Over the last few years, I’ve come to the realization that homemade gifts are the most delicious. Homemade chocolate bark is a favourite of mine because it’s so easy to make, and it looks far more impressive than it actually is. So for Valentine’s Day, I decided to make this pretty in pink cinnamon heart chocolate bark. I love the mix of colours here, and these treats are perfect for wrapping up as little classroom gifts for the kids to take to school.
Start by placing a handful of cinnamon hearts in a sandwich baggie and crushing them with a hammer. If you’ve got a little Valentine’s Day frustration, this is a good chance to work some of that out. I have to admit smashing those hearts was kind of cathartic!
When it comes to chocolate, as in most things, quality matters. I use Callebaut white chocolate. I already had a one-pound block in my pantry, but you can also buy ready made small pieces designed for even melting. If you’re using a big block of chocolate like me, cut it up first.
The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. I put the chocolate pieces in a glass bowl and microwave for 20 seconds at a time on medium-high heat (power level 7 on my microwave). Between bursts of heat I check it and stir the chocolate. Since white chocolate scorches easier than dark, once it’s mostly melted, I remove it from the microwave and just stir until the last pieces of chocolate gradually melt into the liquid.
Once your chocolate is completely melted and smooth, pour it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it out evenly with a soft rubber spatula (about a quarter of an inch thick). For this recipe, keep back some of the melted chocolate (maybe a quarter cup or so) and add pink colouring until it’s the right shade of candy pink. Remember that any water in chocolate will make it seize, so use an oil-based or powder colour.
Mix your pink and white chocolate however you like. You can drizzle the pink on top and use your spatula to mix the two colours together for a marbled effect. You can drop dots of pink and make little sunburst patterns by dragging the coloured chocolate outward with a chopstick. Today, I poured the pink chocolate in lines and used my chopstick to drag across them to make this pretty pattern.
Kids love swirling the chocolate colours together, and even preschoolers can help sprinkle the crushed cinnamon hearts on top. I like to add a few whole hearts here and there too. Once your chocolate bark is decorated to your satisfaction, put the whole thing in the fridge for about half an hour until hardened.
Once the chocolate bark sets, you can either break it into shards or cut it into squares. I find squares easiest to wrap up for Valentine’s Day gift-giving.
Add a handful of cinnamon hearts to a couple squares of chocolate bark and wrap them up in a large square of clear cellophane. Tie each package shut with some red ribbon and a handmade heart-shaped Valentine’s Day tag if you like. For my oldest daughter’s class of 20, I doubled the recipe to make enough for everyone.
Cinnamon Heart Chocolate Bark
- 1 pound white chocolate chopped or pellets
- pink oil-based colouring to preferred shade
- 1/3 cup cinnamon hearts
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Place cinnamon hearts in a sandwich baggie and use hammer to crush into small pieces. Reserve a handful of whole hearts.
- Carefully melt chocolate in microwave. Heat in bursts of 20 seconds on medium-high, checking and stirring between. Once chocolate is mostly melted, stir until all remaining chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Pour melted white chocolate (reserving quarter cup of chocolate) into lined pan and spread evenly with a soft spatula to about 1/4" thickness .
- Immediately colour the reserved chocolate to the desired shade of pink.
- Drizzle pink chocolate over still liquid white chocolate and gently drag a chopstick through to marble the colours together.
- Sprinkle crushed cinnamon hearts and place a few whole hearts on top.
- Place in fridge for 30-60 minutes to harden.
- Break up into smaller pieces for packaging.
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