Poison Chocolate Almond Bark
Fast! Easy! Impressive!

So I still haven’t baked.  A thing.  I’m not a baker.  My guess is it’s because I don’t like baked goods.  Unless it happens to be a baked antojito.

You can take your cakes and pies and cookies and shove em in that hole in your mouth, but I’ll take a bag of chips over a chocolate chip anyday.

Unless …. you melt your chocolate chips into the easiest most impressive, delicious treat in the WORLD.


3 cups chocolate (milk, dark or white)

1 cup almonds

1 Tablespoon solid shortening



Toast your almonds in a pan.  Just heat them over a medium low heat, stirring often until they smell toasted.

Or don’t.  It doesn’t really matter.  Just buy toasted almonds.

pan almonds


Melt your chocolate and shortening over the stove in a double boiler.

Put a few inches of water in the bottom pot, and heat the chocolate on the top over a low simmer.  The better the and lighter the chocolate the more easily it will melt.

I used Belgian Milk Chocolate.  You can use chocolate chips if that’s what you have on hand.  But because I’m better than you and everyone else in the world, I went out and bought Belgian Milk Chocolate.  The finest chocolate in the land.  More on that later.

pot chocolate


Once the chocolate is melted, stir in your almonds.

pot almonds


Pour everything onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I’m sure waxed paper would work too.

Try and get your almonds distributed evenly.  Having unevenly distributed almonds has been known to lead to war (s).

Bang the pan a few times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles in the chocolate.

melted chocolate


Stick the whole thing in the fridge for a few hours to solidify.  Remove it from the fridge and break the almond bark up with your hands.  Then eat it.  With your mouth.


chocolate almond bark


Doesn’t it look delicious?  All that expensive, beautiful chocolate, melted into a bark like form.  The only problem was when I was doing this recipe, I didn’t have any shortening, which I didn’t notice until I was putting the chocolate in the pan.  So I called my “emergency ingredient neighbour” and screamed into the phone.  AHHHHH!  I’M HAVING A BAKING EMERGENCY.  A BAKING EMERGENCY I TELL YOU!  I NEED HELPPPPPP.  Well.  My neighbour is 80 and she didn’t take kindly to me screaming at her like that about an emergency.  Something about blood pressure and a heart condition.  I dunno.  I only pay attention to her when I need ingredients.  She had some shortening so she threw it to me over the fence.  I thanked her politely, because I’m nothing if not polite to everyone’s face.

Then I ran inside the house and melted that shortening into my very expensive, I’m better than you, chocolate.  Then I noticed a smell.  A kind of … rancid smell.  Like a consitipation fart.  Mixed with gasoline.

It was the shortening.  It was rancid.  Rancid like a thousand rotting monkeys.  So, I mixed everything up and made it pretty for the sake of the post.  But this particular almond bark that you’re looking at?  It’s poison almond bark.

I’ve since bought shortening and remade the bark.  I’ve also since notified my neighbour that the next time I give her a scare, she doesn’t have to retaliate by trying to kill me.  A simple “You scared the bujesus out of me” will do.

So if you’re worried you didn’t do any baking this holiday season, don’t worry about it … just do this.  Whether you make the poison or the unpoison version is entirely up to you and who you plan to give it to.



  1. Melody Axe says:

    Would coconut oil work in place of the shortening?

    • Karen says:

      Um, I’m not really sure Melody. Chocolate is kind of finicky. At best you could try subbing the shortening with 1/2 the amount in butter and 1/2 the amount in coconut oil. ~ karen!

  2. Marcos says:

    The Cambridge Journals have documented that cocoa improves antioxidant status
    and reduces circulatory stiffening to comprehend blood flow.
    The good chocolate is much more fascinating compared to the tales with the Arabian nights.
    A quote by Albert Einstein about greed; “Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.

  3. Rebecca Marie Hall says:

    Love this idea/recipe! thank you! re: shortening – I suggest using coconut oil or cocoa butter instead of regular type who knows what it is or where it came from shortening (likely full of GMOs too). I did some web-surfing and got the cocoa butter idea, and I’ve been using coconut oil as the shortening for lots of things lately, it’s yummy. Thanks Karen! just found you b/c of your frozen yogurt for a yeast infection film – that was great too. best blessings to you!

  4. Traci says:

    Love the almond bark, although I have tried to eliminate shortening from my cooking…

    Peppermint bark is great too. I layer melted chocolate and melted white chocolate. Run a toothpick through it to make a fancy design and then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

    I also use the simplest fudge recipe ever.

    Melt one bag of chocolate chips (ghirradelli is awesome for this), while still heating slowly stir in one can of sweetened condensed milk. Add flavorings (one tablespoon of vanilla usually does the trick, although you can mix it up: coffee, peppermint, orange, etc.). Pour into a 9″X9″ baking dish that has been lined with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

    You can also add sprinkles or other toppings before refrigerating. I covered my last batch in a sprinkling of andes mint chips and let them melt before refrigerating and it made a beautiful and yummy mint fudge.

  5. julia garcia says:

    I made this just as soon as I read the post! AND I have the SAME double boiler, which made it extra special :) Had to use roasted& salted almonds from FleetFarm though [our local farm/feed store] and also I have a janky electric stove. But hey, it’s delicious anyway!

  6. marilyn says:

    Fruitcake should be banned from the face of the earth. it isnt a true anything..just saying

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn – Really? I love fruitcake. I hold a special place in my heart for it right beside brussels sprouts and pickled pigs feet. ;) ~ karen

  7. Erin Hall {i can craft that} says:

    I love dark chocolate almond bark from the bulk store. I should try my own I suppose!

  8. Shauna says:

    Argh, stupid rancid stuff messing up the good chocolate! I bought ‘super fresh’ nuts (macadamia- not cheap and cashews – also not cheap) for a yummy salty nutty, chocolate dessert and when it all hardened and I went to taste it…some of the nuts must have been rancid and ruined the whole damn thing! I was so ticked. I went to the store that night to make sure I was buying fresh nuts. Stupid store!

  9. OMG! Constipation fart? I am SO using that one! LOLOL
    I just made an equally easy Almond Roca the other day….didn’t think to make it into a post! HOwever, I might just do that now! It will NOT be as funny and of COURSE not as “better than your high end chocolate” ha! But it IS easy and impressive like yours, for those of us that would rather have chips and dip than chocolate and baking stuff! GREAT POST as usual!

  10. Gayla T says:

    I do a layer of milk chocolate, a layer of white and then sprinkle the crushed candy canes. It’s so pretty and tastes awesome which reminds me that I need to get off here and get myself to the store cause I haven’t made anything…….well, I did make five wreaths, a decorated tree X two, a nativity scene on the piano, a Christmas village on the built in buffet and several floral arrangements through out the house so I’m about at the place where you are and I NEED TO COOK. No sweat as I have a couple of days for a cooking marathon and I do my best work under pressure. I’ll bet you do too.

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – I do work well under pressure, but I was hoping for a day off prior to Christmas to just sit and read. Um … maybe that’ll happen after Christmas. ~ karen

  11. Alicya says:

    ok this may be a stupid question but what the hell is shortening? Iam am thinking its that white lardy stuff but my stomach churns just thinking of it.

  12. Heather says:

    ~ giggle ~ Thanks Karen and everyone for a cheery batch of laughs this morning :) I don’t bake either — I used to when my kids were young, about 50 years ago (OMG!). I have never made almond bark (due to the complexities of shortening vs butter??), but I excel at buying and eating it!!

    Karen: love your very descriptive ‘consitipation fart’

  13. Ginny says:

    Well, I’m smack in the middle of a baking frenzy and have been for three days! I don’t know why but this happens every Christmas. My fella was a little upset last night when he wanted to cook dinner and there was absolutely no counter surface that wasn’t covered in cookies or chocolate that was either decorated and drying or somewhere in the middle of the process. I think it’s some sort of mental illness that with my luck requires years of expensive therapy.

  14. Lisa says:

    You can give the poison almond bark to people you want to punch in the throat. Merry Christmas!

  15. Katie says:

    These melt-something-in-a-pan-and-then-cool-it-and-break-it-up holiday recipes are the MOST FABULOUS because they keep me from going crazy. I just made some peppermint bark last night (and got fancy by dipping peppermint sticks into it!), and I still have my sanity because of it. Every time I get all ambitious and think I’m going to make cookies, I end up in the fetal position on my kitchen floor.

  16. Jenn says:

    And… this seems to be a good time to remind people that chocolate IS poison to dogs.

    Mine, who is 12 pounds of terrier and never counter-surfed prior to last night, is currently in the hospital recovering from eating up to 8 ounces of dark chocolate.

    Bakers chocolate/dark chocolate is the most toxic, but any chocolate is able to send your dog into a fatal heart condition and death.

    Be careful out there, pet owners!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jenn – I always knew that but didn’t know how toxic it was. Hope your dog is feeling better and it doesn’t end up costing too much! Pet hospitals are NOT cheap. ~ karen

      • Nancy says:

        Chocolate is also toxic to cats Karen so watch your kitties when using it..Cats are less likely to try eating it as dogs are..of course dogs will woof down most anything..also even though I told you the wonderful things about Hershey..I also think European chocolates are the best..Belgian, French, German..yum..

  17. angela says:

    to get your salty fix, dip pretzel in melted chocolate, you can even roll them in some crunched up nuts or candy canes or whatever! they are super yummy and you get that chocolate and salty fix at the same time!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks, Angela! I now know what I’m making for my Christmas gathering snack. Never thought about rolling them in crushed nuts & candy canes. Must try!

  18. Ann says:

    Karen’s right,

    you can simply not use butter for this. It has been done with disastrous results. The chocolate gets grainy and curdled looking. It must be shortening or in the past people would use paraffin.

    I keep a very small container of shortening in the frig. One must occasionally grease a pan with it, make pie crust or put it in chocolate. And if it is in the frig it does not go rancid when that little container lasts you 5+ years.

  19. Rhonda "SmartyPants" says:

    Ohhhhh, ’tis the season for: candy recipes from someone who ‘doesn’t bake’; fond memories of all the exes who wouldn’t leave quietly so we were forced to use our culinary arts to conjure up murderous delights; neighborly gestures that went horribly wrong when we were only hoping for a not-so-random act of kindness in the form of a pat of shortening . . . sigh. Dear Karen, this post is so chock-full of what makes Christmas the stand-out holiday of the year that it just edged out “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as the story to read to the little ones gathered around my feet in a few days before the fat guy in the red suit tries to slide down our chimney once again. Thank you to all who contributed, including your lovely and crotchety neighbor. Buck up and take her a few eggs. Merry Christmas.
    PS-So what if you can’t bake – you have the damnedest good taste, classiest eye for bargains, and hottest fella of all the blogs I’ve run across so leave the baking to those who need something to do. You’re simply the best at what you do which is darn near everything except baking.

  20. Debbie A says:

    Can’t use butter because of the water content – chocolate and water do not get along at all. the chocolate turns into a gross grainy mess. Blech.

    I also would not suggest wax paper – from personal experience – the wax on the paper melts into the chocolate – double Blech.

    Enjoy your day Karen – and just so you know – I go to your blog everyday before i go to PW. You are perfect without that dog!!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! I have chickens. She doesn’t have chickens. Course I don’t have a ranch. Or kids. Or a basset hound. God only knows how I’ve kept this up for 2 years. ~ karen!

  21. Holly says:

    Read this post at 6:00 am. Made the bark with fresh shortening at 6:15. Giving it as a last minute gift to a girl at my husband’s office. I do have someone in mind for your other version, any idea where I can get the rancid stuff?

    • Karen says:

      Holly – That’s HILARIOUS. I can’t believe you’d made the bark by 6:15. Funny. See? Isn’t it fast and easy? Best place to find the rancid stuff would be in the big dumpster behind the grocery store. Probably picking anything out of there and adding it to the chocolate would work. ~ karen

  22. Alicia says:

    The reason for the shortening is to allow the chocolate to stay solid when you take it out of the freezer. Otherwise it would melt back into a puddle. It’s similar to using the candy melts you can also by, instead of having to take the time to temper the chocolate.

  23. Emie says:

    My GM owned a bakery in the old days… they used to add parafin wax to chocolate when they made candy! BTW… butter does separate into solids and liquid when heated.

  24. farquist says:

    Shouldn’t the rancid version be called Almond Barf?

  25. So, just how much of the poison bark would one have to force someone to eat in order to kill them?

    Just wondering.

  26. Laura says:

    The best fudge I make has butter. Just sayin’.
    Love your double boiler, that’s a piece I would like to add to my collection – if I hadn’t promised my hubby I would stop adding to that particular collection.

  27. Susan says:

    You must use shortening because it does not burn like butter at the high melting temp. Shortening makes the chocolate melt smoooooother and butter may make it go clumpy, lumpy! Take it from one who knows! I’ve melted tonnes and tonnes or pounds and pounds of chocolate and shortening in my day! A fun twist is to add some chopped up candy canes to the bark. A funky Christmas taste and look. BTW if you want baking done… Shortbread, filbert creasents, belgians, nanaimo bars etc. I am baking at home and you are welcome to order what you need! Call me!
    Now what I would like to know is….almond bark… is it on the “true” list of Christmas goodies right up there beside shortbread and fruitcake?

    • Karen says:

      Sue – Thanks for coming to my rescue on the shortening! I knew it had to be shortening. :) I’m quite certain there’s a true list of Christmas goodies … I have NO idea if almond bark is on it. :) I was thinking of doing the candycane bark when I went to the Bulk Barn to get my ingredients, but opted just for the almonds. Now I wish I’d done the candycanes too. :( I’ll let you know if I need cookies! Thx.! ~ karen

      • Meg says:

        Hot chocolate with a bit of candy cane to make it a peppermint chocolate is also a great way to appear extra fancy with zero work or planning. (Candy canes are mandatory on my tree, so I always have them around. Usually until around May when I finally get sick of seeing the last few languish in the candy jar and give in and toss them.)

    • Karen says:

      Oh! And just so everyone knows … Sue owns the town bakery. So … she means it when she says she’s melted tonnes and tonnes of chocolate. ~ k

  28. Nancy says:

    I have heard that you can skip the shortening altogether but it just means that you should keep it refrigerated so it doesn’t melt all over your everything. My favorite is to add crushed Toffee bars.

  29. Janelle says:

    Great post, Karen! Thanks for the recipe – and the image of a raging 80 year old woman throwing rancid shortening over a fence. I LOVE your double boiler. I don’t have almonds and I’m scared of grocery stores this time of year – I do have hazelnuts. Hmmmm…

  30. Del says:

    Nice pictures but question the shortening. When I make chocolate….things…for Easter I just mix stuff (nuts,cherries, whatever) with melted chocolate and pour it into molds. Can’t you just stir in the almonds and pour it onto your baking sheet, and then frantically lick the bowl before the choclate sets?

    • Karen says:

      Yes, you can. The shortening is to help smooth out the chocolate once it’s melted. It’s the “proper” way to do it, but it’ll be fine if you just melt it. ~ k

      • Rachele says:

        *Ahem* The PROPER way is to temper the chocolate. But it is not for the faint of heart – or the easily distracted. It results in way better flavor. Seems a shame to alter great chocolate with the awfulness which is shortening.

  31. Claudine says:

    just me, I’m totally jealous that your ex was allergic – mine isn’t, so this wouldn’t have worked unless I did do the poison version. I wonder what the police would have said, as it would just be a cooking ingredient. Hmmm.
    Karen, you’re absolutely right about Karma.
    And I’m really glad you followed through with the recipe in spite of its being toxic, and took the photos and posted this, as it looks incredibly yummy, even though, like you, I’d generally rather eat chips than chocolate chips. But, mmmmmmmmm, Belgian chocolate…

  32. Marti says:

    You lost me at “shortening.”

    Expensive Belgian chocolate and SHORTENING? You should see the sneer on my face right now. Utter disgust. I think ya deserve to eat that nastiness all by your lonesome!

    You ever heard of BUTTER?

    Btw, I realized today that you’ve now completely dragged me away from the wholesome goodness of The Pioneer Woman.

    Thank heavens.

    • Karen says:

      Marti – NO! NONONONONONO! You can’t use butter for melted chocolate. It *has* to be shortening. I have no idea why, but it’s according to the chocolatiers of the world. NO. By the way I’m thinking of getting a Basset Hound so I can increase the number of posts I do. It works for PW. ~ karen!

      • Barb says:

        Butter has some water content. Water is chocolate’s cryptonite. Even a drop will cause your chocolate to seize and become completely unusable. You can however use vegetable oil depending on the type of chocolate you are using.

    • Karen says:

      (something to do with butter having liquid in it that can seize the chocolate when melting) ~ k

      • Marti says:

        Liquid in butter? No… that’s a Northern Tundra Myth… like the idea that plaid shirts make you tough or something. Or that happiness can be purchased at the Dollar Store. (Everyone knows it’s purchased in the SALTY SNACK AISLE!)

        • Karen says:

          When the fella bought me my first piece of jewellery (jewelry for you Americans) from Tiffany, I jumped up and yelled “Now I love you even more!”. The moral of the story. Happiness can be bought at Tiffany. And at the Dollar Store. ~ karen

        • Marti says:

          You win on Tiffany’s. And on the Fella.

          But I’ll never cave on shortening… or spelling.

        • magali says:

          I have already made three deserts this holiday season that included chocolate and shortening. Shortening is a life saver when it comes to getting chocolate at the right consistency!

  33. just me says:

    I wish I had this recipe when I was trying to kill my (now ex) husband… he claimed he was allergic to nuts, and at one point he did end up at the hospital with anaflactic shock (sp)after eating almond bark.. so I filled up everything in the fridge with almond oil.. sadly he survived.. wth? maybe this poison stuff would have done it! oh well. now I must rely on Karma :( LoL

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