Well, we've made it!
Hold on to your hats folks, you're in for several Christmas treat-related posts. There will be so much chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, funfetti, and nuts you'll be begging for a week of salads come January. Ok, admittedly that's probably a bit of an exaggeration. But if you're anything like me, you'll be done with the sweets come January.
However, today is not January. Today we begin with a salty yet sweet, crunchy, chocolatey, peanut buttery treat. Peanut Butter Cup Bark!
You're only going to need three ingredients. Well, technically four, but the fourth ingredient is peanut butter and most people keep that in their pantry. Bark is soooooo easy to make. I wanted a salty, cracker crust on the bottom of the bark. I ended up crushing the Ritz crackers (or the totally cheap store brand variety, thank you very much) and spreading a super-thin layer of cracker crumbs before I laid the chocolate down. Make sure and spread the thinnest layer of cracker crumbs. Only the crumbs touching the chocolate will actually stick to the chocolate, so keep that in mind. Less is more here. I love the hint of saltiness the cracker crumbs bring to the table.
After spreading the cracker crumbs, melt some chocolate melting candy and spread it evenly over the cracker crumbs. I poured it as evenly as I could to avoid disturbing the cracker crumbs. I found if I used a spoon to spread the chocolate in one direction, the cracker crumbs pretty much stayed put. Even so, you may disturb some of the cracker crumbs and that's ok. It doesn't really affect the outcome of the final product.
I will tell you that I was pretty pissed when I was making my first batch. When I was spreading the chocolate around and the chocolate kept picking up crumbs, I was mad. Wanting to throw my spreading spoon out the back door kind-of mad. I have learned, through trial and error, to just power ahead when I think I've ruined something. Sometimes I really do ruin things, but sometimes the final product turns out just fine. And that was the case for this candy. I chopped up the Reese's and drizzled the peanut butter over the bark and dejectedly placed the tray in the fridge. I wasn't sure what would happen, if the candy would turn out ok.
And the candy turned out just fine.
I pulled it from the fridge and began to break it apart. The bark behaved exactly like it was supposed to, and I breathed a dramatic sigh of relief. And then immediately popped a second batch into the fridge.
This candy was one of my favorites that I made this year. It's true, I love peanut butter cups so it's not much of a stretch that I love these. I just have to keep telling myself to keep my mitts out of that peanut buttery tupperware. It's hard though...
I've got all my treats done, save for my Snickerdoodles. In hindsight, I probably should have given myself three days to make all the cookies, instead of two. That's a lot of work for two days. Anyhoo, Snickerdoodles will be made today. Which hopefully means I'm shipping this afternoon. Shipping may happen tomorrow, though. Either way, I'm facing a weekend with no deliveries on Sunday so I'm not stressing too much about getting these out today.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone!
Ingredients (makes 1 (11x13) pan of bark):
1 roll of Ritz crackers (About 35 crackers)
1 (16 oz) package of chocolate melting candy
1 (12 oz) package of Reese's Miniatures, chopped
1/3 cup peanut butter
1. Line a 11x13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place Ritz crackers in a Ziplock bag. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, smash crackers into crumbs. Spread crumbs along the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Melt chocolate melting candy according to package directions. Evenly spread chocolate over the cracker crumbs.
4. Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups evenly over chocolate.
5. Heat peanut butter in the microwave, 30 seconds to 1 minute or until melted. Drizzle peanut butter over the bark.
6. Place pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the fridge, and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Looking for other peanut butter treat recipes? Try these!