Since my writing time has been non-existent lately due to extra hours at the day job, I thought I would continue sharing recipes from family and friends on Mondays until after the holidays.
Today's recipe is for homemade almond bark. My sister makes this every year and gives it away in decorative tins. It's a huge hit among my family members.
Almond Cranberry Bark
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
16 ounces (1 pound) milk or dark chocolate wafers (The kind you use when you make your own chocolate candy for Easter. They are usually sold in the bulk section in the supermarkets in my area.)
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (She has used the cherry and orange flavored cranberries in the past so feel free to experiment.)
1 tablespoon orange zest
Line baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and the almonds are a golden brown (about 4 to 5 minutes). Quickly spread the nut mixture onto the wax paper lined baking sheet. Remove the wax paper with the nuts from the baking sheet onto a flat surface. Allow nuts to cool completely.
Line the baking sheet with a clean sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Once the almonds are cool, melt the chocolate wafers using a double boiler. Be careful that the chocolate doesn't get too hot or it can scorch. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the almonds, cranberries, and orange zest. Pour onto the wax paper lined baking sheet as quickly as possible. Using a spatula, spread the mixture so it's evenly distributed and about 1/4 of an inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut or break into pieces. Store in container with a tight fitting lid to keep fresh.