Thanks to my recent addiction to dark chocolate bark, the spandex in my jeans is screaming a little louder than usual these days. While discussing the unfortunate state of my waistline with a friend of mine, the terms Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras were overheard by my boys. They are like little sponges and hear EVERYTHING I say and then repeat it at the most inopportune and inappropriate times. Too bad they can’t hear “clean your room or take out the trash when I say it!” Since they didn’t know what Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras were, they asked me over breakfast, and after many weird and embarrassing questions, the conversation soon turned to Lent in my attempt to bring the discussion to a more wholesome subject.
During Lent, many people practice fasting or eliminating a “luxury” as a form of penitence. Thinking that I need to give my waistbands a little reprieve, and atone for more than a few sins, I decided to give up dark chocolate for 40 days. It seems like a small sacrifice to some, but let me assure you this will be no easy task for me. Don’t think me spiritually shallow because I am giving up a snack food, I am also observing other aspects of Lent but since this is a food blog, there is no need to talk about those here and now.
Since starting the practice of eating Paleo last year, I can’t really tolerate refined sugar or dairy, so dark chocolate is my ONE way to get a sweet treat (other than fresh fruit of course) that actually seems like a splurge. Let’s just say that 8 pieces throughout the day, everyday, adds up to trouble, hence the waistbands and their vocal protests. My kids gave up candy and their Xbox as part of their observance. Mine really does seem small doesn’t it?!?!
My abstinence of this delicious snack doesn’t have to hinder your love affair with dark chocolate. With this recipe I will try and get you hooked on that very same chocolate bark so you will feel my emotional struggle. You will probably have more self control and will power than I ever will, so you can enjoy this snacking chocolate safely! This is also an all-inclusive snack food as it contains sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy and is great for eating during the movies, if you are the type that “sneaks” food in to avoid those pricey and gross concession stand offerings like me.
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (I used 62% cacao, Ghiradelli brand, because that it is what I had on hand)
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped small
- ½ cup toasted coconut flakes, chopped
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Make sure all your mix-ins are chopped into small pieces.
- Melt your chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. I like the double boiler because I tend to scorch chocolate in the microwave, especially if it is low on cocoa butter!
- When your chocolate is melted all the way, stir in your add-ins.
- Toss to make sure they are incorporated evenly.
- Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Let cool. I put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the process but you don't have too.
- Break into small pieces.
- Store at room temperature until ready to eat.