This is the chocolate month, the time when everyone forgets their healthy resolutions, turning straight to the chocolate lava cake. It’s only human nature. We can’t be deprived for extended periods.
So if you’re gonna do the chocolate, make bark. It’s a cheap and easy gift for a loved one, or you can eat it all yourself. I have a video tutorial below plus a step-by-step recipe, so keep reading!
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but 95% of all diets fail. America is a country ruled by diets and a thriving fitness industry, and yet we’re in a health crisis. How is that possible?
Simple, really. When you try and sustain impossible behavior, it all comes crumbling down. Dieting at its core is all about the word “no.” Diets focus on what you can’t eat: dairy, or carbs, or sugar, or anything a caveman didn’t eat, or all of the above. Who wants a voice in their head constantly telling them that what they’re doing is wrong?
Seriously, if people talked to one another the way that their inner voices talk to them sometimes, they’d get slapped. We’ve somehow been taught that self-shaming isn’t just acceptable: it’s desirable. That, my friends, is a load of garbage. When did deprivation become a virtue? When did dieting become a way of life? Because here’s the thing. You ready?
If you’re dieting all the time, it’s probably not working. Seriously. It’s one thing to live with a healthy mindset and goals and quite another to base life upon what you will not let yourself have, and to constantly go back and forth with those arbitrary rules. I’m not a fan.
Message? Stop dieting. Start eating bark. Always works for me!
Bark is easy to put together, makes a great gift, and can be customized to any holiday or occasion. It takes just a few minutes (plus a half hour of chill time) to get it going. Take a look!
When all’s said and done, wouldn’t you rather spend time engaging in self-love and acceptance? Denial is never good, in life or in food. So say yes to yourself today, and say yes to some bark!
assorted Valentine's day candy and sprinkles (I used candy corn, raspberry hearts, cinnamon lips, heart sprinkles, and pink airbrushing spray)
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips for one minute. Stir. If not smooth and melted, heat an additional 20 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Spread out the milk chocolate to about 1/2-inch thickness. Don't go too thin, or the bark won't be as good.
In a separate bowl, heat the white chocolate chips for 40 seconds. Stir, and if not melted, heat an additional 20 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Drop the white chocolate by spoonfuls gently onto the milk chocolate. Using a knife, swirl the melted white chocolate gently into the milk chocolate. Do not overdo it, or your bark will become one uniform muddy color.
One at a time, add the Valentine's Day candies, spacing them evenly around the bark. Add the sprinkles and airbrush the bark for added color. You can buy airbrush spray at most grocery stores or cake decorating aisles (like at Michael's).
Chill the bark for 30 minutes. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. If you're worried about melting, keep it in the refrigerator until shortly before serving.
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
Does the world need more dessert with peanut butter cups? Duh.
I’ve been on a banana kick this summer, and it’s probably just me making up for lost time. I barely posted any banana recipes in the first two years of the blog, so this summer it’s just bananas all the time. Plus, I don’t like to keep them on the counter in the summer. The bugs, they will come.
Plus, this feels like the right time to write about this cake. There’s a slice of it on my desk in my new office, and I’m looking out at the tree by my window and contemplating happy thoughts. Why not add a moist banana cake filled with both peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips to the mix? A gluten-free one, might I add?
I’m sure you’re all aware of the dangers of a CVS run, right?
Last week, I stopped by CVS for a quick trip to get some cleaning supplies. I’ve just moved into my new office space, and it was pretty dang dirty, so I needed to rush out right away and get cleaning spray, wipes, paper towels, the works. I was only going to pop in for a second.
But you know, CVS has the best stuff. Makeup and hair stuff and gel pens, oh my. And have I mentioned the bags of candy? Yep, I walked out of there with snack-sized Reese’s, Mega M & Ms and yes, fun-sized Snickers. Rather than eat the entire contents of each bag immediately while I cleaned dried-up Jolly Ranchers off a desk in the office, I chose to save them and bake this candy bar brownie cake instead.
Welcome back to Beach Week on Just About Baked! I’m celebrating the best of boardwalk treats with my own twists!
Have I mentioned that I didn’t grow up anywhere near the water? The closest we came was a three-hour drive to Lake Michigan. It was really beautiful, but I’m more of an ocean beach girl. Something about those crashing waves really gets me every time.
Today is fudge day. One of my priority stops in any beach town is the candy shop, which is usually stocked with thick slabs of fudge in different flavors. They usually have great deals, too, because fudge doesn’t last too long and they need to sell it. It’s a win for everybody!