Halloween Boo Bark
Make easy homemade chocolate bark with a Halloween twist – this Boo Bark takes only 10 minutes to make and can be made weeks ahead of time!
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Do you love Halloween? Do you love easy themed desserts? If so, this is the week for you: Halloween Treat Week!
Coming at you this week: five super easy, Halloween themed recipes – perfect for school treats, “Boo Bags” to drop off with neighbors, or Halloween-themed work parties.
(Not into Halloween treats? No worries – back to regularly scheduled kitchen chemistry-based baking and easy weeknight dinner recipes next week!)
We’re starting with one of the absolute easiest recipes you’ll find on my site: chocolate bark, with a Halloween twist.
Can you melt chocolate? Congratulations! You can make this spooktacular Boo Bark!
Easy Chocolate Bark Recipe
Chocolate bark is so easy for so many reasons.
You don’t really need a recipe: just melt chocolate (dark? white? milk? it all works!).
You can add whatever toppings you have on hand (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sprinkles, etc.)
It’s super fast to make (takes just 10 minutes to make!) and can be made well ahead of time and stored at room temperature.
While you can theme it for any holiday (crushed peppermints for Christmas, red/white/blue sprinkles or M&Ms for 4th of July, etc), making “Boo Bark” has become an easy Halloween tradition my kids love!
Best Chocolate for Chocolate Bark
Chocolate bark can be made with chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, or candy melts. White, milk, or dark chocolate all work equally well.
By taste alone, chopped whole bars of quality chocolate taste best. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt using a microwave or double boiler. While this tastes the best, however, real chocolate should be tempered.
What is tempering chocolate and why is it important? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry.
Tempering chocolate is a heating and cooling process which stabilizes chocolate and gives it a shiny finish and keeps it from melting on your fingers. When chocolate is melted, the cocoa butter and sugar molecule separate. Tempering the chocolate brings these molecules back together properly.
Chocolate which is not properly tempered can look dull and melts at body temperature (i.e., melts on your fingers). To learn more about tempering chocolate and how to do it, Serious Eats has the best guide.
Chocolate chips and candy melts, on the other hand, do not require tempering.
Chocolate chips contain other stabilizers to maintain the ‘chip’ shape, which already inhibits the proper lattice structure of pure chocolate and thus cannot be tempered. They do not melt as smoothly as pure chocolate, but adding a little vegetable oil helps with this. As a pro, chocolate chips have flavor more similar to true chocolate.
Candy melts include vegetable oil and result in the smoothest, creamiest texture when melted, but have the least chocolate taste.
Of the three options, chocolate chips provide the ideal balance of flavor and ease and will be used for the recipe below, but if you are familiar with tempering chocolate, I highly recommend using solid chocolate bars for the best flavor!
Boo Bark Toppings
To make this Halloween-themed Boo Bark, just add your favorite Halloween themed or colored candies!
Some of my favorites (links are affiliate!) include:
- candy corn
- Halloween-colored M&Ms (pick out orange and brown M&Ms from a regular bag, or use the Halloween-specific orange, purple, and green bags)
- Halloween sprinkles
- candy eyeballs
- chopped Halloween-themed Oreos
- candy pumpkins
- gummy bats
Tips and Tricks for the Best Boo Bark
- To melt chocolate easily, use the microwave. Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each session. Continue to heat and stir until the chocolate is 90% melted; then stir until the rest of the chocolate is heated enough to melt.
- To melt chocolate without a microwave, use a double boiler. Place the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl sitting on top of a pot of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is 90% melted, then remove from the heat.
- For smoother chocolate and less chance of seizing, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil or coconut oil. Adding just a little liquid oil to the chocolate before melting will result in a smoother final product.
- Let the chocolate bark cool at room temperature before breaking into pieces. While it’s tempting to put the chocolate in the refrigerator to speed up the process, this can result in condensation on the chocolate, resulting a white sugar bloom on the surface of the chocolate.
- 12 ounces chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, or candy melts (white, milk, dark, or a combination)
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil (optional)
- Halloween-themed toppings (candy corn, candy pumpkins, M&Ms, sprinkles, candy eyeballs, etc)
- Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or wax paper.
- Place chocolate or candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. Add oil, if using. Heat the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds, then stir to mix. Repeat the 30 second heating intervals and stirring until the chocolate is 90% melted. Then stir continuously until the remaining chocolate melts. (Alternatively, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler.)
- Spread the chocolate into an even layer on the cookie sheet using a silicone spatula, swirling if using different types of chocolate. Aim for a roughly 1/4-inch thick layer of chocolate; depending on the size of the cookie sheet, the chocolate may not spread all the way to the edges.
- Top with the desired toppings, gently pressing them into the chocolate. Set the chocolate aside until fully cooled and set, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.
- For smoother chocolate and less chance of seizing, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil or coconut oil.
- Let the chocolate bark cool at room temperature before breaking into pieces. Refrigerating the chocolate can result in condensation on the surface of the chocolate, resulting in a white sugar bloom.
- Solid chocolate (not candy wafers or chocolate chips) should be tempered for the best results.
Halloween Boo Bark can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to one month.
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