The Kitchen Prep: Pumpkin Spice Latte Bark

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bark

I was supposed to be in Seattle this weekend -- the weekend of my 32nd birthday. {How did that happen so fast?}

Instead, I'll be in my usual city, most likely yelling profanities at a projection screen in a sports bar as I watch my Gators on Saturday.

A toast to personal growth and maturity.

I'm glad I dealt with the pouting portion of the disappointment process a few weeks ago so that I can, at the very least, enjoy a nice dinner out with the husband.

{Truth be told, I may have to sequester myself from all forms of social media so that I don't have to see how fabulous of a time everyone else is having at the conference. Wah.}

As bummed out as I am about not being able to attend IFBC as I had originally planned, I've had a strangely creative week! {Though one wouldn't guess this with the lack of posts happening over here.}

I've had all kinds of ideas pop into my head at the most random times.

I think fall does that to me.

I use the term "fall" loosely because, here in South Florida, nothing has, in fact, fallen; Not the leaves. Not the temperature... We have had buckets of rain, though. So I guess my previous statement isn't entirely true.

I've always found it fitting that my birthday is right around the official start of autumn. Each year, I find myself reflecting on years past and on the changes that have taken place and those that are yet to come.

The turning over of a new leaf, if you will.

This year is no different.

I think this is one of the best years I've had yet. I've had made new friends, stayed in touch with old friends and have gotten to spend time with my family.

We added a new fur-member to our family, had some amazing travel adventures and have had exciting changes to my career path.

I've written, and eaten, and bitten off more than I can chew sometimes... but it's always turned out well in the end.

There's comfort in knowing that the year ahead may be even better than the last.

Like a hot cup of a coffee on a chilly fall day.

Which brings me to my most recent creation...

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bark.

The funny thing is, I'm not even a huge fan of the phenomenon that is the "PSL." {Pause and wait for collective audible gasp.}

But I know that most of you are and, since I hate to disappoint, I thought I'd make you a little gift. Even though it's my birthday. That's a little backwards isn't it? :)

Think of it as a "Thank You" for being part of this incredible year. Or a "Welcome" to the new season. Or even an "I'm Grateful" for you letting me blabber on reflect while you're just trying to get a pumpkiny sugar high/caffeine buzz.

It sure takes the sting off of any residual disappointment... in fact, it sort of makes me glad to be exactly where I am.


So... this bark. One layer of pumpkin spice goodness... the other an undeniable nod to the notorious "latte" that most of you can't get enough of.

This confection is almost a cross between fudge and bark, with a texture on the pumpkin layer that remains slightly chewy. It is SUPER sweet and a little bit goes a long way.

I'm not sure if I'm crazy, or an evil genius... I'll let you be the judge!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bark

1 {12 oz.} bag white chocolate chips -- I like Nestle Premier White Morsels for this
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat. {I'm not sure of another method to do this without it sticking... I haven't tried it with foil, but it would probably work.} Place in freezer until ready to use.

2. Make double-boiler by placing heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Place white chocolate chips in the bowl and stir until melted and smooth. {You can probably do this in the microwave, too, but white chocolate is notorious for scorching and seizing, so be super careful!}

3. Once melted, transfer half of the melted chocolate to another bowl. Working quickly, stir in pumpkin spice and puree. Mix until fully incorporated. {I did it a little at a time to make sure the chocolate didn't seize up. It worked. The mixture will get a little harder as you mix in more melted chocolate.}

4. Remove lined cookie sheet from the freezer and pour pumpkin layer onto the center of the mat. Using an offset spatula or a silicone spatula, quickly spread the mixture into a thin layer.

5. Return to freezer and allow to solidify for about 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, set aside a few tablespoons of melted white chocolate. Add instant espresso powder to the remaining melted chocolate and stir until well incorporated. {In my experience, the little granules never fully dissolve. That's ok. It'll still taste good.

7. When the pumpkin layer is somewhat solid, remove from the freezer. Pour the coffee layer over top of the pumpkin layer and smooth evenly over top.

8. Again, return to the freezer for another 10-15 minutes or until solid.

9. Once it is cold, you will be able to peel it from the mat as one solid piece. I flipped mine over and drizzled it with reserved white chocolate just to make it pretty. This is totally optional. If you decide to do the same, return it to the freezer for a few minutes after drizzling to let the final white chocolate set.

10. Remove from freezer and break into pieces. The bark will begin to soften a bit as it comes to room temperature, so keep it refrigerated and serve right before eating.


Anonymous said...

Pumpkin and espresso together in a sweet treat - YUM!!!! Can't wait to try this. Go, Gators!

Glory/ Glorious Treats said...

OOh, this looks super yummy and is so creative!

Aimee Shugarman said...

Oh how totally cute and absolutely delicious sounding! PINNED.

Dianna M. said...

@Anonymous - Please let me know how you like it if you do! Go Gators! :)

@Glory - Thank you! Very sweet, but very yummy! :)

@Aimee - Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said...

I'm a pumpkin anything addict! Can't wait to try this:) how do you think parchment paper would work if you didn't have the mat?

Dianna M. said...

@Anonymous - I think parchment should work... maybe try testing out a small amount of melted chocolate on the corner, let it set, and then see how difficult it is to peel the paper away? I'd hate for you to make it and then not be able to remove it! A light spray of non-stick cooking spray might help, too. :) Let me know how it works out for you!

Anonymous said...

Dianna, I used parchment on another bark recipe I had with pretzels and chocolate (a really yummy salted caramel pretzel bark) and it worked beautifully!! No spray needed :)

Emily Chudy said...

This sounds so good! I tried making it, though, and the pumpkin part didn't set. I used a mold for the bark, and it didn't come out cleanly. Any suggestions?

Dianna M. said...

@Anonymous - Glad it worked out! :)

@Emily Chudy - Hmm... that's strange. As I mentioned in the post, the pumpkin layer does not set as hard as chocolate because of the additional liquid from the pumpkin, but it should definitely be hard enough to be able to break into pieces. If it isn't kept refrigerated, it will have almost a fudge-like texture. If you try it again, maybe try using a little bit less pumpkin or a bit more chocolate so that it solidifies better. I have never tried making bark in a mold, so I don't have much advice as far as this goes except maybe lightly spraying the mold with non-stick spray before pouring the chocolate in. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! If you're able to get it to work, please let me know what you did differently. :)

Cyndy said...

This bark looks amazing. Just found you on Pinterest, thanks for sharing your creation!

Cindy Dy said...

Your blog is so cute and I love it. Keep it up.Happy blogging. :)


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