Valentine’s Day is almost here! It’s a time for Hallmark-card-inspired declarations of love. It’s a time for high expectations that are quite likely to be dashed. And it’s a time for candy. In fact, it’s time for one of my most favourite of all candies, the cinnamon heart. They’re probably chock full of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colouring, but man alive they’re delicious. I could eat bowls full of cinnamon hearts.
If there’s anything that’s better than cinnamon hearts, though, it’s got to be chocolate and cinnamon hearts. And so, at this time of year, I make a lot of cinnamon heart bark. I’ve honed my recipe, drawing inspiration from the fabulous Canadian Living Two-Tone Peppermint Bark recipe and the equally fabulous No Time for Flash Cards Cinnamon Heart Bark recipe.
Gathering my ingredients
(While I’m talking about Canadian Living, did you know that Strocel.com was named their March blog of the month? I am so immensely flattered. You can see it for yourself on page 22.)
The only downside to making bark, whether peppermint or cinnamon heart, is that it’s impossible to keep your kids from rushing in to “help” you if they’re awake and present. Just try pulling out two kinds of chocolate chips and a bag of candy and see for yourself. So if you don’t relish the idea of little hands sneaking hearts from under your nose, make sure they’re suitably slumbering.
Cinnamon Heart Bark
* This recipe has always been gluten-free!
2 cups chocolate chips OR 12oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups white chocolate chips OR 12oz white chocolate
1/2 cup cinnamon hearts
1/2 tsp cinnamon extract
Spread foil on a cookie sheet and lightly butter the surface.
Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. I use the microwave, but word to the wise, only run it for 45 seconds or so at a time and then stir. If you run it for too long, you can actually burn your chocolate, which is really tremendously tragic.
Once your chocolate is melted, add the cinnamon extract and stir. Then spread a thin layer of chocolate on your greased foil. Put this in the freezer to harden.
Crush your cinnamon hearts. Because they’re a little bit chewy, they don’t crush quite as well as peppermint candy does. But still, breaking down the pieces into slightly more manageable sizes makes the bark easier to eat, so give it your best shot within reason.
Melt the white chocolate the same way that you melted the other chocolate. Remove your cookie sheet from the freezer, and spread a layer of white chocolate over the semi-sweet chocolate.
Hannah searches for the perfect piece
Sprinkle your crushed hearts on top. Pat the hearts lightly with your hands to make sure they stick and put it all in the fridge or freezer to harden. Then break into pieces and enjoy!
Yield: Sadly, never quite enough. You’ll always need to make more.