dark chocolate superfood bark

by Kristina Sloggett

in Dessert,Gluten Free,holiday,recipes,snacks,Vegan

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

This weekend the outside lights on the house went up, the (new! fake!) tree went up and is lit and decorated, and I’ve already watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation eleventeen times.

I’m watching it as I type this.

…if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised

One recipe I will be making a lot of this holiday season is chocolate bark. The flavor possibilities are endless, it is easy, looks festive, and who does not like chocolate? Hopefully our mailman, Fed Ex and UPS guys, Jason’s hairdresser and girls at the salon, family and friends do…

This bark is superfood super good. Goji berries and dates give some extra sweetness, and almonds and salt always go well with chocolate. The hemp seeds simply look pretty sprinkled throughout, and add some extra superfood oomph.

To borrow a phrase from Cousin Eddie, it’s Gooo – oood! 

dark chocolate superfood bark

dairy, soy, and gluten free, vegan

2 jumbo Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon water
15 ounces dark chocolate (72-88%), chopped
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup goji berries
1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds
sprinkling sea salt 

Line a baking sheet with parchment. In saucepan over medium heat, combine dates and water, stirring into a paste. Reduce heat to low, add chocolate, stirring until melted and fully combined with date paste. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour onto parchment; using an offset spatula, spread in an even layer to desired thickness (this recipe is about 1/8 inch). Sprinkle with sea salt. Add toppings: almonds, goji berries and hemp seeds, in uniform pattern so each piece of bark is covered. Allow to cool, break or cut into pieces. 

I leave my bark overnight on counter – it is set but still semi soft – I cut into squares with a knife, then transfer to refrigerator to set completely.

*edited to specify percentages of the dark chocolate I used in this recipe.

disclosure: Oh! Nuts provided products to add to my chocolate bark.

 

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit December 4, 2012 at 3:28 am

As much as I love the smell of a fresh tree, I do love our fake one, too. I’ve had it for 10 years (hard to believe) and it still looks like it did that first year. I have no doubt it’ll last for another 10 more. We haven’t started indulging in the Christmas movies yet though, but we were talking about watching The Grinch tonight!

This bark looks fabulous. I love the addition of hemp seeds. I bet you could add chia, too!

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2 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

we watched the Grinch the other day, and of course the Charlie Brown Christmas…

I thought of chia, I just didn’t have any!

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3 Abby December 4, 2012 at 4:34 am

This time of year me and my mom pretty much only communicate through quotes from “Christmas Vacation.”

Can’t even see the line, can you Russ?

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4 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:41 am

same here. my whole family does. we watch (at least once) every Thanksgiving, and sometimes again at Christmas. this year for my step dad’s gift, I managed to find a MOOSE mug they drink egg nog out of… I CANNOT WAIT to give it to him! “… a pixie dust spreader on the tilt a-whirl. … maybe next year, he’ll be guessing people’s weight or barking for the yak woman.”

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5 katie December 4, 2012 at 5:19 am

YUM YUM YUM!

Looks amazing!

Hope all is well love!

p.s. I am so LOST on the glam ads! I got my email today to put them on, oh I am bad at this stuff!

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6 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

oh, WOW! I remember this time last year, we were backpacking through Mexico for the month of December… I brought my laptop because I knew I was going to be getting my Glam ads set up – I logged in from a very spotty wifi connection under a palapa!! :D The Glam folks are VERY helpful – ask them for guidance?

hope all is well there, too – happy holidays dear! XO

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7 Heather (Where's the Beach) December 4, 2012 at 5:23 am

Oh the addition of the dates? How cool. My sister recently discovered she loves goji berries so I may have to make this for her.

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8 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

the dates give some really great natural sweetness – I love dates and chocolate… I hope you make this for your sis – I LOVE goji berries too.

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9 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 4, 2012 at 5:39 am

Finally a super dessert! I think this needs to be added to my training diet ASAP. Love, love the addition of hemp!

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10 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’m sneaking in the healthy with this one – so tasty you wouldn’t even KNOW it’s good for you!

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11 Jess December 4, 2012 at 5:45 am

Ohhh I LOVE bark!! It’s so easy to make and it’s freakin’ tasty as all hell. Yum! I am definitely pinning this version to try soon :)

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12 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

yep, “freakin’ tasty as all hell” is a GREAT descriptor!! I love you!

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13 Faith December 4, 2012 at 7:48 am

This looks incredible, Kristina! I absolutely love a decadent treat that I can feel good about eating…that’s my favorite kind of indulgence. :)

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14 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

same here, it’s so healthy you have to eat it, right?

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15 Allie December 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

My (new! fake!) tree went up this weekend too, yesss! Love the idea of hemp seed + dark chocolate– rich, creamy and nutty with rich, creamy and chocolatey.

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16 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

yay! I was happy to find out Jason wanted a fake tree also… I do miss the pine scent, but I have not wanted to cut down a tree since I was a kid. I like the hemp seed too – more for the nutrition I know is there, because the chocolate flavor kindof commands attention… ;)

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17 Eileen December 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

This bark looks like a perfect present for the whole extended family–which we desperately need, since we’re going to a serious whole-family gathering in a couple weeks. Thanks for the great idea!

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18 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

you are so welcome, Eileen – enjoy! XO

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19 Heather @ Better With Veggies December 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I haven’t had bark in ages, because it’s usually milk chocolate or white chocolate – both I’ve never really liked (and don’t eat now). This, however, looks fabulous!!!

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20 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm

yep, me too! I am not a fan of white chocolate (hello? that is not chocolate…), and milk, well, eh. Ever since I managed a deli where we offered imported chocolates, dark has been my favorite!

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21 Valerie December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm

*Love* that you’re quoting National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! (The best holiday movie. Ever.)

This chocolate bark is making me hungry! Which isn’t that unusual, considering the fact that I’m always hungry. But I’m not a chocoholic *gasp* (I know, right?). However, I could easily devour this gorgeous in a matter of minutes!

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22 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

YES – our family watches that movie every Thanksgiving, and sometimes again at Christmas. I obviously have to watch it a few more times on my own… NOT a chocoholic? I forgive you, more for me!

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23 Spencer December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Looks so good! I would love to try some. I am sure it tastes awesome.

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24 Jessica Harris December 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi, I’m a newbie to your website, found it by way of looking up vanilla paste. Your recipes look fantastic! What type of dark chocolate do you use btw? I have used Ghirardelli in the past, but that is about it, and I like it, but want to branch out and try something else as well.

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25 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm

hi Jessica!

for this bark I used Endangered Species “extreme dark” which is an 88%; I have used Ghirardelli, Madecasse, Lake Champlain, Scharffen Berger. thanks for saying hello – are you a big vanilla fan like me? :)

cheers! Kristina

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26 Jessica December 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I have heard of Endangered Species and Scharffen Berger, but not Madecasse or Lake Champlain. I will have to check them out. I do love vanilla, especially creme brulee and eclaires(pastry cream). I had not used vanilla bean paste and wanted to see if it tasted just as good as scraping the bean.

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27 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I think scraping the bean is probably the purest and best way to get the vanilla… but paste is probably a close second?

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28 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) December 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I make a lot of dark chocolate barks too – they are just sooooo good (and easy!). This is a great one. I am planning a post for this Friday with a roundup of Healthy Homemade Holiday Goodies and I am definitely going to include this Kristina!

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29 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

thanks, Alyssa – I appreciate it! :)

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30 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) December 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

This is nothing short of amazing!!! I need to make bark and fudge for the boys. I’m going to get in the Christmas spirit effective tomorrow. I felt more like it at Thanksgiving and then Tony was on deadline mode for the past few weeks which meant major stress here. Batman is done! So, shopping and goodies start tomorrow! Also, I hope he does a warm up sketch from that movie. One of my favorites!

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31 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

“Christmas spirit effective tomorrow” – I love it! I know you all have been busy, congrats Tony on finishing Batman, whew! It might take a while for a Batman warm up sketch? Probably wants to not see it for a while? I request something Juliette Lewis :)

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32 Herbivore Triathlete December 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I’ve had some goji berries in my pantry for a bit that I wasn’t sure what to do with, now they will be put to use! This recipe is awesome in it’s “good for you but tastes like it’s not” disguise! The add-on combinations are seemingly endless as well. Perfect gift for co-workers and the kids’ teachers. Thanks!!

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33 Kristina Sloggett December 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm

the endless possibilities are what I love about bark – you can truly make it your own! enjoy!

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34 Tommy December 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm

This is currently sitting in my frig, we are impatiently awaiting for it to set!! L is licking the bowl and dipping the leftover almonds in it, yummo!

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35 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

ha! so happy you guys liked it, Tom! XO

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36 Kelly Klepfer December 4, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Love Christmas vacation, Elf, Christmas Story…all of these contribute one-liners and farcial Christmas speak to our family get-togethers.

And amazing. I never thought to add date paste to chocolate. Gotta make for some amazing texture.

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37 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

it does bring good texture – still sets up, but almost a fudgy consistency… Mmm…

and that sounds JUST like our family – we are always quoting Christmas Vacation…

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38 sippitysup December 5, 2012 at 9:32 am

Goji. Berries. You’re always good for something special. GREG

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39 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

thank you, Greg! cheers!

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40 kalli December 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

this looks incredible and easy!

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41 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

thank you, Kalli – it IS ;)

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42 nik December 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this! It would make a perfect stocking stuffer tonight for St. Nick’s Eve or for Secret Santa Swap shindig this weekend. I kind of want to make a giant Christmas tree-shaped cookie-cutter to spread it in, to shape it into a giant Christmas tree, and just leave it that way to give as a gift. It’s just too festive looking to break into pieces and it would look fun as a goji-ornamented chocolatey tree! Cheers!

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43 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm

what a fantastic idea, leaving it in a large tree shape – I love it! (you could make two, one a big tree and one several small trees!). ;)

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44 Caroline December 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

I have made three batches of this now, and need an intervention!! The first batch I made strict to the recipe, and it was perfect. The second batch I chopped the dates and added to the top!! (I like the paste in the chocolate more, I do think) and the third is cooling now, I used pecans for the almond and added cinnamon to the chocolate! What NEXT lol

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45 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm

look at you go, my friend! chopped dates on top sound fantastic – and cinnamon, YES!

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46 Caroline December 6, 2012 at 10:00 am

I should add this is my first time ever with bark experience, and your recipe is lovely. Bark is very easy, very forgiving LOL and so adaptable! Thanks!

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47 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

thanks, Caroline, SO happy you enjoyed!

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48 jobo December 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

holy crap I am a sucker for bark!!! This looks divine and relatively easy! I must must try!

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49 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

it is so very easy, my friend!!

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50 Christine December 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

Going to be making this for Christmas gifts! Unfortunately tried 5 different stores for goji berries (I live in a small town close to another small town – horrah..) and ended up getting dried blueberries instead. I’m sure it will be good in its own way!
I’ve never used dates before. Do they melt down or something?
Thanks!

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51 Kristina Sloggett December 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

hi Christine!

yes, they melt into a paste when heated with liquid… a very small amount to give a softer texture and sweeter taste to the bark. and the blueberries sound perfect – that’s what is so great about bark, you can top it with whatever ingredients you like! Enjoy!

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52 Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

OMG I want this. I remember I’ve seen this post before (and don’t understand why I haven’t commented when you first published it?!), and now that I see it again I still want it!!!!! :D :D :D

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53 Kristina Sloggett May 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

wish I could send you some right now! <3

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