Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re like us, it has completely slipped your mind. While we’ve never been big on celebrating this holiday, we like to do a little something for each other every year all the same. When we were living in California, we had a ritual of going to the mall with $20 each to buy little gifts or chocolates or whatever fun trinkets we could find within that budget and then going home, eating a meal we prepared together and opening the bags from the mall. Since life has become so very different, this year, we decided to go simple, and I made some treats for us to share with our new friends.
This cherry chocolate bark is so easy, and it’s likely you have all the ingredients you need in your pantry at home. I even had all but the vanilla candy in the pantry on the boat.
I will be honest. I didn’t measure stuff. You really don’t need to because this is so easy, it’s really hard to mess it up and there are no ratios that need to be observed. You’ll see.
Valentine’s Day Cherry Chocolate Bark
Vanilla candy coating (Almond Bark)
Maraschino cherries (chopped)
Maraschino cherry juice
Melt chocolate chips in a pan or microwave. We live on a boat, and propane is more plentiful than electricity, so I used a pan. Whatever you do, just make sure you stir a lot and don’t burn it. Don’t ever leave it alone. Once the chocolate is melted, spread it over a piece of parchment paper as evenly as possible.
This is the hard part. Now you wait. That layer of chocolate needs to be cool and firm before you add the next layer or else you’ll have a swirly marbly mess. Maybe that’s what you’re going for, and that might be just as delicious and pretty looking, but that wasn’t my process.
Next we melt the candy coating (almond bark). I used the entire brick pictured. It seemed like the right amount for the amount of chocolate chips I had. Basically you want a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and candy coating. Again, don’t leave the pan while you’re melting because if you burn it, it is ruined. From here you will add about 1 tsp of vanilla extract and a few tbsp of Maraschino cherry juice as well as the chopped cherries. As far as I’m concerned, the more juice the merrier. It will make your cherry flavor more pronounced.
So from here, things didn’t go the way I had anticipated and the candy got a little clumpy. I was pretty sure I’d ruined the whole thing, but I slathered the white/cherry layer on top of the chocolate chip layer and spread it as evenly as I could (that’s the next step, by the way). Then I cut another sheet of parchment paper and set it on top so I could smooth out and flatten it a little bit. It was not pretty at this point. If yours looks like a mess, it’s okay. It will get better. I promise!
See? Kinda gross looking, right? But when it is done, it looks all pretty and more like something you’d want to eat.
Make sure that it is all completely cooled. I’d even give it a few minutes in the fridge to be sure. Then break it up into pieces of your desired size and enjoy!
Do you have any special rituals for Valentine’s Day or a favorite treat you like to prepare for the one you love?