DECEMBER 1998
RECIPES



Quick Chocolate Fixes I--Chocolate "Bark"

Quick Chocolate Fixes II--Chocolate-Dipped Goodies

Rugelach

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Fudge Pie

Easy Seven-Layer Bars



Sweet Spot

 


Quick Chocolate Fixes I--Chocolate "Bark"

All of the barks yield between 1-1/4 and 1-1/2 pounds

Tips: "Bark" refers to a thin, flat sheet of chocolate, often with other ingredients added, that's broken into irregular pieces. Barks are quick and easy to make, and perfect for those of us with small helpers. The finished product should be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to a week or so, but brought to room temperature before serving. The combinations below aren't the only possibilities; use your imagination to come up with your own special creations. Bark makes a nice gift; line an attractive tin with plastic wrap, then fill with the bark (don't forget to include storing instructions). Use good-quality chips here (such as Guittard) or good bar chocolate, which must be chopped before melting.

Potato Chip Bark:

  • 12 ozs. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or use good-quality chips)
  • 6 ozs. milk chocolate, chopped (or use good-quality chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 6 ozs. potato chips (do not use low fat chips here), coarsely crushed Notes: The chips should not be in fine crumbs; leave some bite-size pieces. This bark is very "melty" at room temperature due to the high fat content of the chips.

Cranberry Bark:

  • 18 ozs. white chocolate, finely chopped (or use good-quality chips, if you can find any containing real cocoa butter)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 8 ozs. (2 cups) dried cranberries

Rocky Road Bark:

  • 18 ozs. milk chocolate, finely chopped (or use good-quality chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups soft and fresh miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts

Coconut Bark:

  • 18 ozs. chocolate of your choice, finely chopped (or use good quality chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted and cooled
    Note: To toast coconut, place in shallow pan large enough to hold coconut in a single "layer". Toast in preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-12 minutes--watch carefully and stir frequently; it burns easily--just until coconut is a light golden brown.

Crunch Bark:

  • 18 ozs. chocolate of your choice, finely chopped (or use good-quality chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
    Note: If desired, add about 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind to chocolate when stirring in cereal.

Cookie Bark:

  • 18 ozs. chocolate of your choice, finely chopped (or use good-quality chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped (about 2-2/3 cups, though there's no need to measure)
General Instructions for Bark:

Line a 15" by 10" baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up. In medium heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate (or chips) and shortening. Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir very frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Dry bottom and sides of bowl.

Add remaining ingredient(s) and stir thoroughly. Turn mixture onto lined baking sheet. With back of spoon, spread to a thin, even layer. Mixture may not cover entire surface of baking sheet--OK--the layer should just be reasonably thin. Chill until set. Break into irregular pieces. Store as directed.

(Alternatively, the chocolate/shortening may be placed in a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave at medium (50%) power for 1 minute. Stir thoroughly. Microwave at medium (50%) power for additional short intervals, stirring well after each, just until chocolate and shortening are melted and smooth.


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