Our chocolate peanut butter popcorn bark combines all the best elements of a treat. It’s sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy all at the same time. We’re always tempted when we see amazing looking chocolate bark at a candy store. There are always so many different flavor options and so many different additions like candy, nuts, seeds and every possible combination. And, mind you, these confectionary store treats are never cheap. Fortunately, chocolate bark is one of the easiest treats to make at home and the customization options are limited only by your imagination and tastes.
We started with a milk chocolate base but semi-sweet would be great. If you like your chocolate dark, though, by all means go for the dark or bittersweet. You can also mix different types of chocolate in the same bark just the same way that we’ve mixed in peanut butter. So, want to make a semi-sweet base with pockets of milk and pockets of dark chocolate? Maybe even a little white chocolate? Totally doable!
You might be tempted to use chocolate chips but we’re going to recommend choosing a higher quality chocolate for the base. Chocolate chips contain additives that help them keep their shape during baking in cookies or cakes. But because the overwhelming flavor of bark is the chocolate, we say go for something higher quality. Choose a bar chocolate with a flavor you really love eating out of hand and then you’ll end up with the best tasting bark. We did combine some peanut butter chips with jarred peanut butter to create the swirl because we needed the texture the baking chips provided. But for milk, dark, semi-sweet or white chocolate, we choose bar chocolate.
Next we chose our additions. The peanut butter was easy because, as far as we’re concerned, chocolate and peanut butter need to be together in as many treats as possible. We swirled ours in so that the predominant flavor was the milk chocolate but with pools of peanut butter flavor throughout. Candy choice? We grabbed a bag of peanut butter M&M’s but plain would be fine. Or pretzel M&M’s. Or peanut M&M’s.
Speaking of peanuts, those would be great in this recipe. We went with almonds just to give a different taste but walnuts, pecans or cashews would all work. There’s no wrong nut in chocolate bark. But unless you’re buying roasted nuts, we recommend giving your nuts a quick toast in a skillet or cast iron pan on the stovetop. A little heat will bring out all the flavor.
Our final addition is popcorn because we love it. We’re all about the popcorn! Normally we’d just toss a little coarse sea salt over a bark but, because we added popcorn, we finished our bark with a sprinkling of our Dell Cove Spices Chocolate Caramel Seasoning.
Set a bowl over a pot of simmering water and add the milk chocolate. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Stir until melted. At the same time, set second bowl over simmering water and add the peanut butter chips. Stir until melted and then stir in the peanut butter.
Line a quarter sheet pan (13" x 9") with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pour in the melted milk chocolate and spread out with the back of a spoon until you have an even layer.
Place dollops of the melted peanut butter mixture on top of the milk chocolate and, using a butter knife, swirl in gently to get a marble effect.
Sprinkle on the candies, roasted almonds and popcorn. Sprinkle with the Dell Cove® Chocolate Caramel popcorn seasoning
Place in the refrigerator until fully cooled and then break into pieces to serve.
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