This upcoming week is full of exciting events. Super Bowl #50 is Sunday and we in Colorado are excited to have our state team in the rivalry. Loads of delicious food will be served and I hope you’ll consider making the Muffin Tin Mexican Bowls I shared this week! They are easy to make, full of flavor and cute, as most tiny food is!
Tuesday is Mardi Gras and even if you are not in New Orleans or other areas celebrating Carnival, it doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the delicious food and drink (even if you are gluten-free). After watching HBO’s series ‘Treme’ last January I was in the mood and whipped up recipes for Gluten-Free King Cake, Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch, Slow Cooker Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, and Classic Bananas Foster. So good!
The week ends with Valentine’s Day! A return of the sweets after a quick break between the December holidays and January’s health efforts! Though a box of chocolates is traditional for Valentine’s Day, making some fun treats before OR after is easy too. A simple favorite in our house is chocolate bark. I’ve shared Peppermint Bark for winter holidays and Gourmet Easter Candy Bark as a great way to use up Easter basket candy that never seems to end.
There are so many Valentine’s themed candy, making a sweet bark seemed a natural idea. Sweetheart Bark. It takes less than 15 minutes to put together and is ready to eat after is chills. Would be great for school parties, as part of a Valentine’s gift for those you appreciate or to use up candy after the holiday too.
I recommend picking a flavor theme. My kids went with me to scout some fun candy (undoubtedly their favorite Boulder Locavore food shopping outing ever). We found loads of options that would both look great and taste great, though not all would taste great together. There are cute peanut butter cups with messages on the top though to me that wouldn’t be the best pairing with strawberry for instance. So just think through whether you want a flavor or color scheme before shopping.
I wanted a Strawberry flavor scheme in pinks, loving both the flavor with chocolate and the happy color! I used a selection of shapes and types of candy (listed in the recipe information) to create a fun looking bark that was gobbled up! Before you could say ‘I love you’!
Chocolate candy bark is easy and fast to make, as well as simple to customize for any occasion. Heart-shaped candy abounds before Valentine's Day and a walk down the seasonal aisle of a large grocery store will present many options of fun candy to use in a mosaic of sweets.
Selecting a color theme or flavor theme is a great place to start if that matters to you. The bark featured here is a Strawberries and Cream flavor theme with loads of pink. I listed the specific candies I used in the Recipe Notes below. It's a great project to do with kids too since the candy can be added in any way and it chills, ready to eat within about an hour.
- 16 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate; bars or chips (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate bars, chopped)
- 1 ½ cups (approximately) assorted Valentine’s candy*
- Line a large baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.
- Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat according to package instructions to melt the chocolate. For chopped bars: Microwave for 1 minutes at 50% power, stir and repeat for 15 seconds at 50% power, stirring after each heating until chocolate has melted and is creamy in texture. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth out to about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Place candy in the melted chocolate and place in the refrigerator to completely cool until solid. Cut into pieces.
*The candy mixture used for the Strawberries and Cream flavored Bark shown here is: 9 Lindt Lindor Strawberries & Cream Truffles, 7 Ghirardelli Chocolate Valentine’s Impression Milk & White Chocolate Squares, ½ cup Brach’s Strawberry Shortcake Candy Corn, 1/3 cup Conversation Hearts, ¼ cup Russell Stover Strawberries and Cream hearts mix.