Bark is a cross between a candy and a cookie. It is very versatile to serve as a dessert, coffee table fare, or snack for anytime.
8 oz. very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole, roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup dried cranberries
Melt the two chocolates in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9x10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper face down on the baking sheet.
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots, and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for two hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1x3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.
Cake Batter Chocolate Bark
This couldn’t be easier—or more delicious. A simple white and dark chocolate bark is flavored like cake batter and decorated with colorful sprinkles. I like the contrast of the thin dark chocolate layer underneath the white chocolate cake batter layer, but you can omit the dark chocolate layer or make it thicker to suit your tastes.
6 oz. (1 cup) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
9 oz. (1.5 cups) chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
2 tbsp dry yellow cake mix
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper. Place the chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. I sometimes melt it in the oven at 250°. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth it into a thin, even layer, less than ¼-inch thick. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate while you prepare the white chocolate layer.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave the same way you melted the dark chocolate or in the oven, stirring frequently so it doesn’t overheat. Once melted and smooth, add the dry cake mix and whisk or stir until the mix is completely incorporated and there are no lumps in the chocolate. Taste the chocolate and add a bit more cake mix if you want a stronger flavor. Allow the white chocolate to cool until it is just barely warm.
Once the dark chocolate layer is set and the white chocolate layer has cooled, pour the white chocolate over the dark chocolate and spread it into an even layer. Scatter sprinkles over the top and press on them gently to adhere them to the white chocolate. Refrigerate the tray until the bark is completely set, at least 20 minutes. Once set, cut it into small squares or break it into pieces by hand.
Store Cake Batter Chocolate Bark in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Cookies and Cream Oreo Bark
10 oz. good-quality white chocolate chips
15 regular size Oreos, plus three more for topping
Line an 8×8-inch pan with enough parchment or wax paper for a 1-inch overhang on each side. Place chocolate in a double boiler over low heat and stir continuously, until chocolate is completely melted. Transfer chocolate to a heat-proof bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Add chopped Oreos and stir to combine. Pour mixture into pan. Use a spatula to smooth out top. Finely chop remaining Oreos and sprinkle on top. Chill for about 10 minutes until chocolate becomes solid. Lift whole bark out of pan by holding onto parchment or wax overhang. Split bark into pieces with a fork.
Gail Hochman has been a resident of Bergen County for over 30 years and has been blessed with many grandchildren.
By Gail Hochman