October 31, 2012

Halloween Chocolate Bark

Apparently I missed the boat on Halloween. I went to Bulk Barn on the weekend to stock up on Halloween treats and most of it was already on sale. The normal Halloween fare was pushed to the side and heavily discounted next to Christmas-coloured candies and treats.

On the way home from a concert last Saturday, I saw crowds of people wandering the streets dressed up in costumes of all sorts. According to my calendar, I'm celebrating Halloween THIS Saturday at a Halloween party, but it seems like it's almost a week too late. I suppose everyone is distracted this week by a certain storm. Many people have more on their mind right now than costumes and candy.

If you have to be stuck indoors, why not stock up on some sweet treats? Even if no one treks to your door this year, you can still enjoy these easy desserts that take less than 10 minutes to make and will satisfy your candy cravings.

I made some Holiday chocolate bark last Christmas using holiday-themed candies and treats. It's an excuse to buy bags of fun treats and melt them together. The problem is that you may want to snack on everything as you're making the bark.

You can also store it in the freezer and break off a piece when the mood strikes. With this gloomy, rainy weather, the mood for sweet treats and comfort food has definitely been passing through. Here's hoping all of this chocolate lasts until Saturday...

White Chocolate Bark (adapted from this recipe)

1 cup white chocolate melting wafers
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup chopped pretzels
1/4 cup candy corn
1/4 cup dried cranberries

They all kind of start out looking like pieces of art. Melt the chocolate wafers in a small saucepan with a teaspoon of oil. The oil makes the chocolate a little easier to spread when it's melted. Make sure to turn off the heat just as all of the chocolate has smoothed out, so as not to leave it on too long.

I usually find it's best to take off the heat right as the last few lumps are melting. You can add the rest of the ingredients straight into the saucepan and mix it all together or leave half to sprinkle on top--depends on your aesthetic choice. 

"Butterfinger" Chocolate Bark (adapted from this recipe)

2 cups milk chocolate melting wafers
1 tsp canola oil
1 cup candy corn
1/4 cup peanut butter


In a small bowl, melt the candy corn and peanut butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Melted candy corn does look kind of cool. In a small saucepan, add the melting wafers and oil and melt the chocolate wafers.

Spread about half of the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper. Let the layer set in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Once the layer has cooled, spread the peanut butter and candy corn mixture on top and repeat the cooling process.
Spread the remaining chocolate on top of the middle layer and let set in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

After about 20 minutes of freezer time they are ready to break apart. The measurements for the recipes aren't exact; just add a bit of this and that or make your own combinations of sweet and salty flavours.

Reeses Peanut Butter White Chocolate Bark (adapted from this recipe)

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup white chocolate
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup Reese's Pieces, chopped


In a small bowl, melt the butter for about 20 seconds in the microwave then add the peanut butter and icing sugar. In a small saucepan, melt the white chocolate wafers. Pour half of the white chocolate onto parchment paper. Spread the peanut butter mixture on top of the white chocolate; it's alright if it swirls together.

Add the Reese's Pieces to the remaining white chocolate and pour it on top of the middle layer. I found the colours of the candies melted together somewhat in the white chocolate, so you can always add some on top afterwards to add more colour.
Since I was in such a baking mood, I also made these marshmallow rocky road squares from The Happy Baker cookbook. Are marshmallows considered a spooky treat?

Now to get my costume ready. Hint: the red wig is coming out again this year and I grabbed a few pieces of retro costume jewellery from the thrift store to wear with a red vintage-style dress. Any guesses as to the stylish lady I'll be dressing up as this year?

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