Despite the fact that our household will be teeming with candy this time next week, I wanted to make a special Halloween treat with my kids. I am not a baker, but the girls do love to make muffins, cookies and, of course, the occasional sweet treats. I saw a few photos of Halloween Bark and it seemed like a fun activity to get us into the spirit of Halloween. With only a few ingredients and a big imagination this was gooey, messy, tasty and fun!
3-4 cups chocolate chips
(Seriously... that's all!)
There is no limit on the variety of candy you can use in your bark. We hit the Bulk Barn and a few double digits later, we came home with our loot. We chose semi-sweet chocolate chips and we did a second batch using milk chocolate chips. I saw the candy eyes on a few recipes and these were a must have for our bark. The giggles of putting these into the melted chocolate were priceless and we have leftovers for the day I brave cupcakes! You can use broken candy bars, pretzels or anything that appeals to your sweet tooth. We chose Candy Corn, Chocolate Peanut Butter Minis, Jelly Beans and sprinkles.
A cookie sheet
Parchment paper, which you can buy in individual sheets or in rolls. It really is a life saver when baking or cooking and means a lot less work when cleaning your baking trays after.
The first step:
Melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler or the microwave. I have yet to perfect melting chocolate in the microwave even though our model has a specific setting for softening chocolate and butter. I have wasted many a good chocolate trying to use this method and need to treat my chocolate in a more humane way. We use our pot and steamer insert and place a glass bowl over top of simmering water.
You can adjust the temperature as needed to melt the chocolate, but you want to do it slowly so it does not harden. Continuous stirring is key and be prepared for some sticky fingers while stirring the pot. Once the chips are melted you will see a nice shine to the chocolate and it's time to pour!
Be careful when lifting the bowl from the steamer basket if you are using this method since the bowl may be hot and water can collect on the bottom of the bowl and spill onto the baking sheet. Using a sturdy spatula pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper.
Using a spatula, spread the chocolate to an even thickness. A helper is a big bonus for this step as trying to hold the parchment down and spread the chocolate could challenge an octopus.
Now the FUN part!! Decorating! There did need to be a few mild suggestions to NOT shovel all the candy into the mouth but to instead put it in the chocolate. This was a lot of fun to do and you can let the imagination go wild.
Once you have finished decorating your masterpiece place the cookie sheet into the fridge and allow to set until hardened, about half an hour. Once the bark has set use a heavy knife and a bit of elbow grease to cut the bark into pieces.
This bark is also a good way to use up candy that is received for Halloween. Last year we melted our Jersey Milk and Aero bars and made chocolate dipped strawberries for a party.
I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween and if you find some time on a rainy Sunday get out the chocolate and get in the kitchen and make some of this Bootiful Bark!