Orange and Ginger Dark Chocolate Bark

This dark chocolate bark is studded with candied orange peel, crystallized ginger and sliced almonds for a easy DIY holiday food gift or dessert.

Orange and Ginger Dark Chocolate Bark // savvyeat.com

The downside of moving during the holiday season is that we’re going to have to alter or forgo some of our holiday traditions this year. We’re not going to be decorating our tree, for instance, as both it and our ornaments will be on a moving truck until the 22nd, at which point we’ll be so busy unpacking the essentials, we won’t have time to decorate. I’m going to be skipping my “make all of the cookies” weekend-long baking extravaganza for the same reason (though I suspect my back, shoulders and feet might thank me for that, given the whole I’ll-be-7-months-pregnant thing).

There are some positives to the timing too, though. For one, I’ve been listening to Christmas music on blast for weeks now. Dan usually puts a kibosh on hearing any holiday music until after Thanksgiving, so I’d stick to just listening via headphones or during the workday, when he wasn’t around to hear it. But with the move timed as it is, he’s accepted that he’s going to have to hear it a little early.  It is amazing how much holiday music lowers my stress level. I can’t imagine doing all this rushed packing without it!

We’ll still have kitchen access in the two weeks between when we leave Ithaca and get into our new house in Minnesota, since we’ll be crashing with my parents during that time. So I’ll still get to do some baking, and can break out all my traditional favorite recipes. I’m adding in a few super-easy treat recipes this year too, for gifting to friends and family. This chocolate bark totally fits the bill – it takes less than 10 minutes to make, and looks stunning. Plus, candied orange peel + crystallized ginger + sliced almonds is a winning combination in my book.

So here’s to happy and healthy holiday travels (or if you’re as crazy as Dan and I, holiday moves). Have some chocolate bark.

Orange and Ginger Dark Chocolate Bark // Savvy Eats

Orange and Ginger Dark Chocolate Bark

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8

Orange and Ginger Dark Chocolate Bark

Making your own chocolate bark couldn't be easier, and makes for a stunning gift or dessert. Mix up the toppings as you please - dried pineapple would be great with the crystallized ginger and almonds, for instance!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (bittersweet chocolate can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel (I used this recipe from Savory Simple )
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon sliced blanched almonds

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and measure out 3/4 cup of the chocolate to set aside.
  2. Melt the rest of the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring often. If you don't have a double boiler, you can nestle a heatproof mixing bowl in a simmering pot of water, and melt the chocolate in the bowl.
  3. As soon as the chocolate is completely melted, remove it from the heat. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate, stirring constantly until all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Spread the chocolate in a thin, even layer on the parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle with the orange peel, ginger and almonds, pressing lightly to adhere the toppings to the chocolate.
  6. Allow to set and cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before breaking apart and serving.
http://www.savvyeat.com/chocolate-bark/

Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

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This month’s theme is Great Holiday Desserts hosted by Jenni Field at Pastry Chef Online. Cookies, cakes, pies and more for your holiday party planning! 

Great Holiday Desserts

Cakes

Candies

Cookies

Desserts

Pies and Tarts

Apple Hand Pies

Exciting news! I’m now a contributor at Food Fanatic, where I will be posting a few times a month about recipes using preserves. First up are these hand pies for Thanksgiving!

Apple hand pies are made with fresh apples, maraschino cherries and apple butter, all wrapped in a flaky buttery pie crust. Completely irresistible!

Apple Hand Pies for Thanksgiving // SavvyEat.com

When it comes to apple pie recipes, I look for a few specific things. First, the pie must have a high crust-to-filling ratio (or crumble-to-filling ratio, if you prefer crisps). And if there are pictures attached, I’m looking for a super-flaky, buttery-looking crust. If the crust is crummy, why bother with pie?

A few winters ago, I set out to find the very best pie crust possible. I tried all-butter crusts, all-shortening crusts and everything in between. The winner was a crust that used one-quarter shortening and three-quarters butter…but not by much. Since I rarely keep shortening around, I usually fall back on the close second-place winner: an all-butter crust that is still relatively easy to handle, and very flaky.

So that’s my standby pie crust. But while the crust may stay the same, the fillings I use rarely do. For apple pie recipes, I want ones where the filling is made with fresh apples and lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The peeling and dicing might feel a little tedious, but if the reward at the end is a pie filling chock-full of fruit flavor and apple pieces with a little texture to them, I consider it to be well worth it.

Apple Hand Pies // savvyeat.com

For this apple hand pies recipe, a little apple butter goes a long way in helping to thicken the pie filling and adds a little sweetness so you can cut back on the sugar. Basically, adding those few tablespoons is a win-win! I also added some homemade maraschino cherries to add a little variety to the apple pie filling. If you choose to make your own cherries instead of buying them at the store, set aside a few jars for the holidays – they make a great host or hostess gift.

Psst: Since you only need a few tablespoons of apple butter, you’ll have most of a jar left. Try using the rest in grilled cheese or on a flatbread!