Friday, December 3, 2010

The Year of the Bark

So, every year for the holiday season, I make something that I can give as a "food gift"... for co-workers, friends, teachers, neighbors, etc... It's usually fudge. Fudge is pretty simple and you can package it nicely. I've grown tired of fudge.

Two years ago, I'd grown tired of fudge. I decided to make these Martha Stewart cookies that consisted of like 346 steps. They weren't hard, no complicated techniques or anything... just a very long process. At about step 327, I needed some counter space in my tiny apartment kitchen so I stuck the cookies in the oven while I did other things. On Christmas Eve, I was very very very sick. Like gonna die from a head cold sick. But I'd promised to bring a pumpkin pie to a friend's family's get together, so I pre-heated the oven and made my pie. The pain in the ass Martha Stewart cookies and a butt-load of plastic RubberMaid tubs were melted all over the inside of my oven.

So this year, with my boredom of fudge having returned, I'm going with bark. All you gotta do is melt some chocolate: dark, milk, semi-sweet, white, whatever... and add some crunchy bits to it. Then you let it harden and then you break it. Yep, break it, you don't even have to cut it. It looks pretty all packaged up in little baggies too. I've got what I've deemed "Movie Theater Bark" (that perfect blend of salty and sweet, like popcorn and M&M's) chillin' in the fridge right now. Semi-sweet chocolate swirled with a little bit of white chocolate, topped with crushed pretzels and mini M&M's!

Here's a fun article from Food TV Magazine with some mix and match ideas. Bark it up.

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