May 202012
 

Pretzel-Peanut Bark

Most of the toppings on this pretzel-peanut bark are loose and will soon fall off! (Click on photo for larger image.)


Source or inspiration for recipe: Various
Yield: Two large (approx. 11×17″) slabs of bark (This is actually a double recipe that is easily halved.)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. milk chocolate couverture, tempered
  • 4 cups thin salted pretzels, broken into medium-sized pieces (about 1 inch each)
  • 2 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Procedure

  1. Line two half-sheet pans (12 x 18″) with parchment paper.
  2. (optional) Mix pretzel pieces and peanuts together in large bowl.
  3. Reserve about 1/2 cup tempered chocolate for drizzling over bark.
  4. Pour tempered chocolate over the two sheet pans, trying to get the amount of chocolate on each pan as equal as possible. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment so the thickness of the chocolate is between one-eighth and one-quarter of an inch.
  5. Sprinkle the pretzels and peanuts over the bark, trying to get as much topping to actually hit the chocolate as possible. Lightly press toppings into chocolate.
  6. Let set at cool room temperature for several hours or overnight.
  7. Carefully break the bark into pieces as to not dislodge too many peanuts or pieces of pretzel. If neater pieces are desired, try cutting or scoring the bark with a sharp knife — be sure not to damage your knife if it hits the pan!
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Should be good for at least a few weeks — if not a few months.

Notes

  • Chocolate used. I used mostly Guittard Belmont dark milk chocolate (35% cocoa min.) with some Michael Cluizel Kayambe Mini-Grammes (45% cocoa). (I like to have Cluizel Mini-Grammes on hand for seeding the chocolate while tempering — great for those times when I cannot be bothered to chop up, say, Guittard wafers in the food processor. [WHY I like tiny seeding pieces is a topic for another day.])
  • I tempered the chocolate in a very large steel bowl, which allowed the chocolate to come to temper more quickly than a smaller or a glass bowl would.
  • Though the chocolate tempered quickly, I’m not sure how well it was tempered. My bark had just a slight snap, though I recognize that I’ll never get a dark-chocolate snap from a milk chocolate, no matter how well-tempered or “dark” it is.
  • The most distressing result is that much of the toppings did not attach properly to the bark, so I lost a lot of pieces during breaking and handling, resulting in unsightly craters over much of the surface and robbing eaters of a satisfying crunchy experience! Next time I’ll either just mix the additions into the chocolate (or most of them, leaving some to sprinkle on for garnish), or make sure the additions have a little more surface texture to help them adhere to the chocolate. Perhaps I could find pretzels with more salt crystals attached to them, or, as I’ve seen in some other recipes, try honey-roated peanuts.

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