Valentine’s treats- chocolate bark!

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Valentine’s treats- chocolate bark!

I know I am a little late in posting this, but better late than never! Last week, Sam’s class was doing a little Valentine’s Day gift exchange where everyone brings in a little gift, then they shuffle the gifts and randomly give them out. We were thinking about sewing or crafting something, but it’s hard to make a lot of things that would be appropriate for boys or girls. Finally we decided that food was the safest bet, because everyone likes food. And from there, it didn’t take us long to decide on chocolate.
I have made this as Christmas presents before, you really can customize your “toppings” for any holidays or occasion.
I dug through the cupboards for all of our chocolate supplies, and I ended up finding quite a stash. I found dark chocolate chips, some Hershey’s kisses, some butterscotch chips and white chocolate melts. Then, for the toppings, I found cinnamon hearts, a package of skor bits, some heart sprinkles and some red candy dipped chocolate chips.

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We melted one kind of chocolate at a time. I started melting them in pot, but then realized I needed double broiler. The chocolate heated up way too fast, then it seized, and became difficult to stir and pour. So I would strongly recommend using boiling water and putting another pot or bowl on top.

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After much deliberation of all of the different kinds of chocolate and topping combinations, we decided on four delicious combinations:
-cinnamon hearts and white chocolate
-heart shaped sprinkles and milk chocolate
-skor bits and butterscotch chips, with red and white drizzled chocolate
-dark chocolate and red candy dipped chocolate chips
The procedure is pretty simple. Once you have a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (not wax paper, parchment paper, big difference!) you basically melt, mix and pour. Here is what a few of our combinations looked like:

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Then, here’s a trick, once you have spread out the chocolate, and sprinkle your toppings on, often it is bumpy or rough looking. To get that smooth look, bang the cookie sheet on a hard surface a few times. This relaxes or settles the chocolate, gets rid of the bubbles and smooths out the surface. Here is what it looked like before and after (sorry, photos are reversed, after, then before)
Also, if you look back at the white chocolate and cinnamon hearts picture, after banging it, the cinnamon hearts settled right into the chocolate.

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After all of the chocolate was melted, stirred and the toppings added, we put the cookie sheets outside in the cold for a few minutes.

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Then, once the chocolate was nice and hard, we snapped it into bite sized pieces. The kids love this part!

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Finally, we packed it into small containers. I have a really difficult time throwing out our sushi containers because I use them all of the time for baking. They are the perfect size and shape, and they make the food look great. Turns out that we made 7 containers, so Sam gave one to her teacher, I brought a couple into work, and we had some left over for special treats and dessert a couple nights! Here is the finished product:

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Happy Valentine’s Day.
FYI – here is the link to the chocolate bark I made one christmas
christmas chocolate bark

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