Wow! Is it just me or are the holidays gaining on us like a freight train? I am still in denial and keep casually telling myself there must still be weeks and weeks to get ready. I may not have done much holiday shopping yet, but I have gotten some cooking in. Last weekend the kids and I made peppermint bark - an old favorite in our house - and we tried out this new bark recipe that I am in love with.
Keeping life simple and sane around the holiday is a huge goal for me. How can we all have fun and not get stressed? This kind of recipe makes me so happy not only because it tastes delish, but it also takes very little time and the kids love to help. Here's a recipe that once again proves that just a few really good ingredients mixed together can make for damned good eats.
Marcona almonds + Caramel + Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt = Happiness
Don't forget to share....This bark makes an awesome gift.
INGREDIENTS from Bon Appetit December 2011
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup roasted Marcona almonds (not in oil)
- 1 pound high quality dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped (or chocolate chips will work)
- flaky sea salt, like Maldon
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed sauce-pan. Place pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar crystals have completely dissolved. (You don't want the sugar to burn until all the crystals have broken down.)Then, bring to a boil, continue stirring occasionally, and cook for a few minutes until you get that nice deep amber color. Take the pan off heat and immediately whisk in butter.
Toss Marcona almonds into the caramel and stir to coat. Spread out gooey caramelized almonds onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool and then break up/or chop the bigger clusters. Set aside 1/4 of the almonds for garnish.
Slowly melt chocolate in a double boiler. (This can mean simply placing a metal mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water.) When chocolate is completely melted, add 3/4 of the caramelized almonds and stir quickly to coat. Pour the chocolate/almond mixture back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread out the chocolate so that the nuts are only one layer thick. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and flaky sea salt over the top of the chocolate.
Refrigerate for 3 hours. Break apart the hardened bark, and you are ready to go.
Wishing you peaceful, healthy, and cozy holidays! xo E