The temptation of sweets is everywhere this time of year, but there are few as dangerous as bark. Unlike a cookie (where someone would notice if you ate half) you can keep breaking bark into smaller and smaller pieces, eating it bit by bit, until you realize you’ve eaten way more than you intended! The chocolate-peanut is my new favorite, but maybe you’re more of a Peppermint Bark person. We posted a recipe for that last year.
Last week Mom hosted a few big dinners and holiday parties. In addition to evergreens, cranberries, ribbons, and other seasonal table decorations, she incorporated this beautifully marbled and textured bark. On top of a cake stand, she placed three glass cream pitchers of evergreens, and then lined the edge of the stand with bark – an edible centerpiece!
After a big meal, not everyone wants a big dessert, but serve coffee and have bark in the middle of the table, and I guarantee everyone will have a little nibble. And then another.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bark
Makes about 2 dozen pieces
12 chocolate graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
4 ounces bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by-13-inch rimmed cookie sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Line pan bottom and up and over the long sides with heavy-duty foil for easy removal. Grease foil with vegetable cooking spray and then line with crackers, sugar side down, cutting as necessary to fit pan.
Heat butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until simmering. Pour mixture evenly over crackers and working quickly, use a spatula to spread it.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn) Remove from oven and sprinkle both white and dark chocolates over hot crackers; let stand a few minutes and the spread chocolate with the back end of a spoon (or finger if it’s not too hot) in figure eights, creating a marbleizing effect. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips and chopped cups. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. (Can be sealed and frozen up to 1 month)
Using foil handles, remove bar from pan. Break into pieces and serve.