I have a secret. I dont like chocolate. I know, scandalous. I might eat it if its around, and I am craving sweets, but its definitely not what I go for when I buy candy. I do enjoy a resses cup, or a salted caramel chocolate bar, but to be honest its more about the peanut butter and caramel than it is about the chocolate. Does this make me a freak? Maybe. However much I dislike chocolate, I do enjoy making it for the holidays. This is a super super easy recipe that you can make with your friends and family or give away as gifts. You can add whatever you like on top, but I came up with a few combos that I thought sounded yummy. And for the recipe for the candied oranges, scroll to the end.
1 large bar of good quality dark chocolate (or whatever your favorite is)
toppings: candied oranges, almonds, cocoa nibs, fleur du sel, dried cranberries, coffee beans etc..
I am not a big fan of using a microwave. I usually melt chocolate over a double broiler but after juicing every day this week I definitely did not feel like cleaning yet another dish. To melt in a microwave, just break the chocolate into small pieces. Microwave for a minute. Stir, put it in for another 30 seconds, stir and one final 30 second interval. I used a 1 lb bar, so if you are using less chocolate, just check it every 20 seconds or so. Then pour the chocolate into a parchment lined cookie tray with sides.
Sprinkle on your toppings. I separated my chocolate into four sections. The toppings i used were: almond, coffee bean, salt || candied orange || cranberries, almonds, cacao nibs || coconut, sea salt, If you plan on making big batches, you of course wouldn't split it into sections but I only wanted a small amount.
You can use these candied oranges for your chocolate bark, to eat on their own, or as decorations. Try making a garland, gift topper, or even as ornaments on the tree. After you bake these in the oven they will be crispy and durable enough to use as decor.
5-6 blood oranges (or whatever oranges you have)
3 cups water
2.5 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Bring a pot of water and the sugar to a boil. Slice oranges about 1/4 inch thick. Add in the oranges to the boiling sugar mixture. Lower heat to medium high and cook for about 30 minutes. Lower to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Drain the oranges, and put them on a cooling rack. (save the liquid, and set aside) Place the rack over a cookie sheet to catch any drips to prevent your oven from getting sticky. You are basically dehydrating the oranges, so if you own a dehydrator you can use that method instead. Bake these for about 5 to 6 hours, depending on how thick you sliced the oranges. I made mine pretty thin and it took 5 and a half hours. Let the oranges cool for a few minutes, peel them off of rack, set them back down, and let them finish cooling. This helps you avoid the oranges sticking to the pan. Now they are ready to eat!
If you remembered to save the liquid, place it in a large jar, and let it cool before putting on the lid. This is now an infused cinnamon, blood orange simple syrup! Use it to sweeten drinks, in your coffee, or whatever you like. I am going to try making some spicy holiday drinks with it! I hope you try making both recipes or just one. I would love to see how yours turn out! Let me know how they taste :)