At this time of year you can depend on seeing all the fancy, holiday inspired chocolate bark in the stores. As fancy as it looks, chocolate bark is one of the quickest and easiest treats to make at home. You can mix and match any kind of chocolate and nuts that strike your fancy. For Halloween this year, I I did it two ways. First, with milk chocolate and peanuts and then with semi-sweet chocolate and roasted, salted almonds. To really bring on the fall flavors, I added a pumpkin spiced white chocolate drizzle then topped it off with some Halloween inspired sprinkles.
See below for the step-by-step and ideas on how to bag it up nice and pretty to share with your family, friends, neighbors, the mail carrier, that nice checker at the grocery store, the bank teller, your kids’ teachers, and your co-workers.
We better get to work!
The grocery list – 2 bags of baking pieces (milk chocolate or semi-sweet), 3/4 cup of nuts (cocktail peanuts or roasted, salted almonds), 1 bar of good quality white chocolate, pumpkin pie spice, and Halloween decorative sprinkles.
I have found the very best way to melt chocolate successfully is in a double boiler. This is my Le Creuset set that I’ve had since the beginning of time. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use any two saucepans that will nest, one slightly smaller than the other. Fill the bottom pan with a couple inches of water and balance the other pan inside. Turn the stove to medium.
Pour the chocolate baking pieces in and let them simmer over the warm water, stirring occasionally.
Is there anything more pleasing the melted chocolate? Continue to simmer and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove the double boiler from the heat.
Add 1/2 cup of the nuts, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for later. Mix well to combine the nuts into the yummy, melty chocolate.
Pour the mixture on to the center of a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture out into the shape of a rectangle that measures approximately 10″ x 8″. You can just eye ball it. No need to get out the tape measure.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup nuts over the top of the chocolate. They will be more visible than the nuts that were mixed in which gives the bark a nice look when it’s finished.
Time to melt down the white chocolate. Break the bar up into small pieces and place in the double boiler over medium heat.
For a good result when melting white chocolate, you’ll need to purchase a very high quality brand like this Lindt that I got at Cost Plus World Market. Lesser brands have a tendency to sieze and turn into one giant clump. If this happens to you, remain calm. We’ll fix it. Try adding a little vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time while stirring vigorously, until you reach the consistency desired. If you use a high quality brand, it is unlikely you will encounter this problem.
Simmer and stir.
When completely melted and smooth, remove the pan from the heat.
Add the pumpkin pie spice and stir to combine.
Using a small spoon, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top of the chocolate bark.
Decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
Wilton always has a great selection of cute holiday sprinkles every year.
Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and leave it for 45 minutes to an hour or more or until the chocolate is completely set and hardened.
Transfer to a cutting board.
Cut the bark into rows and then cut rows into uneven sized pieces. Store the bark in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
In order to quickly get the bark out of my reach I decided I’d bag it up and give it out to loved ones. Quick thinking. I bought these very inexpensive, clear cellophane treat bags and some orange and black ribbons.
Such a pretty gift.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Bark
Yield: Approximately 20-25 pieces
For milk chocolate/peanut bark:
- 2 (11.5 ounce) packages milk chocolate baking pieces
- 3/4 cup cocktail peanuts, divided
For semi-sweet chocolate/roasted almond bark:
- 2 (11.5 ounce) packages semi-sweet baking pieces
- 3/4 cup roasted, salted almonds, coarsely chopped, divided
Pumpkin spice drizzle:
- 1 (4 ounce) bar good quality white chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Decorative Halloween sprinkles
Place the milk or semi-sweet chocolate baking pieces in a double boiler over medium-low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the nuts and combine well. Pour the melted chocolate/nut mixture on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, spread out to form a rectangle approximately 10″ x 8″. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts.
Melt the white chocolate in the double boiler over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When completely melted, remove from heat and add 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Stir well to combine. Using a small spoon, drizzle melted white chocolate over the top of the chocolate/nut layer. Sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes or until the chocolate is completely set and hardened.
Remove from refrigerator and transfer the chocolate bark to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice it into rows that measure about 3″. Cut rows into uneven sized pieces.
Store in an airtight container. Keeps well for a couple of weeks if refrigerated.