My Coco-Nutty Dark Chocolate Bark is the perfect holiday treat to gift to your friends and family! It just so happens to be dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free, too!

Paleo Coco-Nutty Dark Bark is perfect for DIY homemade edible holiday gifts because the recipe is drop-dead simple and infinitely customizable.

Edible holiday gifts are the best!

I love DIY holiday gifts. There’s something about a homemade gift from the kitchen that somehow seems more authentic and heartfelt than a purchased gift—even if it’s a store-bought item that I think kicks booty and brings joy. The problem with most homemade edible presents is that they can be crazy unhealthy or overwhelmingly difficult to make. Or both.

Paleo Coco-Nutty Dark Bark is perfect for DIY homemade edible holiday gifts because the recipe is drop-dead simple and infinitely customizable.

But what if I told you that I’ve got a super simple recipe for a holiday treat that’s at once impressive-looking AND not (too) bad for you? Introducing…Coco-Nutty Dark Chocolate Bark! They’re way easier to make than cookies and they’re the perfect amount of sweetness!

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Healthier chocolate bark recipe

First things first—let’s not kid ourselves: this tart, nutty, and bittersweet dessert ain’t Whole30 compatible. My crunchy bark recipe doesn’t contain a lot of junk, but it shouldn’t replace the greens and protein on your plate. Okay, PSA over.

I love making Coco-Nutty Dark Bark ’cause it’s drop-dead simple and infinitely customizable. To be honest, I feel embarrassed even calling this a recipe: all you do is melt the best dark chocolate you can find, and top it with your favorite add-ins.

Customizable homemade chocolate bark

You can change the toppings to suit your taste, though in my humble opinion, the crowning trio consists of toasted coconut flakes, tangy dried cranberries, and salty roasted macadamia nuts. I’ve even provided some fun printable labels that’ll make your packs of chocolatey goodness look legit. Of course, it goes without saying that this minimalist dessert is only going to be as good as the ingredients you choose, so don’t skimp on the chocolate, forget to toast the coconut, or buy stale nuts. Quality matters and affects the flavors!

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Ready to impress your pals?

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened coconut flakes: Not a fan of coconut? Leave them off!
  • Dark chocolate (70-85%): My favorite high-quality chocolate brands are Alter Eco and Green & Black bars. I don’t normally use chocolate chips because most are too sweet but these Guittard 74% organic chocolate baking wafers work great. And no, white chocolate is not chocolate.
  • Dry-roasted and salted macadamia nuts, cut into halves: Yes, salty is the way to go! I love the interplay of sweet, salty, and tangy in this dark bark. If you don’t like macadamia nuts, feel free to use roasted and salted almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, or pumpkin seeds.
  • Dried cranberries: I like the tang and color of dried cranberries on this chocolate bark, but feel free to use your favorite dried fruit. Some great choices are dried cherries, apricots, or even ginger!

How to make chocolate bark

Heat an oven or toaster oven to 300°F. Place the coconut flakes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Take them out and cool to room temperature.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

One of the keys to melting chocolate evenly is to cut the chocolate bars into small pieces—don’t just break them up into large squares. Starting at one of the corners, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. This step might seem like a chore, and you’re gonna have to flex your muscles, but the chocolate will melt faster and more evenly once it’s properly chopped.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Place the chocolate shards into a glass mixing bowl. You have two options for melting the chocolate: use a double boiler or a microwave. Most folks don’t own a double boiler, but you can make your own by grabbing a metal or glass bowl that fits snugly in a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

While maintaining the water at a simmer, stir the melting chocolate until it’s smooth. Be patient and don’t overheat the chocolate—it can turn grainy if the temperature goes above 115°F. (You can check the temperature with this nifty thermometer.)

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

For those of you who use a microwave oven, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl by zapping it on high for 30 seconds, and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat two more times, and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute and a half, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overcook it!

While the chocolate is melting, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper, and using an silicone or offset spatula, spread it thinly and evenly into a rough rectangle, keeping the chocolate layer about ⅛- to ¼-inch thick. Dark bark is supposed to be rustic, so don’t stress out if it’s not totally uniform.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Grab your toppings…

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

…and sprinkle on the macadamia nuts, toasted coconut…

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

…and dried cranberries.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Once the chocolate is decorated, I gently push down the toppings that look like they need a little help getting stuck in the chocolate.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Place the tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until hardened.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Once the dark bark has solidified, break or cut it into pieces.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

To keep fingerprints off the chocolate, handle the bark with parchment paper or use a sandwich bag as a glove. Classy, right?

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

If you’re going to eat the dark bark by yourself, you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

For those of you gifting the candy, divide the jagged bark into four decorative bags (I like packing them in these fold-over lined bakery bags, cellophane bags, and kraft bags), and seal them with some stickers for good measure.

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Want to print out some of the Nom Nom Coco-Nutty Dark Bark stickers for yourself? I have downloads available for free! If you want to buy pre-cut 2.5-inch circular Avery labels, download the sticker template here. On the other hand, if you want to cut ’em out yourself, use this template instead. (Note: These are two different templates, so choose wisely!)

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Now go share the love (and calories)!

Coco-Nutty Dark Bark by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

Looking for other DIY holiday gift ideas?

Make my Magic Mushroom Powder or my Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles! There are bunch of tasty homemade gift ideas in my Nomtastic DIY Edible Holiday Gifts roundup. Not crafty? There’s no shame in just buying a gift—especially if you’re using my latest Holiday Gift Guide! Happy holidays!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Coco-Nutty Dark Chocolate Bark

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Paleo Coco-Nutty Dark Chocolate Bark is perfect for DIY homemade edible holiday gifts because the recipe is drop-dead simple and infinitely customizable.

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 300°F. Place the coconut flakes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Take them out and cool to room temperature.
  • One of the keys to melting chocolate evenly is to cut the chocolate bars into small pieces—don’t just break them up into large squares. Starting at one of the corners, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. This step might seem like a chore, and you’re gonna have to flex your muscles, but the chocolate will melt faster and more evenly once it’s properly chopped.
  • Place the chocolate shards into a glass mixing bowl. You have two options for melting the chocolate: use a double boiler or a microwave. Most folks don’t own a double boiler, but you can make your own by grabbing a metal or glass bowl that fits snugly in a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl.
  • While maintaining the water at a simmer, stir the melting chocolate until it’s smooth. Be patient and don’t overheat the chocolate—it can turn grainy if the temperature goes above 115°F.
  • For those of you who use a microwave oven, you can melt the chocolate by zapping it on high for 30 seconds, and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat two more times, and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute and a half, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overcook it!
  • While the chocolate is melting, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper, and using an offset or silicone spatula, spread it thinly and evenly into a rough rectangle, keeping the chocolate layer about ⅛- to ¼-inch thick. Dark bark is supposed to be rustic, so don’t stress out if it’s not totally uniform.
  • Grab your toppings, and sprinkle on the macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, and dried cranberries. Once the chocolate is decorated, I gently push down the toppings that look like they need a little help getting stuck in the chocolate.
  • Place the tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until hardened. Once the dark bark has solidified, break or cut it into pieces.
  • If you’re going to eat the dark bark by yourself, you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • For those of you gifting the candy, divide the jagged bark into four decorative bags and seal them with some stickers for good measure.
  • Want to print out some of the Nom Nom Coco-Nutty Dark Bark stickers for yourself? I have downloads available for free! If you want to buy pre-cut 2.5-inch circular Avery labels, download the sticker template here. On the other hand, if you want to cut ’em out yourself, use this template instead. (Note: These are two different templates, so choose wisely!)

Notes

  • To keep fingerprints off the chocolate, handle the bark with parchment paper or use a sandwich bag as a glove. Classy, right?
  • Looking for other DIY holiday gift ideas? Make my Magic Mushroom Powder or my Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles! Not crafty? There’s no shame in just buying a gift—especially if you’re using my Holiday Gift Guide. Happy holidays!

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Fiber: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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3 Comments

  1. HI there! I’ve been primal for approx. 8 yrs and I remember in the beginning that we were to avoid dry roasted and salted nuts; we were encouraged to only eat raw. Is that still the deal? What is the process of dry roasting a nut? I’ve seen you and another favorite paleo blogger use dry roasted nuts in a recipe and now I’m confused! Can you please shed some light? Thanks, this recipe looks awesome!!

  2. 5 stars
    Skip a bunch of steps by putting the unmelted chocolate on a parchment-lined pan in a single layer & placing in a low warm oven that has been turned off. The chocolate will gently melt. When melted, use the offset spatula to spread to an even thickness & proceed. So easy!