Because I’ve only made bark before at Christmas time, I decided to enter a candy bark making contest last weekend. Did I win? No. But, I had fun and I learned some things, which counts for more (says the mother in me).
What did I learn? Don’t decide to make candy bark at the last minutes (week ahead of time) if you live in a rural area. I needed to use one-pound chunks of Callebaut white and milk chocolate that are usually everywhere during the winter months in my area but I couldn’t find them. Apparently, those chocolate chunks are a seasonal item.
So, I used two bags of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, which were delicious, but chips are thicker and not as easy to handle as chunks of chocolate that you’ve chopped into bits and then melted.
Since I was using milk chocolate, I decided to go with toffee, pecan and pretzels as add-ins.
The other mistake I made was sprinkling the mix-ins on top of the melted sheet of chocolate instead of mixing it in. The bark would have been better if there had been toffee, pecan and pretzel completely embedded into the chocolate.
My husband and son had a small sample of the bark and loved it. Frankly, they were disgusted that the pan was making its way to a candy bark contest.
If you find yourself in need of an decadent gift for the holidays, make this bark, package it up in a festive container and gift it with a smile.
- 2 bags of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips (11.5 ounces each) or use 1 pound block of good-quality milk chocolate, and chop up
- 1 cup chopped Heath bits
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped pretzels (I used sticks)
- a 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or as I do in a makeshift boiler using a heat-proof bowl of a pot of simmering water. It's important to not allow any water, even a drop, get in the chocolate. Water can make the chocolate seize up. Make sure the bowl the chocolate is in and the spatula used to stir the chocolate is completely dry.
- Once the chocolate is melted, pour ingredients in and stir until combined.
- Pour chocolate in 9x13 pan and put in refrigerator to cool.
- Once cool, break into pieces and package.