Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bark-a-Palooza

Ugh, I've missed sitting at the computer and telling you all about my crazy antics lately. I just can't seem to get caught up on everything I need to do AND get in the kitchen AND share it with you AND still have a life. And though I've considered it, I can't call into work and say, "Hey, sorry, but I'm up to my elbows in melted chocolate and I have people counting on me for this recipe."

Is that too much to ask?

This morning I took a little personal time out to go to a yoga class with a friend, and let me just tell you... I loved it. Which is shocking, because I dislike most things that involve any sweating that isn't caused by standing in front of an oven.

But seriously, this was some exercise I can see myself getting into... which is a pretty big deal because you might remember that the last time I mentioned exercise this happened.

I felt strong. I felt zen. I felt brave enough to do a handstand with my feet up on the wall, inverted like an upside down "L".

What I didn't feel was the blood vessel that decided to burst in my eyeball.

Nope, Steve had to inform me about that. He made this strange face while I was talking to him a few hours after the class, and I knew something was up. Then I looked in them mirror and saw it. Like something out of a horror movie.

Oh, well. I'll spare you the picture, but I promise it isn't pretty.

Anyway, enough about fitness, let's talk sugar. {Because I know that's what you come here for.}




You will never guess what I have created for you.

Gifts.

Well, not FOR you but for you to make for other people. Because let's face it, if you weren't the recent winner of that recent ridiculous Powerball drawing, and you're lucky enough to have lots of sweet people in your life that you care about, you probably don't have unlimited funds for holiday shopping.

{But if you do, would you mind sending me some of that? Wire transfer would be great. Thanks.}

Anyway, I know that you probably don't have anymore free time than I do. So I decided to come up with a spin on a popular holiday treat that even busy, broke people can make: Bark.

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You know, the stuff that fancy specialty stores like to sell for nearly $30 a tin.

With a handful of ingredients, the help of your microwave and refrigerator, and some inexpensive little gift bags, you can pretty much cross everyone off your list for $30. 

Now comes the exciting part... the flavors that I'm sharing with you today.

Have you ever heard of Banana Pudding Bark? {A white chocolate-vanilla pudding base studded with banana chips and vanilla wafers!}

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Or Milk Chocolate-Potato Chip Bark? {Milk chocolate base encrusted with salty potato chips and drizzled with white chocolate!}

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Or Pina Colada Bark? {White chocolate base with sweet dried pineapple bits and flaked coconut!}

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Yeah, I've never seen those come in a tin, either. But if those stores know what's good for them, they'll start selling these... SOON.

Because they'll have some competition coming from you and me. And if I can make it with a busted eye, I guarantee you'll have no problem making it either.

**These recipes are an approximation. You can use as much or as little of the ingredients as you choose, and mix and match add ons to make your own delicious flavors**

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Banana Pudding Bark

1 {11 oz.}bag white chocolate chips {I use Ghiradelli's}
4 tablespoons Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 cup vanilla wafers, coarsely crumbled
1/3 to 1/2 cup banana chips

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside

2. Place white chocolate chips in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. {Note: White chocolate is VERY easy to scorch, keep an eye on it and try to zap it as little as possible. Residual heat will do most of the melting.}

3. Add 4 tablespoons of pudding mix to melted white chocolate, mixing until incorporated. {It will become quite thick.}

4. Spread white chocolate-pudding mixture onto prepared baking sheet and smooth out with a silicone or offset spatula to desired thickness. {I like it about 1/4 inch thick.}

5. While still wet, sprinkle with crumbled vanilla wafers and banana chips, pressing down gently to adhere to base.

6. Let set either at room temperature for about an hour or in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

7. When hardened, break into irregular pieces and serve or package.


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Milk Chocolate-Potato Chip Bark

1 {12 oz.} bag milk chocolate chocolate chips
About 1 to 1/2 cups potato chips, coarsely crumbled
About 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside

2. Place chocolate chips in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. {Note: Careful not to scorch.}

3. Pour melted chocolate onto prepared baking sheet and smooth out with a silicone or offset spatula to desired thickness. {I like it about 1/4 inch thick.}

4. While still wet, sprinkle with crumbled potato chips.

5. Chill in refrigerator about 10 minutes or until hardened.

6. Remove from freezer and drizzle with melted white chocolate. Return to freezer for another 10 minutes or until set.

7. When hardened, break into irregular pieces and serve or package.


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Pina Colada Bark

1 {11 oz.} bag white chocolate chips {I use Ghiradelli's}
1/2 cup dried pineapple pieces, roughly chopped
3/4 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside

2. Place white chocolate chips in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. {Note: Careful not to scorch.}

3. Pour melted white chocolate onto prepared baking sheet and smooth out with a silicone or offset spatula to desired thickness. {I like it about 1/4 inch thick.}

4. While still wet, sprinkle with chopped dried pineapple pieces. Sprinkle flaked coconut over top, pressing down gently to adhere to base.

5. Chill in refrigerator about 10 minutes or until set.

6. When hardened, break into irregular pieces and serve or package.

10 comments:

Jess @ On Sugar Mountain said...

First - I am very sorry about your eye! That sounds terrible :( BUT I am also super excited about all these bark ideas! :) It's like I don't know which emoticon face I should really be using at this point. But that potato chip bark?? Genius

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Okay. 1. WTH? A blood vessel????? Now I can explain away why I do not do yoga. ;) 2. Banana pie bark. YOU ARE A GENIUS. 3. Guess what ingredients I just bought to make bark? One was potato chips... :)

Dianna M. said...

@Jess - Thanks for the well-wishes! Luckily it's one of those things that looks much worse than it is. So glad you love the barks! Let me know if you try any out! :)

Dianna M. said...

@Dorothy - Haha! I have to be fair and tell you that I manage to find a way to injure myself doing ANY type of exercise. My body just revolts at the thought of calorie burning, apparently. I plan on returning to yoga, it was the best thing I've done for myself in a while... aside from make these barks. ;) And you will LOVE the potato chip bark! Just make sure you have someone ready to pull you away before you eat all of it!

Love What You Do said...

It's amazing what a yoga class can do for me too! I hate the feeling that I don't have enough time to get everything done especially the fun stuff like blogging! I make bark for my coworkers every year and I love all of these fun flavors. I can't wait to try them!

Dianna M. said...

@Love What You Do - Yes, the yoga was a welcome break from life's craziness! How lucky are your coworkers to have someone bring them such yummy things? Please let me know if you do try these out... hope you enjoy them!

Chineka (savorthebaking) said...

These barks look delicious and I love the unique flavor combos. I am going to try the chocolate chip bark and I know that my husband will love the banana pudding bark. Great post!!

Dianna M. said...

@Chineka - Thank you! Bark is so much fun to make because the combinations are limitless. I think I might even try out some more that have come to mind! Enjoy! :)

Debi....Recipes For My Boys said...

Oh I so Love this post! Thank you for sharing these wonderful barks on Thursday's Treasures! <3 and hugs!

Dianna M. said...

@Debi - Thanks so much! They are tons of fun to make, and of course, to eat! :)

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