5 Ingredients: Dark Chocolate Bark (2 Ways!)

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, March 24, 2010

Chocolate Bark
Easter is second on the list of top-selling candy holidays (after Halloween, of course). Skip the sugary jellybeans, chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks and make your candy with some healthy ingredients thrown in. Chocolate bark is the easiest sweets recipe ever!

My go-to combination is dark chocolate with slivered almonds, dried cherries and apricots. But my new favorite mix features toasted hazelnuts, a touch of spice and a secret crunch.

Chocolate Bark Ingredients
Dana’s Dark Chocolate Bark
Makes 24 pieces

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
16 ounces dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown rice cereal

In addition to being one of the most antioxidant-rich nuts, hazelnuts are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E and iron. If you’re a fan of chocolate–hazelnut spreads like Nutella, this candy won’t disappoint.

Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains numerous antioxidants, including theobromine, which combats inflammation and is good for your blood pressure. The darker the chocolate, the more of these these cell-protecting compounds you get. Check labels on chocolate bars for the percentage of cocoa content — the higher the number, the darker the chocolate. For the best balance of flavor, I use a combination of 73% dark chocolate along with a few ounces of semisweet chocolate. Buy good quality chocolate bars and chop them into small pieces for quick melting.

Vanilla Extract & Ground Cinnamon
Vanilla and cinnamon add depth and flavor without additional calories. It also never hurts to sprinkle on the cinnamon for some more antioxidants.

Brown Rice Cereal
For a crispy crunch and some texture, mix in some rice cereal. Use the whole-grain version — it has a slightly nutty flavor that’s perfect with the chocolate. Look for it in most large grocery stores; Erewhon is the brand I see most often.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet and set aside. Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan until warmed and fragrant. Let the nuts cool, then chop and set chopped pieces aside.

In a double boiler, slowly melt chocolate, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon; add brown rice cereal and mix gently. Pour mixture onto lined baking sheet and smooth out evenly into a rectangular shape (it doesn’t have to be perfect).

Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and set aside for 1 to 2 hours (or 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge) until chocolate hardens. Break into pieces and serve.

Variation: Flavor your chocolate with just the vanilla, omit the brown rice cereal and top with 1/3 cup slivered almonds and 1/3 cup dried cherries and chopped dried apricots.

Tip: Wrap bark in decorative cellophane bags and them tuck into Easter baskets. You can store the bark in the freezer for up to a month.

Nutrition Info (per piece)
Hazelnut Crisp:
Calories: 120; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams; Protein: 2 grams; Sodium: 28 milligrams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fiber: 2 grams

Cherry, Almond & Apricot:
Calories: 110; Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams; Protein: 1 gram; Sodium: 12 milligrams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fiber: 2 grams

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Comments (15)

  1. Food recipes says:

    This is a great move away from semisweet versions that we use to know of. Though you use 27% of them, it is still good that maximum use is made of dark chocolate which nutritionally supersedes that of other brands with its antioxidants properties. Hazelnut has been a favorite ingredient for cookies but used in a special way here where one has the benefit of vitamin E. To me this recipe appears to be a healthy choice – almonds , cherries and apricots.

  2. I was thinking of making roasted nuts for Easter but this sounds so much tastier and more seasonal! Thanks!

  3. Marilyn Cornelison says:

    I love your show and your recipes are so good asnd easy. Marilyn Cornelison

  4. Marilyn Cornelison says:

    I love your show and your recipes are so good asnd easy. Marilyn Cornelison

  5. Delores Stevens says:

    I live in a small town, cannot get the impossible ingredients you have in your recipes. Such out of way ingredients-I wish I could.

    • Laura says:

      then use what ever chocolate chips you can find, any nuts you like and normal rice crispies. (not sure if you could lightly toast them to bring some of it back?) if you can find it a nut flavored extract will help bring some of the nutty flavor back you loose by not using the brown puffed rice though it is becoming much more common. you can also thrown in what ever dried fruit you can find or happen to have on hand for the other versions you're only limited by your imaginatiat

    • RAA says:

      Buy products online

  6. WTG says:

    Chocolate and cinnamon is great!! I always put a dash or two in my choc. chip cookie dough.
    I think this is an EXCELLENT recipe, healthy ingredients, no preservatives. But as with all sweets, portion control is key, or the numbers on the scale go up… ;)

  7. JIM PATTON says:

    For smebody that puts out the junk about healthy eats U leave out the most important fact & that is how much sugar is in it, because if it has more than 5 grams of sugar in it it is no longer a healthy "eats".

  8. Evelyn says:

    I am a diabetic and after reading the recipe, I can make this for me. thank you.

  9. Gayle says:

    We have two family members with a nut allergy. Could you use peanuts instead and get a similar flavor result? Would you still toast the peanuts as you do the hazelnuts?

  10. Lonni J McDonald says:

    Killer recipe, Dana!! You make your Auntie proud!!

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