A few Decembers ago, I got on this kick of making chocolate peppermint bark, with crushed candy canes on top. I love the flavor combination, but wanted to do something a little different, a little more refined, shall we say, this time around. (Also, whenever possible, I indulge my love of white chocolate, which is really like just saying a love of vanilla, I am aware). The fact that these three colors come together to look Christmassy is almost an accident. Let's just call it a divine inspiration.
This is so easy, it's almost a sin to call this a recipe. Some details are key, though: don't use white chocolate chips, because they have stabilizers and other junk in them that makes them a nightmare to melt. They get all gloppy. You can use orange extract if you don't have an orange-colored citrus fruit in your house right now (but I'll be surprised if you don't have a crate of clementines sitting around like we do).
- 16 ounces white chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 2/3 cup dried cherries
- Zest of one clementine or an orange—whatever you've got
Line a rimmed 1/4 sheet baking pan with parchment cut to fit its dimensions.
Toast the pistachios over medium heat in a dry skillet for a few minutes (about five or so) until they become fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Using a double boiler or a microwave, very carefully melt the white chocolate. If you are using the microwave, do this in 30-second increments, and stop it frequently to check. You want to stop the melting when it's about 3/4 of the way through; remove from the oven and stir to melt the last bit. The residual heat from the chocolate will melt what's not totally incorporated, so just stir until it's all melted.
Carefully pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment-covered pan. Using an offset spatula or a small knife, spread the chocolate evenly so that it touches all sides of the pan. Scatter the pistachios and then the dried cherries across the top.
Chill the whole thing, right in the pan, in the fridge for at least two hours and up to overnight. You can be super organized and measure out 2 1/2 x 3 square-ish shapes, or you can break the bark up somewhat irregularly (my vote; I'm all for chaos and shortcuts when possible) and not freak out if the pieces aren't symmetrical. But if you thrive on that kind of symmetry, by all means don't let me stop you. I got 16 pieces, and then I cut some of them in half that wound up a little too big. A little goes a long way here.