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The Best-Ever Chocolate Bark

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CHOCOLATE BARK
Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Back in college, I felt the loss of a kitchen with all of my heart. I missed my family, our Sunday shopping trips, and the 5:30pm moment when we went through the fridge, pulled out ingredients, and started making dinner together.

I found a few remedies: making trips to Whole Foods to eat samples, getting a job in the faculty club kitchen, and making chocolate bark in my microwave. Of all these, it's the chocolate bark that's stayed with me four years (eek!) after graduation. It's so simple to make, and yet it garners more praise than other sweets, which I may or may not have slaved over. In fact, we featured one version in our very first post and another in our book. Since it's infinitely variable, here we bring you the best possible mix-ins for your chocolate bark.

Best of all, this is a great summer sweet since you don't even have to turn on the oven!

You'll always want to use 2 cups of chocolate pieces and about 2 1/2 cups worth of mix-ins. Follow the directions for making bark here (they're also in the book).

--Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK

**Recipes**

1. White Chocolate with Pistachios and Dried Cherries.
This is a long-time favorite, and yet one I've never so much as mentioned on the blog. It's delightfully colorful, salty from the pistachios, and sweet.

2. Dark Chocolate with Broken Ice Cream Cones, Peanuts & Mini Marshmallows.
Like a sundae in your bark!

3. Milk Chocolate with Dried Bananas or Bananas & Toasted Pecans.
This fruity mix will appeal to lovers of GORP and banana splits alike.

4. Dark or Milk Chocolate with Broken Oreos.
This is chocolate covered Oreos taken to the extreme. An excellent candidate for a white chocolate drizzle.

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5. White Chocolate, Broken Sugar Cookies, Flaked Coconut & Coarsely Chopped Macadamia Nuts.
It's a little-known fact that one of my favorite cookies is that one with coconut and macadamia nuts that's always left on the cookie platter. This delicious bark mimics that--it's quite sweet and a little delicate.

6. Milk or Dark Chocolate with Granola.
Try my homemade Olive Oil-Maple Granola, broken-up Peanut Butter Granola Bars, or your favorite store-bought brand.

7. Milk Chocolate Bark with Cinnamon-Coated Nuts & Cherries
This bark, which I made to commemorate the entrance of 2010, takes nuts to the next level, coating them first with a crunchy cinnamon-y outside.

8. Tropical Chocolate Bark.
This is a new-fangled BGSK bark, invented rather recently for our spring break party. Like many, it featured dried fruit and nuts, but it's also got puffed rice cereal for added crunch.

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9. Toffee Graham & Pecan Chocolate Bark
Something about toffee and chocolate together is just so right. This bark throws grahams into the mix, bringing it a hint of s'more-like goodness.

10. Make-Your-Own Chocolate Bark
Teach a man to cook, right? This DIY kit lets you give friends not just chocolate bark, but also the ability to make more.