Monday, November 1, 2010

Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bark

Happy (belated) Halloween! I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloweekend. I had a very festive weekend filled with lots of yummy treats. On Friday, I made peanut butter & toffee candy bark from the October issue of Bon Appetit. On Saturday, my roommate Emily and I carved pumpkins and made roasted pumpkin seeds, and on Sunday, I made spooky Halloween cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

First off was Halloween candy bark. I've had this recipe flagged since the day I received my October issue of Bon Appetit. I mean, melted chocolate covered in more chocolate and candy? Count me in. This recipe is super easy and can be adapted based on your taste in candy. It can also be used for different holidays, substituting in holiday-appropriate candy for the Reese's, Butterfinger and nuts.

Another great Halloween goody I had this weekend: roasted pumpkin seeds. To make these, hold onto your seeds when carving pumpkins, wash and dry them, toss in a tiny bit of olive oil and seasoning of your choice and bake at 325 F for 25 minutes (or until golden and crunchy), tossing periodically to ensure even baking. Emily and I made several different varieties: sea salt, garlic sea salt, cinnamon sugar and spicy Cajun. They were all great, but my favorites were the cinnamon sugar and the garlic sea salt.

Spooky pumpkins! Save your seeds after carving for a yummy Halloween snack.

On Sunday, I made yellow cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Earlier this week, my mom sent me a Halloween care package which included Halloween sprinkles. I was determined to use them, so I picked up a box of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix and whipped up some of my favorite buttercream frosting (recipe courtesy of Bakerella) and spent several joyous hours decorating my spooky creations.

Can you tell I had a little too much fun with this?

Bon appetit!

Halloween Peanut Butter & Toffee Candy Bark
Makes 30 two-inch pieces
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 2.1-oz. Butterfinger candy bars, cut into irregular 1/2-inch pieces
3 1.4-oz. Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 1/2-inch pieces 
8 small peanut butter cups, each cut into 4 wedges
1/3 cup honey-roasted peanuts
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Small box of Reese's Pieces

Line a baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Pour chocolate onto foil and spread to 1/4-inch thickness (you should have a 12x10-inch rectangle).

Sprinkle with Butterfinger, Heath, peanut butter cups and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.

Put white chocolate in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip a spoon into the chocolate and wave from side to side over the bark, creating zig zag lines.

Scatter Reese's Pieces over the bark, pressing the candy into the melted white chocolate.

Chill bark until firm, about 30 minutes. Slide the foil with candy onto a work surface and chop into small irregular pieces. Keep chilled in the fridge or store at room temperature.

Source: Bon Appetit October 2010

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