During the holiday season, almond bark crowds candy stores and display cases, but once you make your own at home, you may find the store-bought brands much less appealing. You can customize almond bark in a number of ways, adding toppings or changing the ingredients you use to make the bark itself. This article will provide you with four recipes you can use to make almond bark. Use any of these recipes as a springboard and customize the bark as you see fit.
This is a traditional bark, made with dark chocolate and almonds.
1 cup whole almonds
2 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of shortening (do not use butter)
Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the skins brown. This can take up to 10 minutes. Let cool. Melt the chocolate and shortening in the top compartment of a double boiler, stirring until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir in almonds. Pour mixture into a greased 10-inch by 15-inch baking pan and ensure that the nuts are distributed evenly throughout the mixture. Let cool and then break into pieces.
The foundation of this recipe is something called white candy coating. This is not the same as white chocolate. White candy coating can typically be found in candy-making aisles of craft and cooking stores. These white disks melt down quickly and have a smooth and creamy consistently.
1 1/2 pounds of white candy coating
14 ounces of condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound of nuts
Toast the nuts in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, or until they are brown. Melt your candy coating in the top compartment of a double boiler, along with the milk and the salt. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, remove from heat and mix in the extract and the nuts. Turn the mixture into a 10-inch by 15-inch greased backing pan, and ensure that the nuts are distributed evenly. Let cool and break into pieces.
This recipe utilizes the microwave for busy cooks who may not have time to dig out the double boiler!
8 ounces white chocolate
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup toasted whole almonds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Chop the white and dark chocolate into small pieces, keeping the two flavors separate. Melt the while chocolate in the microwave. Typically, you'll use 70 percent power for 2 to 3 minutes, but cooking times may vary. Stir frequently. Stir almonds and berries into white chocolate and spread in 10-inch by 15-inch baking pan. Melt semisweet chocolate in the microwave using the same method. Drizzle melted chocolate over the mixture in the pan. Allow to cool before breaking into pieces.
This is the most complicated recipe we'll provide here, but the extra work will be well worth the effort!
3 cups of sliced almonds
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
Toast the nuts in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir at least once, to ensure they brown evenly. Combine butter, sugar, water, juice, vanilla and salt in a pan on low heat and stir constantly. When the mixture reaches a boil, stop stirring and keep the mixture boiling until the color of the liquid changes to golden brown. This can take 10 minutes or slightly longer. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups of toasted almonds. Turn mixture onto greased 10-inch by 15-inch baking pan. Melt chocolate in top compartment of double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Pour chocolate over nut mixture in the pan and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces.
Give your almond bark a tart note by adding dried raisins or blueberries. Add the fruit to the chocolate mixture along with the toasted nuts. Sprinkle your almond bark with candy canes for a holiday treat. Crush candy canes with a rolling pin, and sprinkle the pieces on the bark before the bark has completely cooled. You can also sprinkle your bark with extra chocolate chips, for those chocolate addicts in your home.