Barky New Year

February 15th is Chinese New Year’s Eve. It is the night when we say goodbye to the Year of the Red Fire Rooster and welcome in the Year of the Brown Earth Dog. At the stroke of midnight, all doors and windows in the home are opened to let the new year out. It is also the eve of the New Moon in Melbourne so it will be a perfect time to bid a fond farewell to the old year and say hello to the new one.

The Year of the Brown Earth Dog begins on February the 16th and heralds 15 days of celebration which will end on the Full Moon. To pay homage to the new year, and to honour its very special animal, I thought I would make some chocolate bark.

Sometimes when I start thinking of recipes to make for an event, my mind travels a curious path. When I thought of the Year of the Dog I could just picture excited dogs howling and barking to welcome in their year. This of course made me think of chocolate bark 🙂 I chose dark chocolate for its rich and earthy colour although you could use milk chocolate if you prefer. I added peanuts to the mix as they grow in the ground so they are a perfect symbol for an Earth year. They also taste great with chocolate!

Just be aware that these are not dog friendly treats. To make them dog friendly substitute carob for chocolate and use raw peanuts instead of roasted ones. Or you can just give your dogs a spoonful of peanut butter to welcome in The Year of the Dog!

Dark Chocolate and Peanut Bark


100g good quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Fill a saucepan about one-third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Set a heatproof-bowl over the saucepan, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Add the chocolate and gently stir until melted, being careful not to burn the chocolate.
Remove from the heat.
Working quickly, stir in the peanuts.
Pour onto prepared tray.
Smooth out to your desired thickness.
Refrigerate until firm before breaking into pieces.



    1. I love the Chinese horoscope but I am only just beginning to understand the philosophies behind it. Not only do you have the 12 zodiac animals but each year has a colour, an element and a yin or yang aspect. It takes 60 years for the wheel to spin back to the same configuration as the one when you were born.

      Rats are one of the animals associated with Dracula! I’m a snake 🙂 Snakes also have connections to vampires!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so funny, both of us have vampire connections! I did not know that about the Rat. I read once that Metal was my element for the Rat (which sounds to me like a rock band — Metal Rat, lol!)

        I will have to learn more about this 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’d definitely go and see Metal Rat!

        I’m a Green Wood Snake. That sounds more like a Celtic band – maybe one that would play at Stonehenge – LOL. But we’d crank up the amps to 11 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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