I have never made any kind of chocolate bark. No idea why, it’s one of simplest treats you can cobble together in no time, and the add-in possibilities are endless. I’ve also never met or known a guy named Nigel who isn’t British, but that’s beside the point. We all have a lot of nevers in our lives and some of them should stay nevers, but chocolate bark isn’t one that should ever stay a never.
Well..I just crossed the chocolate bark never off my list. BUT, this did not come about until I made a no-bake cookie by my Secret Recipe Club blog assignment..Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. I love her blog, and I loved all the goodies I could choose from, but in the end, I especially loved her no-bake Nutella cookies, so I chose those.
Since I already told you what I chose; here’s some recipes I almost chose; Caramel Coconut Bars and these luscious looking meatballs..not to mention her array of other no-bake treats, (I was feeling the no-bake this month). However, the two former choices were guest posts, so even if she made their recipes, I figured I would stick with something that was 100% hers, or something she adapted or decided on herself.
I also decided on this chocolate bark since it’s Fall and Halloween is beckoning us with its witchy finger. In other words, it’s candy time and time for me to get some pumpkin recipes up. Her bark is a simple white and dark chocolate marble with pistachios, which sounds great, although the photos were gone, so I couldn’t see what it looked like. Then I read something about her losing some photos via Google +, so I assume that’s why they were missing.
So, I took Kim’s bark recipe, doubled the white chocolate and added two more ounces of dark chocolate. The best part was adding the pumpkin and spices to the white chocolate, along with salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). BUT, the bestest part was adding a base of her no-bake nutella cookie recipe to it. This came to me at the spur of the moment as I looked at the still melted bark with a sprinkling of pepitas. It just begged for something else. It needed some bling.
I had already made a pan of her thick and hunky nutella cookies, and it almost seemed as if one winked at me – a shiny, glint of chocolate cooing, ‘Come on, baby..give me a chance, use me again!”
It was a match made in heaven, and the bark on top of a no-bake nutella cookie base is heavenly! It looks and sounds like it would be overly sweet, doesn’t it? Well..it isn’t. The pumpkin, spices and salted pepitas tone down the sweetness of the white chocolate, and the semisweet chocolate is well, semi sweet, so no major surge in blood sugar outside of the bits of cookie base.
The addition of the no-bake nutella cookie base made the chocolate bark more like a cross between a cookie bar and chocolate bark, rather than a chocolate bark by itself. Not a bad thing at all.
Speaking of cookie..I made some small changes to her No-Bake Nutella Cookie formula. I used butter instead of shortening, increased the amount of nutella, and added a bit of orange zest to cut the richness. I also eliminated the coconut extract, toasted the coconut, and added vanilla extract. You see, she has some vanilla components in there that she makes herself, like vanilla salt and I think vanilla oats. I do have vanilla sugar on hand, since I use loads of vanilla beans in all kinds of sweet and savory preparations, but I just used granulated sugar because I felt the vanilla extract was enough.
Alrighty then – I need to fit in a few more photos so I need to find something to talk about. None of the proceeding topics will have anything to do with this cookie bark.
Did I ever tell you I love cleaning squid? Pulling out the quill, which looks like a piece of plastic, never ceases to amaze me. Have I mentioned that every few years I get on a Friends kick and DVR every late-night showing of it? I’m glad I just finished the entire series run the past two months since I was running out of space.
Did I ever tell you about the reader who sent me a scathing email implying I worshiped the devil because of THESE donuts?
With that being said, yes, my life is kind of boring. It doesn’t take much to excite me. Last night the Yankees won Game 1 of the ALDS….and that excites me. We ate these nutella pumpkin cookie bark bars while watching it, so technically, these are good luck nutella pumpkin cookie bark bars.
OH, one more thing I forgot to mention – the pumpkin white chocolate remains slightly softer than the plain chocolate, so in retrospect – you can call it a slightly gooey chocolate marble pumpkin bark..with a no-bake nutella cookie base and salted pepitas, which I ended up pressing into the sides of some of the bars when they were cut, just for a little extra salty kick.
Man, I’m all ovah da place!
Okay, I’m really grasping at straws here, so I’ll just ask you to pop on over to Cravings of a Lunatic. She’s funny, she’s a great cook, and I have a feeling you just might become addicted to her blog! A good addiction, even if your jeans go up a size..or two.
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, Miss Moss? I think not!
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick - 4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup Nutella
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
- 1 cup flaked/shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened, toasted
- 3 cups quick cooking oats or gluten-free oats
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar and cocoa. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and let he mixture boil for 2 minutes..then reduce heat to medium low and stir until sugar is dissolved, about another minute or 2.
- Stir in the softened butter, Nutella, salt, orange zest (if using) and vanilla extract. Stir until butter is completely melted, then stir in the oats and toasted coconut, coating both completely.
- Line a 12 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat, then scoop your desired size of cookie onto the sheet..spacing them about 1 inch apart. I made huge ones...about ¼ cup a cookie which gave me 10 cookies, but of course you can make them much smaller for a larger yield.
- Let set, then enjoy!
- 12 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut for both chocolates)
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate (semisweet or buttersweet), chopped
- A handful of salted pepitas..more or less, the amount depending on your preference.
- Full No-Bake Nutella Cookie recipe above
- For both chocolates, place a medium size glass bowl over a small pot filled with about an inch of water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. You can make two double boilers and do both chocolates at once..checking and stirring each with separate wooden spoons or silicone spatulas. I melted one chocolate at a time...easier and you need to wtach it diligently. You can temper the dark chocolate, which I did, if you like. The pumpkin added to tempered white chocolate might be a waste of temper.
- I started with the white chocolate so it would have time to cool a little before adding the pumpkin and spices. Once the white chocolate has cooled down for about 10 minutes - whisk in the pumpkin and spices until smooth and uniform (pumpkin and spice white chocolate is freakin' manna,)
- Make the Nutella cookie recipe above, but do not form into cookies. Keep mixture warm in pot.
- Now, depending on how thick you like your chocolate bark..you can use either use a 13 x 9, 10 x 15, or 11 x7 sheet pan. Line your preferred pan with parchment paper. I used a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan for mine.
- Press the above Nutella cookie base into your pan, evenly and into each corner. Pour the pumpkin white chocolate on top of the nutella cookie base. Now spoon dollops of the dark chocolate on top of the pumpkin white chocolate..then marble together lightly with a thick skewer or butter knife. Alternatively, you can alternate the pouring of each chocolate, then marble them together.
- Sprinkle the pepitas all over the top. Cover and chill in the fridge for about an hour. When set..Break up bark on sheet pan, or lift out bark from square pan and then break it or cut it up. It will keep well for about 2 weeks in the fridge...1 week at room temperature..but I doubt it will last that long!
If you have a moment, please click on the blue frog below to see what my fellow Group A blogger’s chose to make from their blog assignments. Warning – it will make you verrrrry hungry!