With the news that dark chocolate contains some healthful properties, there is a better excuse than ever to indulge during the holiday season. Specks of green pistachios and red dried cherries in this chocolate confection make for a festive holiday gift.
About 4 dozen pieces
3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, (3 ounces), coarsely chopped
Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion.
Melt 18 ounces chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly.
Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6 ounces chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth.
Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes.
Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks.
TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Per piece:79 calories; 5 g fat ( 2 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 gfiber; 0 mg sodium; 26 mg potassium.