Fruit­cake Bark,

Southern Living (USA) - - Contents -

Pre­pare ev­ery­thing ahead so you can quickly add a beau­ti­ful ar­ray of top­pings while the choco­late is still hot and glossy.

AC­TIVE 20 MIN. - TO­TAL 2 HOURS

| MAKES ABOUT 1 LB.|

2 (4-oz.) bit­ter­sweet choco­late, semisweet choco­late, or milk choco­late bak­ing bars 2 (4.4-oz.) high-qual­ity white choco­late bars (such as Lindt White Choco­late) 2 12 ⁄ cups mixed, chopped fruit­cake top­pings (such as 34 ⁄ cup each of toasted pecan halves and toasted wal­nut halves and 13 ⁄ cup each of candied cher­ries, candied or­ange peel, and candied pineap­ple) 1. Line a 13- x 9-inch bak­ing pan with parch­ment pa­per, al­low­ing about 2 inches to ex­tend over the long sides of pan.

2. Break bit­ter­sweet choco­late into small to medium chunks. Mi­crowave choco­late in a medium-size mi­crowav­able bowl on MEDIUM (50% power) for 30 sec­onds, and stir. Con­tinue to mi­crowave un­til choco­late is com­pletely smooth, shiny, and fluid, about 1 minute, stir­ring at 15-sec­ond in­ter­vals. To melt on the stove, bring 2 to 3 inches of wa­ter to a gen­tle boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Re­duce heat to medium-low, and main­tain a gen­tle sim­mer with­out steam. Place choco­late in a heat­proof bowl, and set it over saucepan, mak­ing sure bowl does not touch wa­ter. Cook choco­late, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til choco­late is melted, com­pletely smooth, shiny, and fluid, 2 to 4 min­utes.

3. Quickly pour melted bit­ter­sweet choco­late over bot­tom of pre­pared pan. Us­ing an off­set spat­ula or the back of a large spoon, spread choco­late into a fairly even layer, cov­er­ing the bot­tom of the pan com­pletely. Place in re­frig­er­a­tor, and chill un­til choco­late is cold and set, 30 min­utes to 1 hour.

4. Break white choco­late bars into small to medium chunks, and re­peat melt­ing process. Quickly spread melted white choco­late over firm bit­ter­sweet choco­late layer. (Or leave a bor­der around the edges, if you like.) Work­ing quickly, sprin­kle and scat­ter top­pings in a sin­gle layer all over melted white choco­late, mak­ing sure ev­ery top­ping piece touches the melted choco­late so that it will ad­here to white choco­late layer.

5. Cover and re­frig­er­ate un­til bark is firmly set, about 1 hour. To serve, use parch­ment pa­per han­dles to re­move bark from pan. Use a sharp knife to cut bark into ir­reg­u­lar chunks, or break into large pieces by hand. Store bark in an air­tight con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture for up to 7 days.

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