March 2, 2011
I have bags under my eyes that keep getting darker, a laundry pile that keeps getting deeper, and a miscellaneous to-do list that keeps freaking me out (New Mom Lesson #43: DO NOT put in writing all the things you think you can, but never ever will, accomplish with a two-month-old in tow). During his sporadic 20 minute nap here, 10 minute nap there I should consider my impending so-long-uninterrupted-sleep-until-2018 fate and nap, or the fact that I will surely run out of clean underwear, like, yesterday, and do a load of wash. Instead, I find myself back in the kitchen. It’s my sanctuary of sorts, with cooking being the next best relaxation therapy to shuteye. Or a solo Target run (I totally underestimated the thrill of wandering the aisles alone on a Friday night; Their selection of small kitchen appliances is quite impressive; The people watching ain’t bad either).
So, right, New Mom Lesson #27: If you choose not to nap during naptime, and are thus a bit sleep deprived, and thus a bit loony, commit to doing something that brings you a great deal of satisfaction once in a while. Loitering around Target sans bambino totally applies. As does finding your way to the kitchen to concoct a batch of couldn’t-be-simpler chocolate bark, revved up with dried cherries, toasted almonds and tangerine zest. Sharing is optional.
I’ve had this bark up my sleeve for a few years now. I’m a sucker for any dessert that requires one bowl and less than 15 minutes. Plus, it impresses without all the work.
This recipe can be adapted in any number of ways. Swap in your favorite dried fruit and nuts. It’s excellent with dried cranberries (the original recipe) and apricots.
If you can’t find tangerines, oranges are a shoo-in. Or, swap in something more exotic, like grapefruit or kumquat zest, and let me know how it goes.
This bark is reminiscent of the sinful Chunky Bars that showed up here early last year.
Chocolate Bark with Dried Cherries and Tangerine Zest(Adapted from a Dave Lieberman recipe)
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 3 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
- Zest of a medium tangerine
Line a 13×9 inch pan with heavy duty foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang.
In a dry saute pan over medium-low heat, toast almonds until golden brown (stir often to avoid burning!).
In a medium glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or use a double boiler) melt chocolate chips. Remove from heat and stir in toasted almonds, cherries and zest. Pour into prepared pan and smooth in an even layer using a spatula. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift candy in foil out of the pan using overhang and peel away foil liner. Break into pieces using your hands or smash with the back of a heavy skillet.