Well it’s that time again folks! Time for another blog post from yours truly.
This recipe is very very simple. Anyone can do it!
Now what is Easter Bark you’re asking? It’s simply that.
Bark is usually almost like a peanut brittle, except instead of caramel, you use chocolate. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, but I prefer white chocolate, because it allows you to dye the chocolate to an assortment of colors you’d like. And they sell chocolate blocks at just about any supermarket. And of course, food coloring is easy to obtain as well.
I unfortunately didn’t get to shoot all the progress pictures, because the kitchen was cramped with other Easter cooking (which had to be done in a hurry-so no pics there either. Next time guys!), but I will step by step the process you will need to do. And I did get a shot of the bark prior to sticking the pan in the fridge to harden overnight.
First, you need to decide how much chocolate you want to use. You don’t want to get too much, because then your bark tends to be hunks of chocolate, and rather hard to break into pieces and to eat. Plus, you may risk overloading your pan and having major spillage. So I would say four boxes of any melting chocolate you can find (they have little boxes that have like, 6 cubes per box). With this particular bark, since I was dying them two colors (lavender and pastel pink), I had to split up the chocolate. Two boxes of chocolate per bowl works well. And you don’t even need to use your stove! You can melt the chocolate easily in the microwave.
I would put it on for about 2 mins, BUT check the melting process after a minute and stir-otherwise your chocolate will start to burn!
And burnt chocolate is an iffy taste profile, and not pretty looking!
After a minute, when you stir, you’ll notice some pieces have melted all the way, some haven’t. That’s where the other minute comes in. It may not even have to go for the full minute. You just need to get the melting process started. After a bit of stirring, if it’s warm enough, the rest of the pieces should melt easily.
Once you’ve melted the first bowl, you can dye it whatever color you like. For this one, I did a pastel pink first. It will take about 5-6 drops of red food coloring to get a nice, pastel pink. Of course, if you want a darker pink, just keeping adding a drop or two and stir until you get the desired color. Set that aside and work on chocolate bowl #2. Again, once the chocolate is melted, dye whatever color you wish. For a lavender color, it took about 24 drops of red, and 20 drops of blue (yeah-it calls for that much!) and of course, stir to mix the colors.
Now for my bark, I found three tubes of easter themed sprinkles. Little flowers (in pastel colors), pink pearls (very gorgeous) and just the usual sprinkles you find (except pastel colors). Now you don’t have to do this, or even use sprinkles if you don’t want. But I mixed a bit of all three sprinkles into the chocolate. Just so when you break the pieces, you can see bits of color within the bark, and to just add more flavor and texture. Save the rest for another step.
Now comes the rather difficult part. Scooping the chocolate into the pan. You want to line a cookie sheet or pan with foil or wax paper. So you can easily remove the chocolate bark pieces off the pan. I say hard because sometimes you may doubt yourself. You think, is this enough? Is this too much? Why is it not spreading out into the whole pan? It’s fine! It usually tends to be just enough, once you add the other bowl of chocolate it will coat the whole bottom of the pan, and if it’s too much, double up the batch. (Just make sure you have enough space in your fridge-cause it does have to set overnight! The longer, the better for setting). But I put one bowl of chocolate into the pan and smoothed it out with the same spoon I used for mixing. Just take the back of the spoon and smooth the chocolate out. Do that until it seems like you can’t smooth it out anymore (like it looks like you’re having noticeable spaces in the pan-in other words, if you can see foil, you’re thinning out and running out of chocolate). But that’s why there is another bowl! Scoop that out and smooth with the back of the spoon with the chocolate already in the pan. It will be enough and it will smooth out evenly and nicely into the pan.
Now if you want to marble the colors, simply use a butter knife and start swirling the colors together. It’s not the most noticeable method, because chocolate is a little different textured than cake batters, but it should still look pretty and like the colors are melding together. Just have fun with it!
Now the FUN part: adding the candies! For my Christmas bark, I usually add broken up pieces of Oreos and cherry flavored, multi colored candy cane pieces (SO yummy!), but for the Easter bark, I left the cookies out-because the Easter candy was going to to be plenty enough! And you can add just about ANY kind of candy or cookie you want to your bark. Use your imagination and come up with some awesome ideas!
For my Easter bark, I decided to use speckled egg Peanut Butter M&Ms and Sweet Tart Egg shaped Jellybeans! All you do is open the candy packages, and start sprinkling them over the bark. Once you do that, it is recommended to take the back of a spoon and make sure the candies are sticking to the chocolate, because they have to seize too. Just kind of push the candies down into the chocolate, just to be sure they’ll stick.
And that’s not all. Remember the left over sprinkles? Yep, the rest of them, all three, got added into the bark too.
Trust me, this is plenty Easter and festive. And I’m sure this will be a big hit too! (And very, very colorful!) I will post the results of the “taste test” tomorrow.
And remember, you don’t have to be a pro in the kitchen, you just always have to always make it a pleasure.
(Pretty, isn’t it? :p)