It has been a chocolate-filled day. 6 hours of making chocolate bark for friends and family. My thumbs feel about to fall off. The skin on my fingers is raw from shelling pistachios. And I learned the hard way that when trying to break bark, one must not press on it with their thumbs, but rather, use fingers or palms. How I learned this? I suppose I have my super cute, but horribly long nails to thank for this experience. I leaned the slab of bark against the edge of the pan, and pressed both of my thumbs against it to try and break the chocolate. As the chocolate broke, the pressure went all into my nails, literally ripping part of my fingernails off. It was a horribly painful experience. So, please, do not repeat this! Use fingers, not nails!
Here is a picture of the beautiful finished product:
The dairy free version for my cousin and myself:
Mexican Chocolate Bark
1/2 c shelled pistachios, chopped a bit
1/3 c shelled pumpkin seeds
1 12-oz bag chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon plus a few pinches for garnish
3/4 tsp ancho chili powder plus a few pinches for garnish
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Prepare a flat baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper (can I just say that I LOVE parchment paper! It is amazing for cookies! See more rave reviews in my next post of sugar cookies).
Toast pistachios for 1 minute in a dry skillet preheated to med-high heat. Set aside. In the same skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds for 1 minute. Add to pistachios.
Melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
Add all but a handful of the nuts to the chocolate. Add vanilla, spices (except garnish pinches), and salt. Stir to combine.
Spread over pan, and smooth until even. Sprinkle reserved nuts on top, and press in slightly. Sprinkle the pinches of spices over the top of the chocolate. Allow to cool in refrigerator (or out in the backyard) for about half an hour. Break into pieces. Enjoy!
Here are the super cute "Night Before Christmas Kits" we gave to friends and family, each including a box of the chocolate bark: