We aren’t into celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. Boyfriends, flowers that are overpriced (and die), expensive prix fixe dinners, etc. If you want to get us some chicken nuggets or one of the bacon bouquets, we can discuss. In the meantime, we love each other, we love chocolate and we love YOU! Make some super simple but seemingly fancy snacks for Valentine’s Day or any other day you need a chocolate fix.
This isn’t a recipe to follow, more like guidelines to create an organized mess of chocolate. Don’t worry if you’re doing this with kids or some especially messy adults — warm soapy water when you’re done will make you love everyone again. All you need is some good quality chocolate, your favorite things to nibble on, some parchment paper and a tiny bit of patience. First we cut up all of our goodies — we used nuts, graham crackers, peanut butter cups, dried candied oranges from Trader Joe’s — be creative! Then we gently melted 1 pound of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate over a double-boiler. When I get crazy and make candies, I worry about tempering the chocolate properly, but for this, I am much less particular.
Start by spreading about 12 ounces of melted chocolate on a half sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Then add your STUFF. We love caramel corn // peanut butter cups and a drizzle of real peanut butter in the chocolate // graham crackers and mini marshmallows // unsweetened coconut chips (Dang are our favorite) // candied oranges (Trader Joe’s really knocks it out of the park with these) // pistachios and dried cherries // a million dollars worth of macadamia nuts, you get the idea. If you’re mixing and matching, you’ll really only need a handful of everything, but if you’re doing a half sheet tray (about 12ish by 18ish) of one item, figure about 1 cup by volume of stuff. We mixed it up on our tray because options.
When all of your stuff is in the chocolate, give your tray a little tap on a counter or table. This will help all of the goodies stick IN the chocolate. Now is the time to add any salt flakes — we LOVE Maldon for this, smoked or regular! Take the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and drizzle it everywhere to secure everything to the bark. You can skip this and leave the 4 ounces in the bottom layer, but you get a much better eating experience when everything is stuck in there, we promise. Let the chocolate cool and set up naturally — this is where the patience comes in. If you forgot your patience, you can put the tray in the freezer and we will not judge you. Love is all you need if you already have chocolate.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
ab + DZ