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White Chocolate Bark and Milk Chocolate Bark

Last year I learned to make White Chocolate Bark.  I had received one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks, “How Easy Is that” as a gift and it has a recipe for White Chocolate Bark.  You melt the white chocolate and then you add cranberries, apricots and pistachio nuts.  It is so pretty and easy to make.  This is a link to Ina’s recipe.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-chocolate-bark-recipe/index.html

Ina melts the chocolate in the microwave and that is just the easiest way ever to melt chocolate.  It turns out so smooth and creamy.  She also recommends using a good quality white chocolate.  We do not have any specialty food stores in our town such as Fresh Market or Whole Foods so that was not available for me this year.  I made it with the premium quality white chocolate chips.  It turned out good but I think it is even better with the better quality chocolate. In Ina’s recipe she roasts the pistachios but I found some in our store that had been roasted so that does save a step.  If you need to make a larger amount, as the recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of dried cranberrries and apricots and 1/2 cup of pistachios, you could very easily make this recipe twice and it still would not involve a  lot of time as far as preparation is concerned.  I think it is so festive looking for Christmas.

I felt so confident after making Ina’s recipe that I started thinking about the 12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips that I had and wondered what I could add to them.  I also realized I had some pretzels that I would like to dip in chocolate.  I came up with the idea of melting the chips and adding the broken pretzel pieces and some walnut pieces I had.  This picture below shows how it turned out and it was very good.  Here is what I did.

I melted the chocolate chips in the microwave just like Ina did in the recipe above.  I placed 3/4 of a 12 ounce bag of milk chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds on high.  I stirred it with a spatula and returned it to the microwave for another 30 second interval and repeated this process until all of the chocolate was melted.

I added the remaining chocolate chips and stirred it and allowed it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it was smooth.  I then poured the chocolate on a 8 x 10 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper as Ina recommended in her recipe.  I sprinkled the top with the crushed pretzels and the walnut pieces.  I pressed them down into the chocolate so they would set.  You can let it set at room temperature for 2 hours or until firm or refrigeratoe for 20 minutes.  I cut it into 16 pieces and placed it in an airtight container.

This is a great quick recipe that is easy to make.  It also has items in it that can be kept in the pantry until needed.  Either recipe would be great for  a visit from the grandchildren or a great after school surprise treat.

Now that I have the process down thanks to Ina Garten, I can see the possibilities of making all types of bark. Thank you Ina Garten for inspiring me.

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