Whether topped with sweet and salty ingredients or marbled with sweet dark and white chocolate, Chocolate Walnut Bark is a delightful treat any time of year.
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate arils (seeds), fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon course or flaked sea salt
- 1 (12-ounce) bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips or 12-ounce chocolate bar, broken loosely into pieces
- 1 (12-ounce) bag white chocolate chips or 12-ounce white chocolate bar, broken loosely into pieces
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- Coarsely break or rough chop walnuts and place in a small bowl, leaving aside any skins that have broken off.
- Set pomegranate arils out beside the walnuts.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate. Microwave technique: Place about 2/3 of the dark or milk chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the chips are mostly melted. Add the remaining chips into the bowl and stir vigorously. You will have a thick, melted bowl of chocolate. Repeat the melting steps with the white chocolate and remaining vegetable oil. Stovetop technique: Using a double boiler on medium heat with 1-2 inches of water to the bottom pan, careful to make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan (or other heat-safe mixing bowl). Add the chocolate and stir frequently as you see the chocolate begin to melt. Once melted, remove from heat and add the remaining chocolate chips into the bowl and stir vigorously. Repeat for the white chocolate and remaining vegetable oil.
- Using a spatula, spoon out the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper to make a 1/4-inch layer. You can create an optional marbled look by reserving and dropping spoonfuls of the dark chocolate onto the white layer and white chocolate onto the dark layer and using a knife to create an unstructured pattern.
- Sprinkle with walnuts and pomegranate arils and lightly press them into the surface of the chocolate. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt across the bark.
- Refrigerate on the baking sheet until firm, then remove from the refrigerator and carefully break it into pieces.
- Store in the refrigerator on layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Make sure to melt the chocolate slowly at a lower power, stirring frequently. Melting too fast can cause the chocolate to become discolored.
- Melting about 2/3 of the chocolate and then adding the rest to the hot, melted chocolate will yield the best bark texture. Stirring the chocolate well as it starts to cool will also help give the bark the best texture.
- If you are marbling the chocolate, don’t overmix. Swirl back and forth in a zigzag or in circles until you get your desired look.
- Don’t spread too thin or the toppings won’t hold.
- Store in the refrigerator until close to serving, especially in warmer climates or in a warm house, or the bark may become soft.
1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
3/4 cup coarsely crushed candy canes
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup coconut chips or large flakes unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup mini marshmallows and 1/2 cup coarsely crumbled graham cracker crust
A light sprinkle of flaked smoked sea salt
Hazelnuts, cake and chocolate–three things that just belong together. This sweet potato variation will delight the palate of any cake connoisseur!
- 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled, resulting in 1 cup mashed
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Oregon hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Add peeled sweet potato and boil until potato is soft. Drain and let cool slightly, then mash. Measure out 1 cup.
- In a large bowl, beat together mashed sweet potatoes and canola oil. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture, mixing until well combined. Finally, add chopped hazelnuts.
- Using a double boiler pot (or two pots stacked together), fill the bottom pot with 2 inches of water. In the top pot, combine chocolate, vanilla extract, and half and half. Turn heat on high and bring water in bottom pot to a boil, stirring the chocolate mixture until it’s fully melted. Remove from heat.
- Transfer ⅓ of the sweet potato mixture to melted chocolate and mix until fully blended.
- Butter the bottom of a 10-inch bundt cake pan. Pour chocolate mixture in and spread evenly. Next, pour sweet potato mixture in. Bake for 45 minutes. Test to make sure the thickest part is done. Let cool slightly before flipping.
Created by Chef Christine Farkas of IHeart Food Consulting on behalf of the Almond Board of California. On the go, better-for-you dessert alternative!
- 4 cups frozen mango pieces
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup roasted almond butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 limes, juice and zest
- ½ – 1 whole fresh jalapeno
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour paleta base into popsicle molds of choice, leaving some headspace for a bit expansion during freezing, insert sticks.
- Freeze solid, preferably overnight.
- To remove, run base of the mold under warm water to release popsicles. Enjoy immediately, or wrap and enjoy as a snack later.
Pistachio Chocolate Soufflé by Chef Wolfgang Puck.
- ½ cup / 100 g sugar, granulated
- 2 tablespoons / 30 g water
- 1 teaspoon / 6 g kosher salt
- ⅓ cup / 45 g pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup / 240 g heavy cream
- ⅓ cup / 80 g pistachio butter
Pistachio Chocolate Soufflé
- 2 ¼ cups / 385 g dark chocolate chips (66% to 70% Cocoa)
- 7 tablespoons / 100 g butter, unsalted plus more for coating ceramic ramekins
- ½ cup / 120 g pistachio butter
- 6 each / 120 g egg yolks
- ¾ cup / 150 g sugar, granulated
- ¼ teaspoon / 1 g cream of tartar
- 1 ¾ cups / 380 g egg whites
Combine sugar, water and sea salt in a medium sauté pan or skillet. Heat over low heat to melt sugar. Simmer until syrup turns amber color, like honey. Add chopped pistachios and stir in until coated with syrup. Pour onto a silicon baking mat or parchment paper and spread mixture out with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool completely and chop into pistachio-size pieces.
Pour cream into a cold mixing bowl and whisk until medium soft peak. Fold in pistachio butter and continue whisking to medium stiff peaks.
Pistachio Chocolate Soufflé
- Prepare 6-oz. (175 ml) baking cups by coating sides and bottoms with soft butter and coating with sugar. Set aside.
- Over a double boiler, melt together chocolate, butter and pistachio butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs yolks and sugar for about 3 minutes. Combine the two mixtures and fold together until fully combined.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer at medium speed until the egg whites are fluffy and hold soft peaks. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until whites hold stiff peaks.
- Add equal amount of egg whites in three stages. Pour mixture into baking cups all the way to the top. Scrape off any excess with an offset spatula or knife to make an even top. Run your finger around inside of rim to create a separation between soufflé batter and baking dish. Bake in a preheated 375 °F (190 °C) for approximately 15 minutes, or until soufflés have risen.
- Arrange small plates in a row. Next to plates arrange whipped cream, chopped pistachio caramel and powdered sugar in shaker with fine mesh.
- Remove soufflés from the oven, and moving quickly, but carefully place a soufflé on each plate. Spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto each soufflé, sprinkle with chopped pistachio crumble and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Plating the souffles is best done with two people.
Beautiful Pistachio Florentine Cookies by Chef Nancy Silverton.
Sweet Pastry Dough:
- 2 ¾ cups / 330 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup / 100 g granulated sugar
- 8 ounces / 226 g unsalted butter
- 2 each / 40 g egg yolks
- ¼ cup / 58 g heavy cream
- ½ cup / 60 g pistachios, cut in half lengthwise
- ⅓ cup / 76 g heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons / 61 g mild-flavored honey, such as clover
- 3 tablespoons / 40 g granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 ounce / 30 g unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons / 24 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup / 32 g dried cranberries
- ½ cup / 60 g whole pistachios, shelled
- 1 lemon, zested with a bar zester
Sweet Pastry Dough
- Sift the flour in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Cut the butter into ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) pieces and toss with the flour until fully coated. Crumble the butter into the flour by rubbing it between your fingertips, lifting the pieces and letting it fall back down. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream and pour into the flour mixture. Gather the dough together with your hands until it forms into a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least two hours.
- Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 330 °F (165 °C).
For the Cookies:
Divide the dough in half and return the remainder to the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 12 inches (30.0 cm) circle, about ¼ inch (6.5 mm) thick. Cut out four 5 ¼ inches (13.5 cm) circles leaving the scraps intact. Transfer the circles to a parchment lined baking sheet and prick the surface of the circles about ten times with the tines of a fork. Using a 1-inch (2.5 cm) cutter, cut out small circles from the scraps of the dough. Brush the edge of the larger circles with water and place the smaller circles, touching, around the entire edge to create a border. Chill until firm.
- In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, stir together the cream, honey, and sugar. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the pulp and seeds with the back of the knife.
- Add the scraping and the pod to the mixture. Add the butter and over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil without stirring, tilting and swirling the pan to ensure it cooks evening without coloring. Cooking for 5-6 minutes until it reaches 230 °F (110 °C). Remove from the heat and sift in the flour, whisking to combine. Remove the vanilla bean. Stir in the chopped pistachios.
Spoon the mixture into the center of the cookies and spread it out and fills into the border. Sprinkle dried cranberries and lemon zest on top of the sugar mixture. With the remainder of the caramel stir in the whole pistachios. Place one pistachio on the center of each small circle around the border. Using a spoon, decorate the cookies using the remaining sugar mixture by dipping it into the mixture and waving it over the cookie creating sugar threads.
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And your ice cream. And Chantilly…the perfect dessert to share.
Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake
- 12 ounces chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Frangelico
- 1 cup Oregon hazelnut meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
Hazelnut Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup Frangelico
- 2 cups Oregon hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup Frangelico
Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake
- Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler.
- Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, Frangelico and salt.
- Temper the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar mixture.
- Prepare a spring from pan by lining the interior with parchment paper and coat the paper with butter.
- Wrap the outside of the spring form pan with foil and bake in a water bath 350 degrees. This should take approximately an hour to an hour and a half, or until cake is firm and the top feels dry. Cool cake before serving.
Hazelnut Ice Cream
- Heat heavy cream and milk together on stove until almost boiling.
- Whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Temper milk and heavy cream into the eggs and sugar.
- Add Frangelico and hazelnuts and let steep overnight under refrigeration. Strain hazelnuts out and discard.
- Put the ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and process until thickened. Serve chilled.
Whip mixture until stiff peaks form. Serve.
The cheesecake that will get you back into baking… well, sort of. This one is easy, requires minimal skill and no oven! (Yep – that means the crust too). If you are after a simple dessert recipe for this festive season, look no further than the dairy-free No Bake Almond Cheesecake made with almond milk.
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup whole natural or roasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup ricotta (optional)
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (1/2 shaved, 1/2 melted in the microwave)
- For the crust, combine all ingredients into a blender and blitz until combined (I like it when it stays a little rough with some bigger pieces, it adds to the character).
- Press the crust into a pie shell and put in the fridge to set for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- For the filling, bring together the coconut milk, almond milk, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small pot on low heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until creamy. Allow to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together yolks, honey and coconut oil before draining almond milk mixture through a sieve into the mixing bowl to combine. Pour entire mixture back into saucepan and stir on a low heat for 4-5 minutes or until mixture is thick. (Do not leave the stove top here — your eggs can curdle).
- Allow mixture to cool. If you wish to add the ricotta, fold it in at this point. Be sure that the mixture is well cooled before doing so.
- Remove crust from fridge and pour the almond milk filling in. Apply plastic wrap to the surface, pressing down for even coverage (and this prevents that weird skin from being created) and pop in the fridge to set for 20 minutes.
- Top with shaved chocolate and that amazing melted chocolate drizzle.
The tartness of lemons complements the sweet subtle taste of walnuts in this quick bread recipe. The addition of blueberries offers a colorful antioxidant boost.
- 1 cup California walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, pure
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Tip: Leftover buttermilk can be frozen for future use. If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding to the recipe.
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
RDN Dawn Jackson Blatner provides us with a nutritious, bite-sized treat that is packed with flavor and perfect for snack time!
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- To a blender or food processor add pecan pieces, chickpeas, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt.
- Blend about 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth & creamy.
- Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
- Form into 24 cookie dough balls. Eat as-is. No baking required!
Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
These mini apple pies are filled with fresh apples and dried cranberries, making them a perfect holiday dessert. Cooking them in an air fryer makes the pastry crisp and flakey.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2/3 cup chopped California walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 box refrigerated pie dough
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped California walnuts
- Nonstick cooking spray
- To prepare filling, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add apples and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Add walnuts, brown sugar, cranberries and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes more. Set aside to cool.
- Unroll each pie dough on a very lightly floured board and sprinkle with walnuts. Gather into a ball and knead several times to incorporate walnuts into dough.
- Roll into an 11-inch circle and cut into circles about 4 1/2-inches in diameter. Re-roll scraps and repeat to make 10 circles. Using your fingertips, coat the outside of each circle with water.
- Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple mixture into the center of each pastry circle . Bring up 2 edges and pinch the edges to seal in the filling. Crimp firmly with a fork and coat with cooking spray.
- Preheat an air fryer set to 350°F for 3 minutes. Cook for 10 minutes or until pies are a light golden brown.
- Replace apples with 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced ripe pears and prepare as directed above, melting the butter before adding to the pears.