Chances are good you’ll run across some peppermint bark—or some variation of it—this season, what with candy canes being pretty plentiful and it being an easy enough treat to whip up on short notice.
But if you’re looking to try something new or make something a little less sweet, Southern Living’s Cherry-Pistachio Bark could be just the thing you’re looking for.
Much like the candy-striped and white chocolate concoction, this bark recipe comes together quickly, in about an hour or so. Factor in a little more time if you have to shell the pistachios, though.
Once the pistachios are shelled, they’ll have to be chopped to make a cup-and-a-quarter’s worth. If you have a nut grinder, this step is easier than it sounds—especially if it has the handy measuring guide like mine does.
Next step, add the dried cherries and two tablespoons of water to a bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Once this is done, the recipe says to drain, but in my experience there really wasn’t much of anything to drain.
With the pistachios and cherries at the ready, start melting two 12 oz. bags of white chocolate chips and 6 2 oz. squares of vanilla candy coating in a large pan. Actually, I could have started this step while chopping the pistachios and microwaving the cherries, but I didn’t want to risk burning the chocolate.
Patience is required here because of the low heat setting, but it’s worth the wait. Chop the vanilla candy coating squares into smaller pieces, then continue to break them up with a knife as they soften in the saucepan.
Stir the mixture until smooth, then add the cherries and pistachios and mix well.
At this point, I added the mixture to a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible. Southern Living’s instructions called for adding it to a jelly roll pan and cutting it out in heart shapes (it was printed in a February issue).
But had I known how much it would yield or how thick it would be, I would have used two cookie sheets for a thinner bark.
The result is a festive candy—red from the cherries and green from the pistachios—that is a satisfying balance of sweet and salty tastes.
For step-by-step visuals of this process or to repin, check out this recipe on our Pinterest board.