chocolate dipped strawberries & chocolate bark

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When I first started out on my gluten-free diet, I cut out quite a bit more than just gluten.  I cut out dairy and pre-packaged anything (except for my daily gluten-free, dairy-free bar).  I cut out baked goods and I cut out chocolate.

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As I got a little more comfortable and less scared that something terrible would go wrong with my stomach, the first thing that got re-introduced was chocolate.  Just a little tiny piece, and went that went ok, it became my regular dessert.

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And while chocolate is great on its own, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do something fancy with it, either.  So when I found myself with a bowl full of strawberries I decided to embellish.  And when I melted a little too much chocolate for all the strawberries, that extra became peanut coconut apricot bark.  Both were delicious.  And gluten-free.  And a much welcomed treat.

recipe notes:  I apologize for lack of measurements in each of the following recipes.  I would imagine that a bag of chocolate chips (12 oz, typically) would cover a quart of strawberries, but that’s just a guess.  You’ll have to experiment.  The good thing is that there really isn’t a down-side to having too many strawberries – or too much chocolate.  If you’re left with more melted chocolate that strawberries to cover, start dipping whatever else you’ve got (pretzels, macaroons) or skip ahead and make some chocolate bark, another recipe for which measurements are arbitrary and the ingredients are adaptable to whatever you have on hand (see last year’s version).

chocolate dipped strawberries
yield: variable 

strawberries, cleaned
chocolate (I like dark, anything works, make sure it’s gluten-free)

1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  In a heat-proof bowl (I ❤ pyrex) set over (but not touching) simmering water, heat the chocolate until it melts.  Stir occasionally until smooth and melted throughout.

3.  Dip the strawberries in the chocolate then place on the baking sheet.

4.  Place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool.  Serve cool from the fridge or at room temperature.

chocolate bark
yield: variable

chocolate
peanuts
coconut (shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
dried apricot, diced

1.  Let a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  Melt the chocolate, as above.  When the chocolate is melted, pour 1/2 of the peanuts, coconut and dried apricot into the melted chocolate and stir everything together.  Pour the mixture out onto the parchment paper and use a spatula to spread it out, if needed.  I usually spread it to about 1/4-inch thick.

3.  Top the bark with the remaining peanuts, apricots & coconut.  You may need to press down on the peanuts and apricots a bit so that they adhere to the melted chocolate.  But no biggie if they fall off later.

4.  Cool in the fridge or on the counter until the chocolate has hardened again.  Break into pieces.  Enjoy.

source: Anna Maria original, inspired by chocolate

 

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