Candied Mint and Citrus Zest Bark

Makes about 24 pieces

Note: Leftover tempered chocolate? Pipe button-sized discs of chocolate on a sheet of parchment paper, then cover with sprinkles to make nonpareils.

Candied mint leaves

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Candied citrus

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 lemons

2 oranges

Coarse sugar, for dredging

Tempered chocolate

3 cups ice

3 cups chopped, high-quality dark chocolate (60 percent cacao or higher)

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the 1 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Dip the mint leaves in a pan of room-temperature tap water just long enough to soften, about 5 seconds. Scoop them out with a strainer, then dip them, one at a time, in the sugar to coat heavily on both sides. Place leaves on one of the baking sheets, and bake 1 hour in a low oven, 100 to 200 degrees.

2. For the citrus, bring the sugar, water, vanilla and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Turn off heat; let the simple syrup cool 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring two medium saucepans of water to a boil. Zest the fruit, cutting each piece into thin strips. Place the zest in a strainer; dip into the first pot of boiling water for 20 seconds. Repeat with the second pot. Transfer to the pan of simple syrup, and let sit for a few minutes. Drain zest on a paper towel, pat dry and shower generously with sugar. Place on the second baking sheet; bake for about 1 hour in a low oven, 100 to 200 degrees.

4. For the chocolate, put the ice in a large bowl and set aside. Using a double boiler or stainless steel bowl set over, but not touching, barely simmering water, melt all but a handful of the chopped chocolate until the molten chocolate reaches 115 degrees on a candy thermometer.

5. Remove the bowl, and wipe the bottom with a towel so no water gets on your work surface. Add the remaining chocolate to the bowl and stir. Place the bowl over the bowl of ice for a few seconds at a time, removing it, stirring until smooth and repeating until the temperature drops to 82 degrees. Heat the chocolate again by placing it back over the simmering water for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time. Once its temperature rises to 90 degrees, it is tempered and ready to use.

6. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Place the mint and citrus on top, reserving about 10 pieces for garnish. Pour 1/2 inch of chocolate over the baking sheet; decorate the top with reserved citrus. Let harden at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. When fully set, break the bark into pieces and serve.

-- Adapted from Susie Norris and Susan Heeger, "Hand-Crafted Candy Bars" (Chronicle Books, $24.95, 160 pages)