Cherry-Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Bark

This is the grown-up variation of chocolate bark: sweet, tart, spicy, salty, and profoundly addictive. It's lots of fun to make, with plenty of lovely little jobs for kids to do. Add festive wrapping, and you've got a great holiday gift.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: about 2 pounds, enough for 4 gift boxes

Ingredients

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/2 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (the green kind)
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    2 (11- or 12-ounce) bags semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
    1 cup dried, pitted sour cherries (we get ours at Trader Joe's)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 250. Line a 12-by-17-inch jelly roll pan (or rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil until a drop of water sizzles on contact, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly until the seeds are fragrant, starting to brown, and making popping sounds, about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the salt and cayenne, and leave to cool about 5 minutes.
  3. Scatter the chocolate chips evenly in the prepared pan. Place pan in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove and spread chocolate with a rubber spatula. Scatter the cherries over the top of the melted chocolate, then scatter the pumpkin seeds. Chill at least 2 hours, until firm enough to break into pieces.

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