Earlier this year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to try to make everyone’s gifts. I’ve done pretty well; before this Homemade Chocolate Bark, I had made it through birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. I met with relative success. Then June came and we found evidence of termites in our house and in my in-law’s house. Apparently, this has been a really bad year and a lot of people had to or are having their houses tented. Unfortunately, what this meant for my father-in-law was his Father’s Day celebration was going to have to be postponed until at least mid-July, because of their tenting at the end of June and our tenting at the beginning of July. Keep in mind that in addition to this and in between the beginning of June and mid-July, we also had my mother-in-law retiring, my father-in-law retiring, my birthday, and my husband and I’s first wedding anniversary. One of my favorite things about my in-laws is that they love to celebrate. And as Julia Child said, “A celebration with no cake is just a meeting.” So there is ALWAYS cake. Anyways, to speed this story up a little bit, we were finally able to celebrate all the events we had missed this weekend, including the making and eating of cake.
For Father’s Day, I had planned to make Chocolate Bark for my father-in-law and I just hoped it would work out.
I originally saw this on Pinterest, and the link was to a recipe on Country Living’s website. (Click here for the original recipe.)
I used two separate combinations for my first attempt. I used the semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread white chocolate chips on top for one, and used milk chocolate chips and spread peanut butter chips on top for the other. Next time I would really like to try something like semi-sweet chocolate chips topped with toasted pine nuts. However, my father-in-law tends to like traditional flavors, and so I thought this time I would oblige.
Here’s the recipe for the two types I made:
12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
6 ounces White Chocolate Chips
12 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips
6 ounces Peanut Butter Chips
4 cup Measuring Cup
1 cup Measuring Cup
2 Ziploc Sandwich Bags
So here is what I did. And let me say, I am far from a genius in the kitchen, so if I can do it, anyone can. And don’t be afraid to get creative. I did use traditional ingredients, but don’t be scared! Mix it up. Like the original recipe says, you can use all sorts or dried fruit or nut combinations, even chocolate combinations. I’m sure you could even make sauces, caramel, or syrups and put that on top and it would be fabulous. The great thing about DIY stuff is you really get to be as creative as you feel like.
Anyways, I started by prepping what is otherwise known as a cookie pan. I placed parchment paper over half of it. Then I poured the semi-sweet chips in my largest (4 cups) measuring cup.
I put them in the microwave and began the melting process. I only ran the microwave for about thirty seconds each time because I didn’t want to burn the chocolate. That would be a travesty. In all, it took about one minute and thirty seconds to be fully melted. I used the spatula to stir chocolate and make sure the chocolate was completely melted and poured the chocolate onto its section of parchment. I measured out another section of parchment for the milk chocolate chips and placed it on the cookie sheet. I rinsed the utensils I had used really quickly. I then melted the milk chocolate chips in the microwave and did the same thing as with the semi-sweet chips (30 seconds at a time until melted, one minute thirty total, stir chocolate, pour and spread onto parchment.)
I then measured our 6 ounces of white chocolate chips into a 1 cup measuring cup. I used the same melting process as with the semi-sweet and milk chocolate morsels. It also took about a minute and thirty seconds. After the white chocolate was melted, I made my own pastry bag to spread the topping on the darker chocolates. I have to warn you, you will have much less control with these make-shift pastry bags. However, it wasn’t really that important to me because it is (1) easier and (2) you are going to cut the chocolate into pieces anyways. That would destroy any design you had created anyways. Of course, you may be much more thorough than I am, in which case if you can cut the chocolate and leave beautiful designs in it, I’d love to hear how. I then poured the white chocolate into the Ziploc bag and cut the tip off.
I used the white chocolate to top the semi-sweet chocolate. The pattern I used was to weave line after line from corner to corner. If I reached the corner and I still had chocolate left in the Ziploc bag, I would begin again in another corner and do the same pattern. I did this until I had no more left in the bag.
Now I did a major washing on the measuring cup and spatula. I felt like mixing semi-sweet morsels and milk chocolate morsels wouldn’t be a big deal, but mixing white chocolate and peanut butter would be. I repeated the melting process I used on the white chocolate chips with the peanut butter chips. I should warn you that it took more time to melt the peanut butter chips than any other chip or chocolate. It probably wound up taking between two and two and a half minutes. Next up came putting the peanut butter in the Ziploc bag, cutting the tip, and spreading it on the milk chocolate so the pattern would match the dark and white chocolate bark. I tried to keep the parchment set up so none of the flavors would combine with out my permission, but of course that meant chocolate wound up on parchment where and when I didn’t want it to. (This picture was taken before the chocolate hardened. You can tell because the chocolate is still shiny.)
There is really something I should warn you about. When you are piping the chocolate out of the Ziploc bag, the liquid is really hot. (Either that or I have pathetic, non-callused hands.) Anyways, I would recommend either using something to protect your hand while decorating, or waiting a little bit for the liquid to cool down and then decorating it.
The very large pieces of Chocolate Bark then went into refrigerator to cool and get hard. If I had left it on the counter to cool, there is no doubt in my mind that one of my creatures would have gotten the bark as opposed to my father-in-law. Either that or the chocolate would have melted further into a pool of chocolate in my beyond-hot kitchen.
My husband’s part in this process was to cut each type into pieces (that and to wash the dishes). I then took the pieces and put them on a plate that had been covered in foil (which, in my opinion, makes it easier to lick and not miss any chocolate) and took them to my in-laws.
Would I Do This Again?
I would absolutely make this again. First of all, it was really easy. In all, with both types of bark, it probably took me about thirty minutes. That is really a short period of time, and considering you will then have something delicious to give to people for a variety of occasions (with flavors that can be adjusted for seasons and events), I really appreciate this idea. The only thing I will say is the next time I make this, I will try to be more adventurous with the flavor combinations.