I'm giving it all away. I swear, it's all for Christmas presents. I didn't eat any of the Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark or the Peanut Butter Bark. And I definitely didn't eat ANY of the Piña Colada Bark with dried pineapple, roasted coconut chips and lime zest. And when I didn't eat any of it, I didn't feel like I was lying on the beach in Aruba. None of this happened. But, if it had happened, hypothetically, of course, I certainly wouldn't tell you about it!
my lies that aside, let's get serious about the candy, nuts and dried fruit glued together with chocolate. Here are a couple things that I think are just great about bark:
- First, and most important, it couldn't be easier to make. I was able to make eight (actually, I did nine with one causality) different types of bark in one three hour nap time. It seems that every task in my life is now categorized by nap times. The chopping of each of the ingredients took about a half hour. By rotating the bark into the freezer while melting more chocolate, I had several homemade Christmas presents completed in much less time than anticipated! I had blocked off two nap times to make it, but was lucky to be able to use the second nap time to write this post.
- In addition, the possibilities are endless. I had trouble coming up with just eight recipes that I wanted to include in this post. I tend to love the sweet and salty combination and white chocolate is my absolute favorite. My husband,a kid at heart, goes right for the chocolate with a side of chocolate, M&M'S Bark. Keep in mind, the types of chocolates can be swapped across recipes.
Important note: if the chocolate burns, it develops a thick, sticky consistency that cannot be reversed and is impossible to work with. To avoid burnt chocolate misfortunate, follow these steps:
- Lower the burner temperature after the water boils, but before adding the chocolate to your bowl.
- Remove the double boiler from the heat if the chocolate seems to be heating too quickly. You can always place it back on the burner to further heat the chocolate.
- Stir constantly!
- If you unsure how to set up a double boiler, my good friend Rachel can help you. Check out here instructions here.
Pistachio and Cranberry Bark: This bark looks like Christmas! The green salty pistachios mixed with the red sweet dried cranberries is the perfect Christmas combo. If you are feeling a little saucy, add some orange peel too!
Peppermint Bark: What says Christmas more than candy canes? There's a crunch of peppermint in each bite. For even more crunch, add some crisped rice cereal to the melted chocolate before pouring into the cookie sheet. Yum-O!
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark: My favorite. I know I'm not supposed to play favorites, but I can't help it. The incredible combination of sweet, salty and crunchy gets me every time!
S'mores Bark: This bark is like a Christmas campfire without having to brave the cold weather outside. Kids and adults alike will be impressed by this twist on the classic sandwich.
Piña Colada Bark: There's nothing like sitting on the beach in Aruba drinking frozen cocktails that were served by the cabana boy. That is a fond memory of my life B.C. (before children, that is).” or something. While I admit this bark is not the same thing, it does make me a little nostalgic for my most recent mid-winter island getaway.
Peanut Butter Bark: Where are all my peanut buttery, chocoholic friends? I know you are out there. Are you drooling? I am!
Almond Bark: This bark is a favorite amongst many of my friends and family. I couldn't bear a Top Ate without it!
M&M'S Bark: The kids at my son’s day care will be receiving M&Ms Bark as a little holiday treat. I'm sure their parents will appreciate the sugar high that results from chocolate with a side of chocolate.