I have been so busy lately, I feel like I've lost track of the calendar year. It doesn't help that the weather hasn't felt like November, with many days seeing above normal temperatures. The snow that normally falls in the month of November... well, it just hasn't happened. I am still running out the door without a coat on. I just can't get into the "it's time-for-cold-weather" mindset.
When I drove through our neighborhood's "village" this morning and saw holiday decorations going up, I panicked. We are on the cusp of the holiday season and I have done nothing to prepare myself for this! There has been no thought yet of gift-giving, but even worse... there has been no thought given to the experiments I usually have planned for my kitchen this time of year. Normally, I have files of recipes, and all of these accumulated recipes wait patiently for their turn; but not this year... I've done nothing.
chocolate + fleur de sel = total bliss
So,this morning I frantically began pulling recipes, and when I found this one for Dark Chocolate with Peanuts and Orange Peel I rushed to my kitchen and got to work.
Is it good? A friend stopped by after I had finished and kept returning to the glass jar for, "one more piece." If there is any left the end of the week, I plan to smash it and add the pieces to homemade vanilla bean ice cream... that's if there is any left.
º Chocolate - Orange Peanut Bark º
adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Sweets | Winter 2009
• 1 organic navel orange
• 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 1/3 cups peanuts
• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1. Line a 12-inch-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; chill. With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from the orange in long pieces (reserve orange for another use). With a sharp knife, cut zest into very fine strips, about 1 inch long.
2. Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a mircrowave safe bowl. In 20 second bursts, melt chocolate, stopping to stir until melted. Once melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Stir in half the orange zest and 3/4 of the peanuts. Immediately pour onto the prepared sheet and quickly spread the mixture 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with the remaining orange zest, peanuts and fleur de sel.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Break the bark into pieces. Layer between pieces of parchment or waxed paper and store in an air-tight container.
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