I love baking during the holidays, but I also love no bake desserts such as cheesecake and chocolate bark. Chocolate bark is pretty standard fare in the U.S. around this time of year and is fairly easy to make on your own or with the little ones. Chocolate bark is essentially melted chocolate that has been smoothed out flat with various candies, nuts and other goodies set in it before it turns hard. The result is a flattened “tree bark” of sorts that has easily turned a handful of pretzels, candies and salty nuts into a sweet and salty snack fit for a king. This snack is a good way to feed a crowd, especially if one in the crowd happens to be gluten allergic. Use gluten free pretzels, chocolate and candies and you’ve got yourself one family and budget friendly addition to your next party.
For this recipe, I’ve used chocolate chips containing 50% cocoa solids as well as white chocolate for visual effect before topping with salted peanuts, pretzels and the Norwegian version of M&Ms called Nonstop. Chocolate chips will melt faster in a double boiler but if all you have access to is chocolate bars, break those up into small pieces and use those instead. Also, when topping the bark, make the most of what you have on but be sure to add something salty like salted peanuts, salted cashews, pretzels and the like. The sweet and salty combination of this sweet snack is what makes it irresistible.
- 400g (14 oz.) dark chocolate chips
- 200g (7 oz.) white chocolate chips
- 60g (2.6 oz.) salted hard pretzels (gluten free are great for this!)
- 100g (3.5 oz.) salted peanuts
- 60g (2.6 oz.) candy coated chocolate candies (M&Ms, Nonstop)
- Line a square or rectangular baking dish with parchment paper, set aside. You want the parchment paper to cover the bottom and two of the sides of the baking dish. This will make it easier to take the bark out of the dish when it is ready to be cut.
- Melt the dark chocolate using a double boiler. You can also use a glass bowl set over a small pot of boiling water if you do not have a double boiler.
- Once the dark chocolate has melted, use a rubble spatula to smooth the chocolate evenly into the bottom of the dish.
- Lay the pretzels on top of the dark chocolate and set the dish in the refrigerator and allow it to cool until hardened, about 20 minutes.
- While the chocolate is hardening in the refrigerator, melt the white chocolate using a clean double boiler.
- Once the white chocolate has melted, use a large spoon and drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled chocolate from the refrigerator.
- Working quickly, top the white chocolate with the peanuts and candy coated chocolate candies.
- Using the back of a large, clean spoon, lightly press the peanuts and candies into the white chocolate.
- Return the baking dish to the refrigerator and allow the entire mix to set. This should take about an hour.
- Once the chocolate has completely hardened, cut into small squares and serve.