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Ina Garten Reveals Her Go-To Dinner Party Gift & It Involves a Lot of Chocolate

Kristine Cannon

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Homemade chocolate bark as a gift? Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten recently took to Instagram to share one of her go-to hostess gifts, chocolate bark, and the recipe for her French chocolate bark looks incredible. Equal parts sweet and salty, Garten’s bark is also loved by one of her besties, Jennifer Garner.

“Homemade chocolate bark is a great gift when you’re looking for something special to bring to a holiday dinner,” Garten wrote on her IG post alongside a photo of semisweet chocolate embedded with cashews, raisins, crystallized ginger, and dried apricots and cherries. “It’s sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy — all at the same time — and so easy to make. Who wouldn’t be delighted to get that for Christmas??”

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“One of my favorites, Ina!” Garner commented on the photo.

Garten’s French chocolate bark recipe calls for just seven ingredients, but making the bark calls for close attention to detail — and arm muscle. To start, you’ll bake cashews in the oven for a few minutes, and then set aside to cool. The next step requires melting the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates in the microwave a few times. Really pay attention to Garten’s instructions here, though, as she sprinkles in a few expert tips throughout to ensure your chocolate is melted and mixed just right.

Once you’ve melted the chocolate, the rest is easy. This is when you’ll sprinkle the rest of the ingredients onto the melted chocolate. But before you haphazardly toss, there’s a specific order you must follow if you want your bark Garten-approved. “First the ginger, then the cooled whole cashews, the cherries, apricots, and raisins,” she writes. Hey, this recipe is labeled “intermediate” for a reason. And if you follow the steps exactly, the guests at your party or the hostess at your next holiday gathering will be left so impressed.

Garten’s other favorite hostess gift is her homemade salted caramels.

“If I have time to cook,” Garten told Williams-Sonoma in 2012. “If I don’t have time to make them, I’ll order a box of chocolate-covered salted caramels from Fran’s in Seattle to bring to the host. I want to be sure to be invited back!”

And, more recently, Garten revealed yet another go-to holiday gift: Les Punitions, shortbread cookies from French bakery Poilâne.

“From my favorite bakery in Paris. They jokingly call these shortbread cookies punitons — or little punishments. They arrive packed in a beautiful hand-painted tin that you can use long after the cookies are gone.”

BRB while we invite Ina to our holiday party.

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