Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Chocolate Bark

How can you make candy taste better you ask? Mix it with other candy of course!

My shattered eggs ready to be smashed into chocolate

I love having a bit of chocolate after dinner, but as much as I love to bake, I don't tend to bake just for myself. Partially because it seems silly to go through all that work just for me, and partially because I know I won't be able to finish whatever I make before it starts to decline in flavor and texture. The perfect alternative is solid chocolate candy and often that is what I use to settle my cravings. The post-Easter candy sales this year got me thinking. If I combine a bunch of different candies together I would create something that not only tasted fantastic (hopefully), but also would last as long as I needed it to.

I didn't really have a plan when I started other than to have a flavored milk chocolate base with lots of different Easter candies crumbles on top. I ended up with two base layers...one with a mix of milk chocolates, caramel, peanut butter, and a bit of marshmallow and the other thinner layer just milk and semi-sweet chocolate melted together. Those flavors combined with the "toppings" make this one bark that really has a lot of flavor. It's perfect for an after-dinner chocolate craving!

Spring Chocolate Bark

How I Did It:

12 ounces solid milk chocolate 
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
6 ounces peanut butter filled chocolate squares (not peanut butter cups)
6 ounces caramel filled chocolate squares
4 chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies 
3.5 ounces white chocolate mini-malted milk eggs
3 ounces coconut M&M's
8 bite-sized peanut butter cups
3 ounces Mini Cadbury Eggs (not the creme eggs)
2.5 ounces Reese's Pieces eggs

1. Take out your smallest jelly roll sheet (baking sheet with a small edge) and set aside. If you don't have a baking sheet with a lip/edge, you can use a casserole dish (you will just end up with a thicker bark).

2. Break the malted eggs, M&M's, peanut butter cups, mini Cadbury eggs, and Reese's Pieces up into halves and quarters. I used a knife to cut up the peanut butter cups and malted eggs and the rest I put into a zip-lock bag and hit with a pestle. Don't go to crazy -  you want large pieces, not crumbs and it looks better if you leave a few whole. Dumb all of the pieces into a bowl and mix up and set aside.

3. Melt 8.5 ounces of milk chocolate (in any form) in a double boiler. If you using chunks of chocolate, be sure to break up first. As soon as it starts to melt a bit add peanut butter and caramel filled chocolate squares along with the chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies. Stir until just smooth and pour on the baking sheet, spreading out evenly. Put the double boiler back on the heat and melt rest of the milk chocolate and the semi-sweet chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth and  pour directly over the first chocolate mixture. Smooth out as evenly as you can.

4. Take the candy pieces and generously sprinkle over the melted chocolate layers. Try to be as even as possible and when through gently press down on the candies.

5. Place in the fridge to set. Once harden, cut into pieces. Don't worry about being even, they look better if they are different sizes that aren't perfect rectangles. Store in the fridge.

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