The mitzvah of giving baskets of food or Mishloach Manot on Purim is one I enjoy. I like the giving and of course the receiving!

Mishloach Manot (Hebrew) or Slach Manos (Yiddish) means “sending portions” and refers to the food baskets given on Purim. Jewish law says to give two different types of ready-to-eat food, each of which require a different blessing, to at least one person.

This year, I am going to make Dark Chocolate Bark with dried fruit and nuts and wine. Given the timing of Purim and the fact that I am crazy busy again (still!) and I know you are too, I have found everything I need at my local Whole Foods. I did a dry run just for all you JDater®s out there, and I was able to run in and out of the store in less than 15 minutes with everything I needed, including a bottle of wine to help get me through the entire ordeal! Once I arrived home and unpacked the bag of goodies, 45 minutes later I was done and my delicious and lovely bark was cooling outside on my balcony. This is one quick mitzvah and a quite tasty one at that.

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)

2 cups dried cranberries

2 cups dried unsulphured apricots, sliced thinly

2 cups pitted dates, sliced thinly

1 cup dried mango pieces

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup shelled pistachios

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until it is smooth and no longer has any lumps. If you do not own a double boiler, place a large heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmer water (be sure that the bowl does not touch the surface of the water).
  2. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate evenly over the lined pan.
  3. Scatter the fruit and nuts over the top of the chocolate. Be sure to evenly cover the chocolate so there is fruit and nuts in every bite. Place another sheet of parchment on top of the fruit and nuts and lightly press down to firmly attach the goodies.
  4. Cool completely until the chocolate is hardened. I put mine outside or you can put it in the refrigerator. Break up the bark into the large chunks and wrap in pretty tissue paper.

Variations-do the same recipe with white chocolate, add edible flower petals or edible gold leaf

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.
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