Chocolate-Cinnamon Almond Bark with Golden Raisins and Orange Zest

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes plus 1 hour freezer or 2 hours refrigerator time

Yield: 9 servings
Serving size: One 3-inch square

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup golden seedless raisins
3 tablespoons orange zest
1 cup raw cacao butter, chopped into small pieces
1 cup raw cacao powder
3/4 cup raw honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Line a 9-inch square baking pan bottom with parchment paper that overlaps the sides; set aside. You can also use a rimmed baking tray and use a piece of aluminum foil to create a wall to shorten the length of the baking tray.

2. Place the almonds, raisins and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl and stir together; set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, place the cacao butter, cacao powder, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Turn the heat on low and heat for 1 1/2 minutes, uncovered, without stirring (let the cacao butter start to melt), then use a whisk (preferably with wide tines) to stir the mixture constantly for 1 minute more, being sure to break up any lumps of cacao powder for a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat while there are still a few unmelted pieces of cacao butter, continuing to stir until they’ve melted, about 30 seconds. Cooking over the heat until all the cacao butter has melted will overcook the mixture, causing the fat to separate and rendering the mixture unusable.

4. Add the vanilla to the chocolate mixture and stir well, then add the almond mixture, stirring well to fully incorporate the nuts and fruit.

5. Spread the chocolate mixture onto the parchment-lined pan. Place uncovered in the freezer for 1 hour (or refrigerator for 2 hours) before cutting. To cut: Keeping the bark on the parchment paper, lift the bark out of the pan and place onto a cutting board; cut into 3-inch squares.

Note: Using pieces of parchment or waxed paper to separate the layers, store the chocolate bark in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks (if they last that long!) or in the freezer for up to two months.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
Calories: 446
Protein: 5.8 g
Total fat: 33.7 g
Saturated fat: 15.9 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 73.4 mg
Dietary fiber: 5.9 g

Susan Ojanen is an integrative nutrition coach in Bristol, Tennessee, and owner of smallstepswellness.com. She is passionate about helping clients worldwide achieve their health goals by creating sensible and maintainable lifestyle changes.

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

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