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Chocolate Bark
with Pistachios & Dried Cherries

3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios (3 oz), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
24 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided

Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion. Melt 18 oz. chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly. Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6 oz. chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth. Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Makes 4 dozen pieces.

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