Here's a fun to make sweet treat, an easy chocolate bark recipe in bite sized form. Chocolate bark bites! Make them in mini muffin pans. Dark chocolate with nuts, coconut and dried fruit all in one delicious bite. No messy fingers and a party in a bite. Chocolate lovers rejoice!
Why You'll Like This Recipe
- It's like sheet-style chocolate bark but bite-sized.
- Easy to package little bags make great homemade gifts for Valentines Day chocolate treats, Easter chocolate, or for any holiday season. Make some for baby shower treats and wedding party favors. Doubles or triples easily.
- An easy dessert to take to a potluck or picnic.
- They are fun to make!
Please see the recipe card for quantities. The simple ingredients are:
- Chocolate: Buy high-quality chocolate at 72% or more depending on how dark you prefer your chocolate. The higher the number, the less sweet the chocolate is. If you love chocolate, here is a fun resource. I have not tried this recipe with milk chocolate, but it should work because of the butterfat.
- Walnuts: Buy chopped walnuts or walnut pieces and chop them fine.
- Shredded coconut: Buy dry, unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes, not the sticky sugary stuff.
- Dried cranberries: They provide a tart-sweet contrast to the dark chocolate, crunchy nuts and coconut. A terrific combination. Dried fruit options below.
Chef's Tip: Chopping chocolate. Buy chocolate bars and break them up by hand or chop them into pieces with a serrated knife on a cutting board. That bread knife you rarely use is great for chopping chocolate. Sometimes I use chunks of chocolate meant just for baking (and snacking). Here is the chocolate I used in the photos. No chopping required.
Substitutions and Variations
- Don't like walnuts? Use chopped almonds, chopped macadamia nuts, chopped cashews, pistachios or pumpkin seeds.
- For dried fruit, substitute dried apricots combined with goji berries, golden berries, or dried cherries.
- Feel free to experiment and use your favorite toppings, like fancy sprinkles or crushed peppermint candy canes at Christmas for peppermint bark, even white chocolate chips.
For another bite-sized, small chocolate treat, make these mini pots de creme or these beautiful chocolate dipped strawberries (also fun to make). For gift-giving, these sweet and spicy roast cashews are always a huge hit.
Chocolate Bark vs. Chocolate Bark Bites
Chocolate bark bites is a riff on, or a variation of chocolate bark. Chocolate bark is melted chocolate poured onto parchment paper supported by a sheet pan or cookie sheet, spread into a thin layer, then decorate with dried fruit and many other toppings.
With bark bites, the chocolate is melted and drizzled into mini paper cups (or silicone cups) and layered with the dried fruit and other toppings.
To make these as shown you need a 12-well mini muffin pan and mini paper liners. I use a metal mini muffin pan, but you can use silicone (and use papers or not). If you use silicone, you will need a metal baking tray underneath to support the flexible silicone pan.
The mini paper liners vary just a tiny bit by brand, so depending on what you buy, your chocolate bark bites might be a slightly different size. Buy them online and at cooking and speciality baking stores. Even some grocery stores have them.
Option: If you don't have a mini muffin pan you can still make these. Place the paper cups flat on a plate to fill. They will spread more since there are no sides to help them hold their shape, but it still works.
Start by chopping the chocolate into small pieces as it melts faster. Then melt your chocolate. There are two ways to melt chocolate: in a double boiler or the microwave. Either way you need a heat-proof bowl.
While the chocolate is melting, place the other ingredients into individual small bowls and set up your mini muffin pan with paper liners.
To make the chocolate bark bites, drizzle a little bit of melted chocolate into the mini paper cups then layer with sprinkles of the walnuts, coconut and dried fruit. Start with a thin layer and build into 3 layers. You will use about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate in total per chocolate bark bite, 1 teaspoon per layer.
When you're done, place the pan in the refrigerator until they harden, about 30 minutes.
Chef's Tip: Chocolate and water do not mix. Water makes chocolate "seize". It goes from being fluid to a stiff grainy mess. Be careful if using the stove top method that no moisture gets into your melted chocolate when removing the bowl from the pan.
Melting Chocolate: Stovetop Method
Set up a double boiler or "bain marie" (water bath). Place a couple inches of water in a pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Turn heat to low and place a small metal or glass bowl with the chocolate over the hot water.
The bowl should sit on top and barely into the pan, but not touch the hot water. Stir occasionally, until chocolate melts smooth. It won't take long. Don't rush it by turning up the heat.
I prefer the double boiler method because you can easily see the chocolate melting and it's more controllable.
Melting Chocolate: Microwave Method
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave using 50% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Continue in 30 second increments until chocolate is mostly melted. It’s ready when there are still a few lumps. It will smooth out as you stir.
Do not overheat or the chocolate could burn. If it burns, you will have to toss it and start over (which is why I prefer the traditional stove top method). If you use the microwave, just be careful.
Store chocolate bark bites in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature or package into cello bags and tie with ribbon as a gift. You can also store them in the refrigerator.
Chef's Tip: To make cutting sticky dried fruit easier, first spray your knife with non-stick spray. It makes the blade slice through the stickiness much easier and also makes cleaning your knife easier.
How to Make For Gifts and Party Favors
Because these are so easy to make, you can make batches and package them for hostess gifts, holiday gifts and party favors. Use small cello bags with twist ties and ribbon. You choose how many per package.
I do not temper the chocolate for this recipe, but you can if you want to take that extra step. Read here to learn how. Tempering chocolate gives it more snap and a glossy finish. It matters more when you are making chocolate bark poured onto a baking sheet or candies. Since these are in bite size form, I decided to skip it.
Chocolate bark bites will last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, but I've never had them last that long! If you're kitchen is not too warm (below 70°F) they can be stored on the kitchen counter in an airtight container.
For more gifts from the kitchen ideas, try these recipes too. The no-bake chocolate chip energy balls are a terrific afternoon snack or post workout pick-me-up.
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Easy Chocolate Bark (bite size)
- 7 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces if needed. Use a serrated knife, bread knife or a large heavy chefs knife. Melt chocolate in either the microwave or a double boiler on the stove.
How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave
- To melt chocolate in the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave using 50% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Continue in 30 second increments until chocolate is mostly melted. It’s ready when there are still a few lumps. They will smooth out as you stir. Do not overheat or chocolate could burn.
How to Melt Chocolate on the Stovetop
- To melt chocolate in a double boiler, place a small pan with a few inches of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and place a small bowl with the chocolate over the hot water. The bowl should sit on top and partially into the pan, but not touch the hot water. Stir occasionally, until chocolate melts smooth.
Assemble the Chocolate Bark Bites
- Place 12 paper cups mini cupcake pan for support. Drizzle in 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate, then top with a sprinkle of nuts, coconut and a few dried cranberries. Drizzle with another teaspoon melted chocolate, and sprinkle with a bit more nuts and coconut. Drizzle with a third teaspoon of melted chocolate and sprinkle with the goodies. Refrigerate about 30 minutes to set up or until they are firm.