Healthier Dark Chocolate Bark Candy is an easy small batch candy recipe full of texture and flavor. Smooth melted dark chocolate is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, vanilla kissed almonds, and coarse salt. This candy is a great balance of salty and sweet!
Healthier Dark Chocolate Candy
It’s a new year and I hear we are supposed to be eating healthier. I’ve never been one to fall into this completely as I believe in moderation. Though, I can see why eating healthier may be refreshing because the holidays can be a time to indulge with all the homemade goodies.
So, this recipe for Healthier Dark Chocolate Bark Candy is my entry for a healthier, yet semi-indulgent treat. What makes this homemade candy healthier?
- Dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate – here is some fun information on the health benefits of dark chocolate.
- Pomegranate seeds – these little seeds are full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Not to mention, their texture is a nice juxtaposition to the chocolate.
- Raw almonds – more fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, and protein. Plus, they do a good job of filling you up.
When you put this all together, the result is candy that is full of rich flavors and textures. And this is not a fussy candy. It sets up on a baking sheet and is broken into organic pieces. Though, I suppose you could take the time to cut it into perfect squares. But I say take that time to just enjoy your creation!
Small Batch Dark Chocolate Bark
A small batch of homemade candy has built in portion control. And with all of the goodies on this chocolate bark, you may find a couple pieces satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth. Sure the pieces may be bigger than the Hershey Kiss I tend to reach for, but the almonds and fruit can actually be filling.
And making a small batch candy is pretty straight-forward. There really isn’t any baking science behind it. So, you don’t have to worry about ratios like flour to sugar to fat. I mean, the steps for making homemade chocolate bark are pretty darn simple:
- Melt the chocolate
- Sprinkle on your toppings
- Let is set in the refrigerator
- Break into piece
The hardest part may be waiting for it to set. Or, figuring out what toppings you want to add to your next batch.
What You Need To Make Chocolate Bark
Now that we know it is easy to make the chocolate bark, a few things you will need.
- Dark chocolate – No rules here. Use chocolate chips or baking bars. And you can use any chocolate you prefer. Keeping in mind the closer you get to milk chocolate or candy bars, the further away from ‘heathier’ chocolate you get.
- Coconut oil – I use this (or butter) for a smooth and shiny chocolate.
- Vanilla extract – We are using this in the melted chocolate and to coat the toasted almonds.
- Raw almonds – The raw almonds give us the opportunity to toast them with a coating of vanilla extract. This is totally optional. You can substitute with roasted almonds, salted almonds, or any other nut you prefer.
- Pomegranate seeds – I love the texture and bite of pomegranate seeds. I do recommend fresh. Frozen pomegranate seeds may not have as much flavor.
- Coarse salt – A little salty to balance all of the sweet. I recommend coarse salt so you get bigger pieces. Table salt will probably just dissolve into the melted chocolate.
- Saucepan and heat-proof mixing bowl – To make the double boiler to melt the chocolate. Yes – you can melt the chocolate in the microwave if you prefer.
- Small baking sheet – I used an eighth size baking sheet. If you don’t have a baking sheet that size, use any size you have, or a cake pan, or loaf pan. Just don’t spread the chocolate out too thin.
Tips For Making Healthier Dark Chocolate Bark Candy
Only a few tips for this homemade candy!
- Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate – To keep an eye on the melted chocolate. Chocolate can seize up easy and fast. That said, if you prefer to melt the chocolate in the microwave, do so in 15 second increments and stir after each until mostly melted.
- Sprinkle the toppings on right away – So they stick to the chocolate before it sets.
- Get creative with toppings – This is a versatile candy recipe and you can make it your own with your favorite fruits and nuts.
More Homemade Candy Recipes
Healthier Dark Chocolate Bark
- 1 – Small Baking Sheet (Quarter or Eighth Size) – Lined with Parchment Paper
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate - chips or baking bar
- 1 teaspoon cold pressed refined coconut oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- coarse salt - for topping
- Line a small baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. I recommend an eighth size baking sheet. A quarter size baking sheet will also work.
- To make Vanilla Almonds (Optional) – Add the almonds to a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes – they will start to smell aromatic. Reduce the heat to a simmer and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract over the almonds. Toast for about a minute more – for the vanilla to soak into the almonds. Remove from the heat. Rough chop the almonds when they are cool.
- To make plain toasted Almonds – Add the almonds to a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes – they will start to smell aromatic. Remove from the heat. Rough chop the almonds when they are cool.
- Make a double-boiler – Add about 2 inches of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Place a glass (heatproof) mixing bowl – large enough to fit on top of the saucepan and without touching the water – on top of the saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat the chocolate until it is mostly melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat. Stir in the teaspoon of vanilla extract. Note – I heat my chocolate until it is mostly melted to avoid the chocolate seizing. Any chunks will melt with the residual heat in the bowl.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared baking sheet. With an offset spatula, or small spatula, spread the chocolate into a smooth, even layer. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds, chopped almonds, and coarse salt over the top of the chocolate. Refrigerate the chocolate bark until the chocolate has set. Overnight is best.
- Break up the set chocolate bark into any shape/size pieces you like. Enjoy!
- I used dark chocolate chips. Any chocolate chip or baking chocolate bar will work.
- Toasting the almonds with the vanilla is optional.
- The almonds can also be toasted in the oven – at 350F for about 8-10 minutes.
- I prefer to melt chocolate over a double-boiler – to keep an eye on the chocolate as it melts. It can also be melted in the microwave – in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until it is mostly melted.