Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cook: Dark Chocolate Granola Bark

It was early, way earlier than normal, when I pulled out of my apartment complex and got stuck behind a garbage crew. At three different stops I watched the man in charge of collecting the garbage, disembark from the back of the truck, grab a bag of garbage and toss the bag in the compacter. This whole sequence occurred in one fluid motion. At the fourth collection area the man's movements changed. He left the truck and was no longer on cruise control. He seemed focused on something off in the distance. I followed his gaze and saw a man, dressed in running garb, standing between two teenagers. It seemed to be some sort of pre-dawn marriage ceremony. The garbage man came upon the trio and, without hesitation, grabbed the running man and tore off his arms. He then proceeded to decapitate him. 

I've got two thoughts about what I witnessed this morning.  First, I've been watching too much of the new X-Files. Second, this garbage man couldn't have played the role of Emperor Claudius better if he tried. Emperor Claudius is the evil villain in one of the martyrdom stories that are generally associated with the Christian saint Valentinus (for whom Valentine's Day is named). I'm normally not one for celebrating Valentine's Day but after witnessing a guy be decapitated, how can you not feel the love? So, instead of abstaining from my work's Valentine's Party, I decided to do what's right and veganize the f**king thing. My approach? A batch of Dark Chocolate Granola Bark. 

Dark Chocolate Granola Bark

-2 cups vegan chocolate chips
-1 cup granola
-1/2 to 3/4 a cup of dried, tart cherries
-1/4 tsp. of coarse salt

1. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the granola. Continue until the chocolate and granola are well combined.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrap the granola/chocolate mixture onto the parchment paper. Smooth the mixture to your desired thickness.

3. Uniformly sprinkle the cherries and salt on top. Press the cherries into the chocolate. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least half an hour. Eat with your favorite Valentine.