Nutty White Chocolate Bark

Just a week ago, the world outside my bedroom windows was dreary and rainy and grey. Seemingly overnight, Mother Nature cranked the heat up and saturated everything with color. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was summer.

I had been mulling over the idea of throwing together some dark chocolate bark, but if the weather is any indicator, the dark chocolate ship has sailed for the time being. It’s not that I typically color-coordinate my desserts with the season–rain or shine, I’m going to eat what I want to eat–but it just seemed wrong to celebrate the real coming of spring with something 70% cocoa. White chocolate turned out to be the perfect compromise. I got to have the bark I’d been hankering for, but I also got something beautifully suited for the bright seasonal shift.

As tempting as it is to go for the kitchen sink approach in making bark, I let simplicity reign supreme with the time-tested combination of a fruit and a nut. The almonds give the bark a satisfying crunch, while the coconut lends a fruity sweetness and bit of chew. I found myself shoveling it into my mouth almost unconsciously–and I saw my dad doing the same. It’s that sweet and salty thing, a pairing practically engineered to create a near chemical dependence.

Nutty White Chocolate Bark
Yields an approximately 8×8 inch chocolate bar

Ingredients
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
1. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. If using a microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring during the breaks until chocolate is completely melted.

2. Chop almonds and stir into chocolate along with the coconut and sea salt.

3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Pour in chocolate mixture and smooth out with a spoon or spatula, varying degree of thickness to your specificity. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove parchment paper from pan and either crack bark by hand or using a knife.

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