I’m all about making candy people sell for a lot of money at a much lower cost. It’s easy and very doable on short notice. That’s my favorite kind of treat!
For years, I’ve been a chocolate bark addict. It’s even deadlier when you fill it with almonds. Hey, you need your protein! This is practically a health food, y’all. I’m sure Gwyneth would approve. Not that I need her approval, or want it.
I used to be a huge Gwyneth Paltrow fan. She made this movie called Sliding Doors about a woman who lives through two different life scenarios, all starting when one version of her makes a train while the other version misses it. I friggin’ love that movie. If you haven’t seen it, add it to whatever list you keep on hand. It was made quite some time ago, back when Gwyneth was acting instead of telling real women that her life is much harder than theirs.
Sorry if I’m sounding a little nasty, but I still find it hard to believe that a celebrity with endless help and resources actually tried to one-up mothers in this country by stating that her life is more complex and difficult to manage. First of all, I doubt that’s true. But even if her existence is really fraught with more challenges than mine or anyone else’s, I know for a fact that she’s being paid a lot more for the trouble.
That aside, I’m not sure where anyone gets off playing the my-life-is-harder-than-your-life game. Whatever people see out there in the world isn’t really what’s happening behind closed doors. A lot of people look like they have perfect lives with everything together, but people struggle privately. Nobody can really say for certain what it’s like to be somebody else.
I once had a teacher who told us that there was a study in which people were told to write down their troubles on a piece of paper and put it on a table in front of the other participants. Then, they were told they could pick out a new list of problems from the table, any list at all that someone else had created. Every single person took her own paper back.
You see, we all have our problems, but we’re used to them, and we also fear the unknown. We also have no business borrowing trouble. So, Gwyneth Paltrow, get back to making movies I like and stop with all the lifestyle stuff. I don’t want to hear about why it’s tougher to be you. It’s just not cool.
What is totally cool is making this bark. If I’m pretending to be a lifestyle guru for point two seconds, I’ll suggest that this makes a great gift for a fraction of the cost of any other purchased gourmet food gift. That should be motivation enough to get you going.
The key to making good chocolate bark is to remember a few things. Rule number one: use a good-quality chocolate. I like to buy the nicer baking chocolate bars in the grocery store. Rule number two: instead of sprinkling the almonds on top, mix them into the melted chocolate before pouring it onto your surface to set. Rule number three: don’t spread the melted chocolate too thin. You want a nice, thick bark. And finally, if you don’t have a silicone baking mat, use parchment paper. Otherwise, you could be dealing with a sticky mess at the end.
If you want to have a really good evening, make this bark and eat it along with a viewing of Sliding Doors. I want to love Gwyneth again, I really do. And the best way for us to be friends again us for me to remember what a good actress she can be. Then nobody has to compare her life with anyone else’s to come out on top. That’s a dangerous game, my friends!
12-oz. good quality dark chocolate
1 cup lightly salted whole almonds
- Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Chop the chocolate into small chunks. Place in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat the chocolate for two minutes. Stir until smooth. If not melted, heat an additional 20 seconds and stir again.
- Mix in the almonds.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread out the chocolate into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. If you like to go thicker, that's fine. Just don't make the chocolate any thinner.
- Place the bark in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes until set.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into squares or, if preferred, break into jagged edges.
- Store in an airtight container. If you're in a hot or humid environment, store chilled.