April 12, 2019 by Nicole Collins
To infinity, and beyond!
OMG, who’s excited about Toy Story 4 coming out this summer? I can’t stop watching the trailer for the movie. I’m SO excited! Between that, The Lion King, and Aladdin; it's gonna be a good year!
I remember when this move was first announced 4 or 5 years ago. And, then about 2 years ago is when I think we got the summer 2019 release date. That seemed sooooooo far away at the time. But, now we’re almost there.
We’re in the home stretch!
A couple of weekends ago, the bestie had a birthday party for her youngest. It was his first birthday, and her theme was “first trip around the sun”. How cute is that?
We have this tradition of going all out with the theme when it comes to her kids birthdays. We even make nametags for the food to match the theme. This year we had Neptune Nuggets, Stellar Shrimp, Moon Pie, Pizza Planet, and lots of other cleverly named treats (if you ask me). But over the years, we’ve also learned how to save some time and energy putting together parties. We used to plan for months in advance…making decorations, favors, a menu a mile long. But now, it’s half bought/half made and a good ol’ dose of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid).
I used to have to take off of work for 2 days in preparation of her parties, because I’d be cooking and baking up enough goodies to feed a small army. But, over the past year or two, I’ve been relieved of filling the entire dessert table. So, I can introduce one or two new treats, then stick to what I’m known for: my Shrimp and Mac Salad.
Though this year, I think we’ve found a new fan favorite: my Cheesy Caramel Snack Mix!
Today’s recipe was one of my contributions to the space themed party this year, and it was quite the show stopper.
Today, we’re making Galaxy Bark!
This recipe is more of a method than a recipe. Because, this swirled chocolate bark can be colored to match any occasion. Birthdays, graduations, sports events…the possibilities are endless with the colors you can use here.
We start with some dark chocolate. Since this bark is galaxy themed, we need a dark base to be our outer space. I thought about using black candy melts, which is vanilla flavored colored melting wafers that mimic a white chocolate; but I really wanted the dark chocolate flavor to balance out the sweet vanilla that we get from our other colors. I used dark chocolate candy melts, because they were easy to grab with the other colors. But, you can use any quality of dark chocolate you like for the base. This gets spread in an even layer on some parchment paper resting on a small cookie sheet, then we’re ready to jazz it up!
Next, we swirl in our colors. To achieve the layered color effect, we’re going to do just that: layer our colors. It’s really important that all of your colored candy melts, as well as your base, are melted at the same time. We need them to be the same consistency so they easy swirl together. You can make single dollops of color, or you can do like I did and add small dollops of color on top of a larger dollop in a different color. Either way, spread them out randomly. Then, we take a butter knife and run it through the colors to create the swirled effect. You can run the knife through as many or as few times as you like. But, the more times you run the knife through, the less defined the swirls become.
After we finish swirling, we’re going to give the cookie tray a couple of good bangs on the counter top. This helps to smooth out the bark and get rid of the texture created by swirling the knife through the chocolate. It also knocks out any lingering air bubbles. Then, we can decorate the bark with gold sugar and candy stars while it’s still wet, so they can dry right into the bark. Now, I actually forgot to buy candy star decorations, so I picked the stars out of different sprinkle mixes that I had. (The tiny white ones came from a Christmas mix.) And, that worked perfectly for me!
The last, and probably the hardest, step is to wait for the bark to set. You can let it dry at room temp for 30 mins to an hour. Or, you can pop the tray in the fridge for about 15-30 mins. Once the chocolate has solidified, you can break it in to pieces and get ready to chow down!
You loved ones will be so impressed with your skills when they see this beautiful work of art, and you can secretly chuckle on the inside knowing there was barely any effort involved here. And, it’s not only pretty. It’s delicious! So, there’s that…
Alright guys! I hope the rest of this weekend is out of this world for you! If you’re nibbling on Galaxy Bark, it’s sure to be!
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Serves: about 1 ½ lbs bark Print
12 oz dark chocolate candy melts (or dark chocolate)
4 oz white candy melts
4 oz purple candy melts
4 oz blue candy melts
1 tbsp gold sanding sugar
Line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper (or wax paper). In separate microwave safe bowls, melt dark chocolate and colored candy melts according to package directions, making sure all 4 are in a smooth, melted state at the same time.
Pour dark chocolate onto the baking sheet, and use a small offset spatula or knife to evenly spread the chocolate to cover the surface of the tray. Using a spoon, drop dollops of each color of candy melts in random patterns on top of the dark chocolate. To layer colors, drop smaller dollops of one color on top of a larger dollop of another color (see pics in post). Run a clean butter knife through the dark chocolate and the colors in random movements to gently swirl the colors together (not mixing, but cutting through the colors). The more you run the knife through the colors, the less defined the swirls will be.
When you achieve your desired pattern, give the sheet tray a few firm taps on the table to smooth out the chocolate and eliminate the texture created by the knife. Top with gold sugar and candy stars sprinkled randomly on the chocolate. Allow chocolate to dry and set at room temperature for about an hour or in the fridge for about 30 mins.
When the chocolate has fully hardened, break into abstract pieces in the size of your choice. Store any leftovers in an airtight bag or container.
*You can adapt this method to any theme or holiday you like! Candy melts come in every color imaginable. You can even buy flavored/colored candy melts. You can buy candy melts at the craft store, or I've added some links in the recipe for Amazon.
*I chose to use dark chocolate candy melts because they were right in front of me while I was buying the colors. But, you could also use dark baking chocolate or chips. If you're going for a different color theme than the galaxy bark, you could certainly use milk or white chocolate as your base, too.
*It's really important that all of the colors and chocolate are perfectly melted at the same time. This is the only way they will swirl and set together smoothly. After I melted all of my colors, I ran each one through the microwave for 10 seconds one last time to make sure they were perfectly fluid.
*This chocolate is a work of art! There's no right or wrong way to position, dollop, or swirl the colors. Every batch would and should be unique!
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