Halloween Candy Bark

I am not the first, nor will I be the last to have been inspired by the recent Halloween Candy Bark recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. 

With Halloween just days away and 2 festive jack-o-lantern’s glowing in my living room, I gave in and made a batch.  Naturally you can substitute the candy listed in the recipe for whatever you might have on hand…

I am a carving template convert while John keeps it real with freehand…

The final taste of the bark was well worth pain in the neck of retrieving the peanut M&M’s that were shooting off my cutting board and rolling under my furniture while I chopped them.

Halloween Candy Bark
From Bon Appetit and Annie’s Eats

Ingredients
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips (not semi-sweet – I used Ghiradelli)
3 Butterfinger candy bars (or 8 fun-size bars), chopped
3 Heath candy bars (or 6 fun-size bars), chopped
8 Reese cups, each cut into wedges
1/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts
3 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
1 cup yellow and orange peanut M&M’s (or use Reese’s pieces)

  • Line baking sheet with foil.  Melt chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water until smooth and warm (not hot) to touch.  Pour chocolate onto foil and smooth to the edges with a rubber spatula.  Evenly sprinkle with chopped Butterfingers, Heath bars, Reese’s, M&M’s and peanuts.  Pat gently to secure candy is all touching the chocolate.  Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Melt the white chocolate in the same manner – stirring constantly.  Once smooth, drizzle spoonfuls over the bark in a zig-zag pattern.  Chill for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from fridge and peel bark away from foil.  Break into irregular pieces and store in the fridge in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve…or eat.

I am already imagining ways to make a festive bark for Christmas using sugared pecans and dried cranberries.

But first, Halloween weekend.  I still have no idea what I am doing but I am sure it will be something fun.

And if not, I like Thanksgiving and Christmas better anyway!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Squares

These peanut butter squares are my original signature dessert.  I have been making them for years, and they have served me well.  My mom got the recipe from my first grade CCD teacher and they were an occasional treat in our family, until I got to college and started making them all the time.

Peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and cookie crumbs are blended together into a delicious base, which is then topped with creamy, melted chocolate.

I always made them using plain graham cracker crumbs for the cookie component, until I was living in Scotland and realized that they don’t have graham crackers there.  Determined to have them anyway, I turned to my favorite digestive biscuit…the almighty Hobnob…and was delighted with the oat-y, hearty addition to the bar’s texture.

When I tasted Peanut Butter and Co.‘s line of fancy peanut butters at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival last year (in varieties such as maple, white chocolate, honey, spicy, and cinnamon raisin), I knew I wanted to incorporate new flavors into future versions.  Unfortunately, I think I ate the cinnamon raisin jar I bought with a spoon before I had the opportunity to bake with it…so when I made them recently I used cinnamon graham crackers instead.

The cinnamon grahams contributed to a delicious base.

That was then covered with melted milk chocolate chips.

Spread smooth and made festive with the addition of some delicious candy corn before chilling in the fridge.

My new venus fly trap from Kayte approved.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients
2 cups cookie crumbs (2 “sleeves” if you’re crushing your own graham crackers)
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cups smooth peanut butter
1  bag of chocolate chips (milk or semisweet) – you can use less than the whole bag, but it makes for an easy clean up to just use the whole darn thing

  • In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter. 
  • Once combined, press firmly into a 13×9 inch pan and set aside.
  • In a double broiler or in the microwave on low power, melt the chocolate chips.  Once melted and smooth, pour on top of peanut butter mixture and use a spoon or rubber spatula to distribute evenly.  Add seasonal sprinkles if you are feeling festive.
  • Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate hardens. Then allow to come back to room temperature, and cut into squares. Put squares in pretty cupcake liners.
  • Serve with something to drink.  These things are deadly!