I have a tendency to decorate most candies and treats in a frilly and feminine way— not typically a bad thing. However, when looking for ideas for Fathers Day, I wanted to make a treat that wasn’t overly sweet, still rich, and absolutely masculine. Dark chocolate fits that description completely— and is a great place to start. I saw this recipe for Buckeye Bark over at SweetPeasKitchen.com, and altered it slightly for my aim to use dark chocolate.
• 16 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• 24 ounces milk chocolate candy coating
• 2 ½ cups peanut butter
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Things You’ll need:
• Parchment paper
• 2 medium glass bowls
• Large baking sheet
• Butter knife
• Large chopping knife
The first thing you’ll want to do is line the baking sheet with parchment paper, sides and all. Next, portion half of the milk chocolate and half of the unsweetened chocolate in a glass bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds, and stir with the butter knife— my batch only needed that amount of time, but I’m in a warmer climate. If yours does not melt right away, heat for 15-second increments in between stirs. Now for the fun part, pour the liquid chocolate from the bowl in a ‘W’ shape onto the parchment paper. Using your spatula to push and coax the chocolate out to the sides, in shallow wave motions from the middle outward. Place the cookie sheet in the fridge while you prepare the middle layer.
For the peanut butter layer, scoop the 2 and ½ cups peanut butter into a glass bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar, about a ¼ cup at a time. Place the bowl in the microwave for no more than 20 seconds. Add the vegetable oil and continue to whisk until there are no lumps, and the peanut butter is nearly as liquid as the chocolate was. Check on the chocolate in the fridge, it should be hard to the touch before removing. Pour the liquid peanut butter on top of the chocolate in a similar ‘W’ shape, and use the spatula to spread, being careful not to press down, or drag, because the heat from the peanut butter undoubtedly slightly melts the chocolate underneath. Replace in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the final layer, take the other half of both types of chocolate and melt in the same way you did for the bottom layer. Place the full and yum-heavy baking sheet back into the fridge for at least an hour. After the bark has fully hardened, press a large chopping knife into the bark, and simply continue chopping until you have achieved the size of bark you like. I liked to leave the bark pieces pretty large, as you can see.
I presented a handful of bark pieces in a brown tin-tie bag to every father of a child and good father to a pet. I labeled the bags with the Aunt Lorraine style, and added my own special message on the closure of each bag— with adoration!
More homemade gift ideas from Zoe:
Root Beer Cookies Coffee Kitchen Soap Ginger Infused Vodka Tsatziki Salad in a Jar
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