When I was younger, Halloween was always my favorite time of year. Other than for the obvious reason (my sweet tooth), Halloween was the entree into the holiday season. The leaves that fell were raked into piles, my sister and I would roll in them as children. We got older, she got a boyfriend, and still I loved Fall. To dress up, to be someone else, a form of drag and an exercise in imagination.
I wasn't invited to a lot of parties, so I dressed up as a cowboy, a princess, and one year when we were very poor and very lazy, a dining room table. The cheap dollar store masks that stuck against your face, breathing the stale, moist, reused breath all night. My mother and I would eat candy, watch a movie, go to sleep with a wrapper clutched in my hands. Our town was not set up for trick-or-treating back then, so we'd buy our candy in bulk and snack on it into Christmas. Santa-shaped sugar cookies found themselves next to orange and black wrappers on the buffet.
We don't do this anymore, traditions change and I changed, too. But now we have Lana, my niece, and we think back to all the old things we did as children and how we can improve on those things now. I updated a simple recipe, chocolate bark, to get rid of all of that chocolate sitting around before the holidays roll in. And it just so happens that Rebecca over at Displaced Housewife had a very similar idea too!
Halloween Candy Bark
This is essentially a "non-recipe" due to the fact that it doesn't take any skill, is totally adaptable, and requires no prep of any sort. Further, this is labeled as Ina Garten's because that's who I went as for Halloween this year!! A picture (and video!) follow the recipe below!
- 40 oz of chocolate (see note below)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Halloween candy bars, M&M's, etc
- Pinch of flaked sea salt
- Prepare a half sheet pan with parchment paper
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe mixing bowl, pour 2/3 of the chocolate you are using into the bowl (split this up if you are using 2 different flavored chocolates or chips!)
- Microwave at 20 second increments, stirring when timer is done, until chocolate is melted
- Add remaining chips that were reserved (this is a very easy way to "temper" your chocolate, actually learned by Ina!
- Using a rubber spatula, pour onto your parchment paper and spread out into a rectangle
- Repeat if using any other flavors
- Immediately add your candy, pressing down slightly
- Sprinkle with sea salt
- Put in fridge for an hour or two before breaking up and serving
Note: I had white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on hand, but really anything will do. I do think that higher quality chocolate, even in part, would have improved this recipe, but not necessary
And here, for documentation purposes, is my Ina Garten Halloween costume!!