… Even my chocolate!
Isn’t Halloween the best holiday ever? I mean, every holiday has its merits. Christmas is great. Thanksgiving is even awesome- all that food. But HALLOWEEN, YOU GUYS. This is the best time. When else is it acceptable, even expected, that your food either resemble body parts or have eyes? It’s only at Halloween, and it’s basically awesome.
I call this “Monster Bark.” You can call it chocolate bark, Halloween bark, whatever. It depends also on what candy you use on top. Mine has bloodshot eyes, so clearly it has to be monstrous. Yours can be totally different! People usually think of bark as a Christmas thing; peppermint bark. But there’s no reason why you can’t make it for any holiday or occasion.
First you need a bag of chocolate. I prefer to use real chocolate as my base, and if I want more color (i.e. Candy Melts) or other kinds of chocolate I add a little in by swirling it or layering. You can in theory do whatever you want, I just find sometimes the Candy Melts melt a little quicker, so using chocolate as a base helps keep it firm. I used Hershey’s Special Dark for the base of this, and I added a little bit of black food coloring to make it look a bit darker. You can use a mix of white, milk and dark chocolate, or use dark chocolate with orange and/or green Candy Melts swirled in. Or add some white. Use your imagination!
I obviously stuck with one color.
You can use a bag of chips melted, or two large bars of chocolate. Depending on the amount of people or the size of your pan, you can even double that.
Next, you’ll need sprinkles and candies. I went really simple, but you can go crazy. Mine has Wilton candy eyes, candy corn, Wilton orange + black sprinkles, and some green and pink round sprinkles as well as candy pearls. You can use regular old Halloween candy too, and pretzels, and nuts… whatever it is you love.
Melt the base in a double boiler or a heatproof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. If you’re doing more than one color, you’re going to want to melt them all at once, or at least have the accent colors melted already when the base is done. Pour and scrape it onto a cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Don’t use foil– you’ll hate yourself and want to die.
Using an offset or silicone spatula, smooth it out almost to the edges, not too thick but thick enough to be coated in candy and hold up to it. Add your accent colors now; swirl or drop them on and incorporate them, or layer colors. Be sure to make it thin enough to be “bark”- not too thick that it’s just a giant chocolate bar.
Now it’s time to add your candies! If your bark is starting to set up or harden, pop it in a warm oven (not hot) for a few minutes to melt up again. You can either place your candies and sprinkles or toss them on artistically. It matters not. It always looks good!
Some candy suggestions:
- candy corn- any color!
- mellocreme pumpkins
- candy eyeballs
- white chocolate chips
- peanut butter chips
- sprinkles/jimmies of assorted colors and sizes
- mini Kit Kat bars, broken into sticks
- Reese’s minis
- crushed Oreo’s
Basically anything. However, I would definitely avoid adding gummies or hard candies.
Freeze or chill until COMPLETELY COOLED AND HARD. You want it to break apart, like bark. Once it’s ready, you can break it up. Break it however you want. Big pieces, small pieces, tiny pieces. Whatever, yo. Seriously.
For serving, I think it’s cute to add the pieces to baking cups for each person.
I also like to store mine in the fridge and take it out right before serving or eating. Sometimes it can start to get soft very quick, depending on the type of chocolate you use. Besides, the cold snap of chocolate is always delicious!