Twenty Five Days of Cookies:  Cardamom & Pepito Chocolate Bark

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Christmas is just two days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

I’ve heard it said that chocolate brings everything together and this is definitely the case with this spicy and sweet chocolate bark. Although I’ve included a recipe here, consider it to be more of a method. I’ve used a combination of both dark and semi-sweet chocolate but you can use a single kind or a combination that excites you. The same goes for the stir-ins. I love the complex flavor of cardamom but it is definitely an acquired taste. Ground cinnamon makes a lovely substitution. I like to use a combination of crunchy and chewy for my nuts and fruit and toasted pepito seeds and tart and chewy cherries are my preferred flavors this season. However, in previous years I’ve included chopped candied ginger, toasted almonds, and sunflower seeds. The options are unlimited and so go ahead and experiment. That’s half of the fun!

CARDAMOM & PEPITO CHOCOLATE BARK

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 cups dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp. ground cardamom
2 cups pepito seeds, toasted
12 cup dried tart cherries
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted, 8 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from pan and stir in cardamom and half of the pepito seeds and half of the cherries.
  • Spread mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet into a 10” x 7” rectangle, about ¼” thick.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the remaining pepitos and cherries.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the salt.
  • Chill, uncovered, until bark hardens, about 2 hours.
  • Break into pieces to serve.

Yields 20-25 pieces

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