Cookie Cluster Chocolate Bark
OMG how did I not think of this before?????
Wanna know my favorite baked good ever? COOKIES. Good ole, basic cookies.
Wanna know what else I love? Chocolate. DARK, deep, bittersweet (more bitter than sweet) chocolate.
Another thing I love: crunchy nuts, particularly pecans and walnuts, in my desserts.
And this cookie cluster chocolate bark? Oh, it just combines all my favorite things into one epic, crispy, crunchy, sweet snack. It's only like the best snack ever.
I mean, hello, there are actual cookie clusters in this chocolate bark!!!
You know what else is amazing about this cookie cluster chocolate bark? It's thrifty. Because it utilizes a way to repurpose cookies you may have sitting out on your counter, cookies that are beginning to get a little too crispy for your liking and you were considering throwing in the bin in a day or two.
In the same way that rum balls help you use up extra cake you have leftover, this cookie chocolate bark incorporates your about-to-get-too-stale cookies.
Because guess what? This chocolate bark works impeccably with crispier cookies.
And so many types of cookies pair well with this chocolate bark. Because, after all, it's simply bittersweet chocolate. And what doesn't pair well with chocolate, eh?
The only types of cookies I'd maybe stay away from are citrusy cookies, like lemon cookies, if you don't think you'll enjoy the tangy lemon flavor in conjunction with the dark chocolate. Although, chocolate and orange is a classic combo, so maybe citrus cookies are actually a genius idea come to think of it??
Here's what cookies I used:
- no-butter chocolate chip cookies: Classic, crazy good - they were a given.
- brown sugar toasted pecan cookies: Because they have toasted pecans in them. So duh.
- coconut oatmeal cookies: Because why not get all that extra flavor by adding oats and coconut into my chocolate bark, eh?
- death by chocolate cookies: Because you'd be surprised (or actually, maybe you wouldn't) at how wonderfully chocolate cookies pair with this chocolate bark. Too much chocolate, you say? Nah, you can't have too much of a good thing. And chocolate is a very good thing.
Also, I didn't use them, and I kinda regret it, but these jam thumbprint cookies would probably have been a great idea as well. Because the sweet jam centers in the cookies would have been like the equivalent of putting dried fruit in the chocolate bark, and that's a very popular thing.
But also, if you don't have cookies lying around your house, and you're feeling too lazy to make a batch of cookies for this chocolate bark, store-bought cookies are always an option. Oreo cookies, for one, seem like a good idea.
And let's not forget about the nuts. I added 1/2 a cup of walnuts to my chocolate bark. Because yum. But if you feel like the nuts will interfere with your "I-want-only-sweet-things-in-my-chocolate-bark-and-nuts-aren't-sweet" mindset, just omit the nuts. And add a couple extra cookies instead.
One more thing: I like spreading my chocolate quite thin, because I prefer a thinner, more crisp chocolate layer (with lotsa cookie clusters and nuts studded on top obviously). Too thick and the chocolate becomes overwhelming and hard to bite into, ya know?
Crisp, dark, deep, rich, bittersweet chocolate. Sprinkled with sweet cookie clusters and crunchy nuts. Easy and quick and thrifty.
Snack of the century, this cookie cluster chocolate bark is.
Cookie Cluster Chocolate Bark
Yield: like 30 pieces??? (sorry, I didn't count)
-10 oz. good quality, bittersweet chocolate (I used 72%)
-About 9 cookies of your choice* (I used an assortment of these chocolate chip cookies, death by chocolate cookies, toasted pecan cookies, and coconut oatmeal cookies)
-1/2 cup nuts of choice, optional** (I used walnuts)
1. Make and bake cookies according to directions. Let cookies cool completely before breaking into pieces of uneven size, creating some small and some fairly large clusters.
2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Melt your chocolate:
- In microwave - chop up chocolate finely and place into microwave-safe bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until mixture is almost smooth. Remove from microwave and stir till completely smooth.
- On stovetop - place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water on a medium flame, creating a double boiler. Try to ensure the bottom of the top pot isn't touching the water in the bottom pot. Chop up chocolate finely and place into top bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally until chocolate is mostly melted. Remove bowl from flame and stir chocolate till completely smooth.
4. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate in an even layer onto prepared baking sheet, spreading to desired thickness/thinness.
5. Sprinkle the cookie clusters and nuts over the chocolate before it sets.
6. Place the sheet in the fridge until chocolate is hardened and cool, about 40 minutes. Once set, break the chocolate up into bark-sized pieces. Ideally, store the bark covered in the fridge, but room temperature is fine too.
**Note: If you'd like to omit the nuts, just add a couple extra cookies to the bark.