Philacatessen | This Bark Doesn’t Bite

Photos by Keri White

I’ve shared my recipe for chocolate bark before. It’s a winner — supremely simple and a sure-fire hit.

But I developed a crowd-pleasing new version of it for my last book group gathering.

I was asked to bring dessert. It was the week after Thanksgiving, and everyone was dieting, so I made a fruit salad. But as the day wore on I had a nagging voice in my head telling me that fruit salad was simply not sufficient dessert. That said, I had no wish to spend hours on a multi-layer cake or specialty tart that everyone picked at because they overindulged on pumpkin pie.

So, chocolate bark came to my rescue again: It was quick, simple and sufficiently indulgent to appease the nagging voice. And a small amount will sate the sweet tooth, so the abstainers could perhaps enjoy a treat while remaining on their regimens.

That’s the good news.

The bad news was that my pantry was uncharacteristically bare; I had no pretzels, no nuts, no raisins, really not much of anything to fill the bark—and I was under house arrest awaiting a repairman, so leaving home was out of the question. I scoured the cabinet and, lo and behold, found a bowl of Halloween candy that had escaped trick or treaters (and me). I went to work.

What began as a Plan B rapidly hit the top of the rotation list. The book group loved it, and there was nary a crumb left when it was time to go home.

This makes a lovely holiday gift; just place the bark in a pretty tin or cello bag tied with a ribbon.

Reese’s Bark

Makes about 1-pound bark

This technique differs slightly from the other method in that you don’t put the Reese’s into the melted chocolate; I didn’t want the Reese’s to melt, so I sprinkled them on top. It worked beautifully.

1 bag dark chocolate chips (10 ounces)

8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (full-size) or 16 bite-size

  1. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips on medium power for 3 minutes.
  2. While the chocolate melts, open the Reese’s cups and crumple them into bits into a small bowl.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. When the chocolate is melted, stir it until completely smooth and pour it onto a prepared cookie sheet, spreading it out to a thin layer.
  5. Sprinkle the crumbled Reese’s bits onto the melted chocolate to evenly distribute over the entire batch. Gently press the Reese’s bits into the melted chocolate.
  6. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes until totally chilled; break into bite-sized pieces and serve.


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