Ok, I have a confession. I really wish that I could eat dessert after every single meal, or sometimes even instead of some meals. Not gonna lie about it. Specifically chocolate. Like all of the chocolate. Almost any kind of chocolate or even several different kinds all at the same time. I don't understand on any level the phrase "too chocolatey." There is no such thing.
Sadly, I don't eat dessert with every meal (or even every day), because I'd rather not weigh 600 pounds, which I surely would if I ate as much chocolate as I wanted to. But simple, lighter recipes like this one help me satisfy my sweet tooth pretty often without wrecking a healthy eating plan.
Almond Meringue Bark
1/2 cup slivered almonds, divided (*pre-toasted if you prefer. See note below.)
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup coconut sugar
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add 1/4 cup almonds and 1 teaspoon coconut sugar to food processor or blender and process until consistency of cornmeal. Chop remaining almonds and set both aside.
3. In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Combine 1/4 cup coconut sugar and cocoa powder in small bowl and slowly add to egg white mixture a tablespoon or so at a time (while continuing to beat) until it reaches stiff peak stage. Do not overbeat.
4. Gently fold in almond meal until well-incorporated, being careful not to flatten the meringue.
5. Spread the mixture onto lined baking sheet in a thin layer and sprinkle chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips evenly over the top.
6. Bake for 1 hour. Then turn off oven (do not open) and allow meringue to dry for at least an additional hour as it cools.
7. Remove from oven once cooled and crisp, and break into pieces to serve.
*When I make this, I like to toast my almonds in a dry pan before processing/chopping because I like the added flavor, but this is completely optional. The recipe works fine either way.
It's also important to note that any level of moisture is a huge enemy of this recipe. It's best to bake it on a clear, dry day, and it's critical to store it in an airtight container. It will become chewy if it picks up too much moisture from the air. But if that does happen, don't throw it away. You can put it back in the oven at about 200 degrees for about 30 minutes (and then turn off oven while it cools and dries out again) to get it back to crispy. Just please don't serve it chewy or soggy. That would be such a sad day. ;-)
(Adapted from a recipe by Claire Robinson on 5-Ingredient Fix)