Chesapeake Bark

August 5, 2020 by Nicole Collins

Do you guys ever eat something out and then obsess over how to recreate it at home?

I know I sure do.

I feel like that’s how we get so many of our recipes around here. I’ll eat something somewhere then start brainstorming and calculating and testing to figure out how I can recreate it at home. Or, since you guys know that I love to read restaurant menus (weird, I know), I’ll see something that looks intriguing and put my spin on it at home.

The former is how today’s recipe was born!

Early on in quarantine, I was craving some chocolate from a local candy shop. And, I saw that they were offering a delivery service. So, like many other times during this crazy quarantine, I threw my principles out the window and paid a ridiculous fee for chocolate delivery.

And it was worth every overspent penny.

Since I was paying a flat delivery fee, I loaded up, of course. Normally when I shop at this store, I only get a box of buttercreams. But on this occasion, I got a couple of different candies that I’ve never tried from them before.

And one of the candies was the inspiration for today’s recipe.

Today, we’re making Chesapeake Bark!

The version of the candy that I got from the candy shop was a little pod of chocolate in the wrapper the size of a small Reese’s cup. I could tell by the description and by the taste that this little nugget of heaven was simply chocolate and crab chips. And, I knew I needed to make own immediately.

Now before you say “eww, chocolate and crab chips?”; I want you to remember that amazing time that we put crab chips in our chocolate chip cookies. It wasn’t gross. It wasn’t weird. It was amazing, and this candy is too!

I decided that I didn’t want to make my candies into little clusters for a couple of reasons. 1. I didn’t have the size wrappers I would’ve needed to do so. And 2. I wanted to be able to stretch this candy a little bit. So, bark seemed like the right answer.

We only need 2 things for this recipe: milk chocolate and crab chips. Around my side of the country, we eat Utz Crab Chips. There are other brands, but that’s my favorite. If you don’t have Utz available in your area, any Chesapeake seasoned chip will work. You could even make your own by shaking some Old Bay onto some plain potato chips. That’s what I used to do as a kid when I wanted crab chips.

This recipe is as simple as crushing the crab chips, stirring them into some melted chocolate, and spreading the mix out to your preferred bark thickness. That’s it! Once the bark cools and hardens, you can break it apart and dazzle your loved ones.

Now I wanted to get a little fancy, so I used a crab stencil that I had along with some red sanding sugar to make cute little crabby designs on the bark. If you choose to do this too, you have to do this while the chocolate is still wet. But, the melty chocolate is going to stick to the stencil, so you’ll need to have a little patience to do this. It’s so worth it though. I mean, how adorable are these pieces of bark?

This is one of those recipes where you just have to trust me. I promise you, this does not taste like you’re eating chocolate covered seafood. Old Bay does something truly magical when you use it in unexpected ways (though technically, it’s not Old Bay brand seasoning that’s used on Utz chips). This bark is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and crunchy.

I haven’t led you wrong yet, have I?

I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of this candy. Make sure you tag #theyummymuffin on the insta if you make this too!

Enjoy, and let’s eat!

Chesapeake Bark

Serves: about ¾ lb Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (12 oz) milk chocolate chips

  • ½ cup finely crushed Utz Crab Chips

Directions:

  1. Line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment (or wax) paper. Set aside.

  2. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals for the first minute then in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in crushed chips until completely coated and incorporated.

  3. Pour chocolate mix onto prepared baking sheet. Use a small offset spatula to spread out the chocolate mix over the baking sheet. Tap the baking tray lightly against the countertop to get out any air bubbles. Allow to set at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the fridge for about 30 minutes until the bark is solid. Break bark into pieces. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*Measure the crab chips after they're crushed. To crush the chips, place the chips in a plastic baggie and crush with your hands until the chips turn into crumbs.

*This makes a pretty thin bark. To make the bark thicker, don't spread the chocolate to the size of the whole 9x13 pan or double the recipe.

*To make the crab pattern (or any other pattern) on the chocolate, gently lay a plastic stencil on top of the chocolate while it's still wet, and sprinkle red sanding sugar. Use a sharp knife to gently lift the stencil, smooth down any chocolate that loosened, and repeat as desired.

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