Hiker Steve Rock created these healthy, delicious snacks and cautions that they will “kick you down the trail a bit.” As they energize you for your day, they might also awaken our awareness of the seven species of the land of Israel — two grains and five fruits. This recipe uses almost all of them. Enjoy them on a hike or as you plant a tree on Tu B’Shvat.
Chocolate Chunks For Tu B’Shvat
Yields approximately 20 chunks
1 pound dark chocolate, chips or broken into pieces
1 cup almonds
1⁄2 cup raisins, dates, figs, pomegranate and/or other dried fruit
1⁄8 cup coffee beans
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Wheat cereal, barley cereal, granola, oatmeal, or other cereal (optional)
1) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or waxed paper.
2) Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat.
3) In a food processor with the chop blade, combine the almonds, raisins, coffee beans, and cayenne. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
4) Stir the cocoa into the melted chocolate. Once the mixture is even and getting stiff, add the chopped nuts and fruits. Keep stirring. Taste to check the spice level. If the mixture is too moist and sticky, add more nuts, or matzo meal, or wait until firm enough to handle. (Cooling in the refrigerator will firm the mixture faster.)
5) Roll the mixture into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Remove from the baking sheet and store in a covered container.
Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz speaks about chocolate and Jews around the world. The second edition of her book, “On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao,” was recently released. Prinz is co-curator of the exhibit “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate,” on view at the Bernard Museum of Temple Emanu-el in New York City (through February of 2018). Her blog is onthechocolatetrail.org.