Friday, February 10, 2012

An Easy Treat for Your Valentine: Cupid's Valentine Bark

Michael has been out of town this week, so I haven't been cooking dinner. I've been eating takeout and trying to rest up after my whirlwind weekend in Indianapolis. If I wasn't a food blogger? This would be no big deal...but I am a food blogger. If I don't cook, I don't have material to write about in here. So...I got into the kitchen tonight to whip up an easy Valentine treat to take to work tomorrow. We're having a Valentine candy exchange in my office, so I decided to make something fun and festive to share with the group. 

To me, it doesn't get much easier than homemade bark! For a short investment of your time, you can create something that is pretty to look at and fun to eat. For this particular bark, I wanted it to have all the bright colors of Valentines -- reds, pinks, and purples. I opted to go with white chocolate for my base, and I topped it with all sorts of fun Valentine-inspired goodies. The entire thing took about 15 minutes to pull together, then it went in the fridge for another 15 minutes to harden. really doesn't get much easier than that!

Cupid's Valentine Bark
a Weekend Gourmet Original Creation

Step 1:  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Melt 16 ounces white chocolate or vanilla candy melts. Evenly spread the melted chocolate on top of the foil in a rectangular shape. Sprinkle with red sugar crystals. I used Strawberry Crystal Cane Sugar from World Wide Gourmet, but you could use any large crystal sugar and tint it with red food color for the same effect. I love how the red really pops against the white chocolate!

Step 2:  Add some conversation heats and Valentines M&Ms. I try to arrange the candy evenly so each piece of bark ends up with a bit of all the different toppings when I break it up. Finally, top with pink and white marshmallows. The ones I bought just happened to be vanilla and strawberry flavored, which paired well with the strawberry sugar.

Step 3:  Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This allows the bark to harden so it's easy to break into pieces. After 15 minutes, remove from the fridge and break into 3-inch pieces. This stuff is very sweet, so a little piece goes a long way. 

This bark is fun to make, it's very pretty from all the bright colors, and it tastes great! Not bad for 3o minutes of your time and a little imagination. The best thing about bark is that it's very versatile. Don't like conversation hearts? Sub in something else. Can't find pink marshmallows, then go with all white. The main thing is to have fun and use your creativity. I imagine this would be a fantastic cooking project to do with kids as well. 

Have a great weekend...I'm off to Houston to collect my husband and spend some time with our families. I'll be back in my kitchen cooking much more again next week, so I'll have some fun recipes to share. If you haven't entered my Woodhouse Chocolate giveaway, you have until noon on Saturday. You don't want to miss out on a chance to try this chocolate for me!

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