Noel Bars


1 1/2 pounds Swiss white chocolate couverture, from the large 13 ounce Lindt bar
2/3 cup whole almonds, roasted*
2/3 cup unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup diced dried California apricots
1/3 cup candied diced orange peel (available from The Nut House, 1100 Continental Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28273; 704-588-1529)

*Note: To roast almonds, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly roast the nuts for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Test for doneness by cutting an almond in half. The inside of the nut should be an even tan color. Transfer the almonds to another baking sheet to cool completely. Coarsely chop the nuts by hand and transfer them to a bowl.


Make the chocolate bars:

1. Temper the white chocolate. (See the tempering instructions on page 64.)

2. With a lint-free cloth or cotton ball, rub the inside of sixteen 37/8-by-2-inch rectangular metal Friand molds until shiny.

3. Gently stir the nuts, dried fruit and orange peel into the tempered white chocolate.

4. Carefully spoon the chocolate mixture into the Friand molds. Do not overfill. As you fill each mold gently tap the mold on the work surface to remove air pockets and to level the chocolate mixture. Wipe up any chocolate spills that may have splashed on the molds. Place the filled molds on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until the chocolate contracts slightly from the sides of the molds.

Unmold the chocolate bars:

5. Pad a work surface with a folded kitchen towel or a double thickness of paper towels. Invert one of the Friand molds over the padded surface, and gently tap the mold on the work surface. The chocolate bar should release easily from the mold. If the bar does not release from the mold after a gentle tap, it could be one of two reasons: the chocolate has not set sufficiently, or the chocolate was not properly tempered. Return the mold to the refrigerator. Try again after another 30 minutes.

6. Tap the mold firmly on the work surface until the chocolate bar releases from the mold. If the chocolate bar still does not release from the mold, this is an indication that the chocolate was out of temper when you spooned the chocolate mixture into the mold. If this should happen, do not attempt to scrape the chocolate from the mold.

For more gourmet chocolate recipes, and other ways to create a specialty chocolate gift, please see our chocolate recipes section. Thank you for visiting

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