but others love the more grainy texture the nibs yield. It’s up to you!
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped organic walnuts or almonds depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup organic dried coconut shavings
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated organic cranberries. [Note: if you can’t find these without added sugar or oil try using dehydrated organic raspberries or simply frozen ones, cut into small pieces. Even directly from the freezer, the raspberries soften fairy quickly into the warm chocolate.]
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract

Instructions
 

  • Chop walnuts and then lightly toast the nuts in a pan over low heat. Watch them carefully and remove once they become fragrant or when they darken slightly. You don’t want burnt nuts.
  • Melt chocolate and bittersweet chocolate or cacao nibs, depending on which you choose, in a double boiler over medium heat. Once chocolate and nibs have melted, remove from the heat and add sea salt and peppermint extract. Stir to combine.
  • Pour melted chocolate into a glass dish (approximately 8″ x 11″) lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle the nuts and fruit over the top of the chocolate beginning with the walnuts, cranberries, and finally the shaved coconut.
  • Gently press the topping down with the back of a soup spoon dipped in water or with clean fingers.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer or refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove, let sit for a few minutes and cut into squares with a cleaver.
  • Store in freezer or refrigerator for up to a week, if it lasts that long!

Notes

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