I’m so excited to make this dessert again over the weekend! This is my holiday chocolate bark and I absolutely love it. I’ll be making it for a girly party with some of my closest girlfriends on Saturday I’ll be hosting. I can’t wait. A Friendsgiving gathering!
If you need a gluten-free sweets recipe for guests this holiday season, and you don’t want to spend a gob loads of time preparing and baking and worrying….then make this. This is a gluten-free, dairy-free (if you want dairy free also) chocolate bark with pistachios and pomegranate seeds and ground candy canes. And more.
And seriously, it’s glorious. And it is SO easy to make. Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year’s? Make it for all three. I’ll show you how. You’ll be the hit of the night. And the talk of the neighborhood.
Chocolate bark is my GO TO dessert during the holidays, and this recipe has become my staple sweet dish. The combination of each ingredient makes for a fantastic flavor. You’ve got silkiness in the dark chocolate, combined with saltiness in the pistachios, then oil depth in the walnuts, sweet and crunchy in the pomegranate seeds, and minty sugar in the ground candy cane. Seriously. It’s like Christmas on a bed of chocolate.
First off, holiday bark is very easy to prepare. Chocolate bark is simply a sheet of chocolate that’s been tempered (I’ll show you how to easily do this in the recipe), then dried fruits and nuts are laid atop of it while warm. Once the chocolate hardens on the parchment paper, the toppings stick to the surface and embed in the layer. Bark is broken apart or cut into different sizes to serve.
In this recipe, I love sprinkling candy cane dust all over. I’ll show you how to prepare this in the recipe of course, along with the pomegranate seeds.
One note about the pomegranate seeds: They are cooked on a skillet first! So, I actually put them along with the pomegranate juices in a heated skillet. I cook them on low heat until they form into a thick molasses. Then I let it cool, break it apart somewhat, and sprinkle it all over the chocolate. It’s fantastic. I’ll show you the order for toppings and how to apply them.
You can’t beat this dessert over the holidays. You will love it. I actually will be making it for pre-Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Christmas, AND New Year’s. Here we go…
DARK CHOCOLATE BARK FOR THE HOLIDAYS (GLUTEN-FREE/DAIRY FREE)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or more if desired (tempered, Enjoy Life is GF and dairy free/ Toll House dark chocolate morsels are GF))
- 1 pomegranate using the juice and seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar
- 40 pistachios about a handful! (roasted & salted; shelled, chopped (Setton Farms are GF certified))
- 3-4 tablespoons walnut halves chopped (look for GF label OR “Made in a facility with other tree nuts.”)
- 2-3 regular candy canes ground in a food processor (Bob’s is GF)
- You will cook the pomegranate first. I slice a pomegranate in fourths, then turn each skin inside out and scrape out the seeds. Then I pick out the yellow colored flesh and keep the juice and seeds.
- Heat a skillet to medium low to medium and pour in pomegranate juice with seeds. Stir and add a pinch or two of sugar. You will stir this for approximately 20 minutes OR until the consistency thickens and gets sticky. Be mindful not to burn. Take off heat and scrape onto parchment paper when finished. Then flatten and let it cool and dry completely.
- While this cools, temper your chocolate. I place dark chocolate in microwave glass bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat another 30 seconds. Do this a total of about 4 times. You will see tiny little pieces still needed to melt. If you see these, you are done. Give it a stir and these pieces will melt from the heated chocolate! If you microwave too much, you will burn the chocolate!
- When chocolate is tempered, pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You will spread it out like a big rectangle and in one smooth layer. It will not take up the size of a regular baking sheet. The bark should be thin, so just eye it. Don’t smooth the edges, but rather work from the inside out. Once the piece looks spread out and uniform, you will add your toppings. Work quickly as the chocolate needs to stay wet.
- In a small kitchen bowl, mix up ground candy cane, chopped walnuts and chopped pistachios. You want the pistachios and walnuts to be chopped around the same size, and the candy cane will be almost like a grainy powder. Mix it all up, then sprinkle all over wet chocolate! It’s so fun!
- Grab the pomegranate you cooked. It will be like a sticky molasses or at least sugary and sticky. Take it and sprinkle all over the chocolate as well. It will be sticky so do your best.
- Gently press down on all the toppings slightly, so they are secured to the chocolate. Then let sit for awhile. Once hardened, you can break your pieces, then plate them and put in the fridge until ready to serve. The bark tastes fantastic when served right out of the fridge!
If you’re running out of time, you can make individual chocolates instead. Here’s a recipe for a quick, walnut covered chocolate that’s gluten-free and easy.