Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chocolate Almond Bark

Yay, we are now firmly in my favorite days of the year – the holiday baking season!  At no other time of the year is it perfectly acceptable to bake dozens of various combinations of sugar, flour, and butter into heaping piles of cookies, cakes, and muffins, etc.  In addition to the baking, I love to make chocolate candy.  Dipping various things into melted chocolate is both easy and fun, like having your very own chocolate fondue party!  This year we made chocolate-covered pretzels, Ritz crackers dipped in a combination of chocolate and peppermint extract, and this chocolate-almond bark.  It is a bit unconventional, but I like the subtle savoriness produced by roasting the almonds in a little Worcestershire sauce, smoked sea salt, and cayenne pepper.

½ cup chopped raw almonds
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon Worcestshire sauce
pinch cayenne pepper
8 ounces candy making chocolate (I used Ghirardelli’s Candy Making & Dipping Bar, Double Chocolate Flavor and really liked the results)

Heat oven to 160 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup chopped almonds with the Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and sea salt.  Place on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.  Let the almonds cool.  Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave (be sure to use low heat) and mix the almonds into the chocolate. Spread into wax-paper lined 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle a pinch more of the sea salt on the top and let cool.  Break into bite-size pieces. 

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