I’m back from sunny Williamsburg, VA, where my husband and I had a mini-vacation without kids. It was magical. If you’ve never been, you need to go! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite parts of the trip over the coming days. But first I have to share something else with you, and I’m excited!
Hold on to your hats. Because I never realized that bark, one of the best treats ever, could be made in cookie form. Guess what? Epiphany time, people!
I was in the grocery store minus my children (wow, am I ever with them?) the other day, which is known in my world as a vacation. It was so lovely. I was wandering up and down aisles, looking at packaging without having to tune out a baby shrieking in my ear or feeling harassed, when I came upon the Brownie Brittle display. Have you seen that stuff? Basically, there are several different flavors of these thin, crispy brownie pieces. Some of them have chocolate chips, others toffee. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, when you bite in, you taste brownie. And I wanted to do the same thing, but with a cookie instead. So cookie bark was born!
It’s fun. And you know what? It’s also egg-free. If you want to eat the dough while you’re putting it all together, it won’t hurt you a bit. Talk about a bonus!
The dough is a perfect base for any mix-ins you like. This time I chose mini M & Ms, but you can use chocolate chips, toffee bits, chopped up peanut butter cups…the possibilities are endless! And you can be very sure I’ll be exploring all those options.
This bark fulfills so many taste cravings. Do you like crunchy food? Check. Sugar? Check. Chocolate? Check! Cookies? Need we ask?!
It’s so easy. You just press the dough onto a Silpat baking sheet or parchment paper, bake for a bit, and then smash the bark into pieces in a totally haphazard and inexact way. Then you store it away in a container, unless you’ve eaten it all. I kind of went a bit crazy eating the dough, but still had some bark left. Not a lot. Some.
On a totally unrelated (okay, mildly related) topic, I got this awesome mug in Williamsburg that pretty much sums me up. I think it explains my passion for sugar perfectly:
There. I just laughed. Now grab those beaters, people! Time to take bark to a whole new level.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup mini M & Ms
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla and mix again. Finally, add the flour gradually and beat until combined.
Press the cookie dough evenly onto the baking sheet, making a flat layer that spreads out to the edges. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the edges are browned and the middle is set.
Allow the pan to cool. Break the cookie bark into pieces with your hands and store in an airtight container.