About a year ago, I embarked upon a kindness project. It’s not much, but I decided to bake something for each co-worker’s birthday. You see, every time someone did me a random act of kindness, I’d just feel so grateful. And kind of guilty, too, because I wasn’t doing enough back. So the birthday baking is my way of showing appreciation for the people I work with, but it’s also my way of making them feel special.
Anyway, this past week, I messed up. An intern’s birthday somehow slipped through my fingers. I promised to make it up to him and he told me that the easiest way to make him happy was to incorporate Oreos into whatever I was baking.
I’ve noticed something about Oreos: they have the same fanatic fan base that my beloved peanut butter cups do. And like any loyal fan, Oreo devotees accept no generic substitutes. It has to be Oreo or bust. I understand completely. I accept no peanut butter cup that’s not a Reese’s.
But I digress. It was a busy weekend. My nephew had his second birthday, my son’s birthday is coming up this week, and we had endless social engagements. No, we’re not popular. Weekends just have a way of filling up.
When I’m short on time, I make bark. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s so addictive. I could sit on my couch watching Parenthood episodes and eating bark for hours on end. It’s an open canvas. You can pretty much make any bark your heart tells you to make.
So this was a no-brainer. I went to the store, bought a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, a bag of white chocolate chips, and a package of Oreos. Those three ingredients and five minutes were all I needed.
The end result is highly satisfying. The bark is all pretty with swirls of chocolate and crumblings of tantalizing Oreo. It literally melts in your mouth, but still has a satisfying crunch from the cookie. And if people eat it all up in two seconds flat, then you can make another batch in no time at all!
Plus, this makes a great gift. It’s like fudge. People think it took you forever to make and that you’re the best person ever, but it’s so simple that you just smile at them benignly and keep saying, “It was no trouble at all.” They’ll think you’re gracious and brilliant, but you’ll actually be telling the truth.
Okay, enough wasting time. Do you have five minutes? Go make some bark!
- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 11 oz.)
- 1 bag white chocolate chips (same size)
- 1/2 package Oreos
Using two microwave-safe bowls, melt the chocolates. Start with the semi-sweet. Heat for two minutes and stir, and then heat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring after each interval. Do not overheat or the chocolate will burn. Note: the white chocolate melts faster, so be careful!
Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spread the semi-sweet chocolate evenly over the pan, being sure that no area is significantly thinner or thicker than another.
Pour the white chocolate over the semi-sweet layer and carefully spread it out, creating light swirls as you go. Do not over-swirl the chocolate or you will lose the effect and just wind up with a color that looks like milk chocolate.
Using your hands, crumble the Oreos over the melted chocolate, creating pieces of varying sizes. Be sure to cover the whole area.
Put the bark in the refrigerator and chill until firm, anywhere from 30-45 minutes. You can leave it in longer if needed.
When you’re ready, break the bark into pieces with your hands. It will peel very easily off the parchment paper. Put the bark into an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. If you have the willpower to wait, that is!