Thursday, December 4, 2014

Oreo Bark by Colleen

Oreo Bark by Colleen

Oreo Bark was born out of my kids dislike of peppermint paired with chocolate.  So, I substituted broken Oreos (or you can use the mini Oreos and do not have to do any breaking at all) for the peppermint and a tradition was born.

I make many sheets of the stuff over the holidays, break it up into bite-sized pieces and package it into little cello holiday bags.

The key, as with so many things in life, is to use good chocolate BARS, not chips.  Chips are formulated differently to keep their chip shape during baking.  Which means melting them down to a smooth, lump-free state is no easy feat.

If you use baking bars, it is a snap to microwave the chocolate and stir it until until it is smooth.  The exception is milk chocolate.  I find that you can get milk chocolate chips to break down fairly easily. The worst is white chocolate chips.  They will seize before they melt.

I think I have gone over all of this in the actual recipe, but it bears repeating.  Throwing out 36 ounces of white chocolate.

Also, you can sub in anything for the Oreos that you like --- nuts, dried fruit --- anything that goes with chocolate.


Oreo Bark

12 ounces (3 four-ounce bars) of two or three different kinds of chocolate:
--bittersweet
--semisweet
--milk chocolate
--white chocolate

1/3 package of regular Oreos (not Double Stuffs) broken into small pieces or one bag of mini-Oreos, unbroken
 I use either Guittard or Ghiradelli chocolate.  I tend to use 60% cacao, milk chocolate and white chocolate bars for my combo.
It is better to use baking bars than chocolate chips.  Chocolate chips are formulated to retain their shape when heated and do not melt as easily as baking bars.  This is ESPECIALLY true of white chocolate.  White chocolate chips tend to seize when you are trying to melt them and it is very aggravating!

Okay, get three bowls that are microwavable.  Break up the chocolate bars into smaller pieces (one kind of chocolate per bowl) and then microwave on 50-60% power for 1-2 minutes.

Take out the bowl and stir the chocolate.  You may need to return it to the microwave for another minute or so.  Be sure not to overheat the chocolate or it will scorch (yuck--then you have to throw it out) or seize (then you can add butter or oil and possibly save it).

When all three chocolates are melted, get a large cookie sheet, preferably with edges.  Line thesheet with foil.

Pour on the darkest chocolate, then the next chocolate and end with white chocolate.  Use the blunt end of a chopstick to swirl the chocolates together.

Then take the pieces of Oreo and scatter them across the top of the chocolates.  Take another sheet of foil and cover the whole deal and PRESS DOWN so the Oreos are embedded in the chocolate.

Put in the fridge for 45-60 minutes.  Remove and peel off the foil.  Break into smaller pieces.

Be sure to work quickly, as the heat from your hands can start to melt the chocolate.  If it is warm in the kitchen, wear food service gloves or small baggies.

Store bark in the fridge.

You can change this up any which way you like --- really any good quality chocolate works.  And you can obviously substitute nuts, dried fruit, candy canes, chopped up candy bars, etc. for the Oreos.

Enjoy!
       --- Colleen

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