Tag Archives: milk chocolate

Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee, Rum Toffee RecipeThis Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee candy is a special treat for the holidays. If you have a thermometer that goes to 300°F, you can easily make this candy

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TJ’s Cowboy Bark

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

TJ's Cowboy Bark for TJj's Cowbow BarkTJ’s Cowboy Bark is a perfect segment for TV.  Easy, quick and absolutely delicious.  Somebody first told me about Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark and I knew I had to try it. A bark is melted chocolate, spread out and almost anything you wish can be sprinkled on top. The nine ounce package of Cowboy Bark costs about $3.69. You get about 4 times that with this version. The thing that is so interesting about this bark is the add ons. How can you go wrong with oreos, peanuts, almonds, toffee bits and pretzels. Sweet and salty all at once.

Research showed that there are quite a few copycat recipes out there. I picked the one from Averie Cooks at www.averiecooks.com as my starting point. When I read comments about the Cowboy Bark on the web, the most prevalent criticism is the use of semisweet chocolate for the base. It seems people thought it overcame any of the other flavors.

I also thought the chocolate base was really thick. So in I chose instead to use half semisweet chocolate and half milk chocolate to allow all the other add ons to shine. I will say that this combination does make for a softer chocolate base – but really good.

Because all the add ons for the Cowboy Bark need to stick to the chocolate, make sure everything is prepared before you melt the chocolate. Then add them in the order of the recipe to make sure you go from large to small so they all stick to the chocolate. I added another step to insure that everything sticks.

One other suggestion is to use single stuffed oreos. I used double stuffed and they had a tendency to separate when the Cowboy bark was broken into pieces.

Cowboy BarkIngredients for TJ's Cowboy Bark1 pound chocolate, all semisweet or a combination of semisweet and milk chocolate, melted
About 1 to 1 1/4 cups salted mini pretzels
7 to 8 oreo cookies cut into quarters (Trader Joe’s Chocolate Jo-Jo’s may be used also)
1/4 to 1/3 cup salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup roasted slivered almonds
1/4 to 1/3 cup toffee bits (Heath makes these)

Line a half sheet pan with parchment. Draw a 10×15 inch rectangle on the paper for a thin base or a 10×13 for a little thicker base. Turn the paper over and line the pan. Set aside. Have all other ingredients prepared.

Combine the chocolates if using more than one.  Two chocolates in a bowl for TJ's Cowboy BarkMelt the chocolate or chocolates over a double boiler or at half power in a microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Start with the shortest amount of time. Stir the chocolate until completely melted.  Spread the chocolate within the rectangle on the parchment paper.Melted chocolate poured into a sheet pan for TJ's Cowboy Bark

Chocolate being spread for TJ's Cowboy BarkChocolate spread for TJ's Cowboy BarkPlace the oreos on top of the chocolate,Oreos on chocolate for TJ's Cowboy Bark then the pretzels. Pretzels on chocolate for TJ's Cowboy BarkSprinkle the almonds, Almonds on chocolate for TJ's Cowboy Barkpeanuts Peanuts on chocolate for TJ's Cowboy Barkand lastly,  toffee over the chocolate in that order.Brickle on for TJ's Cowboy Bark

Place a piece of waxed paper on top andWaxed paper on top of TJ's Cowboy Bark lightly press all the ingredients into the chocolate.Pressing the waxed paper down on TJ's Cowboy Bark Remove the paper and refrigerate briefly to set the chocolate up

When firm, break into pieces.

Enjoy your very own Cowboy Bark (and try to share some with others)

Close up of bark for TJ's Cowboy Bark

Milk Chocolate Creme Brûlée

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Milk Chocolate Creme BrûléeCreme Brûlée has almost become a national dessert.  There is scarcely a restaurant that doesn’t have some version of this French favorite.

Many years ago when I was visiting my son in LA, Eric, Jolene and I went to Il fornio restaurant.  I don’t remember what I had as an entree but I sure do remember the Milk Chocolate Creme Brûlée.  If memory serves me right I had two!  A year or so later when I went for another visit, Jolene and I would go back for more.  When they had no tables, we were very happy to sit at the bar so long as we could have our creme brûlée.

The Milk Chocolate Creme Brûlée is inspired by the one I so loved. There is a hint of fennel and orange, a classic Italian duo along with milk chocolate.  However, I warn you this is a once in a while treat.  I don’t think I have ever made anything with so much fat in it.  From 40% or heavy cream, to half and half, egg yolks and then, of course, the chocolate – milk chocolate no less. Continue reading

Tropical Shortbread Cookies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoThese delightful, thin, chocolate coated Tropical Shortbread cookies are of the European variety and couldn’t be easier to make.  The method of putting them together is a bit unconvential and the ingredients, or lack of them, is interesting.  The cookie uses no egg, depending instead on butter to hold them together – a true shortbread cookie.  Powdered sugar is used as opposed to granulated and not much of that.  European cookies are generally, much less sweet than their American cousins which lets the flavors really come through.  These particular cookies are actually best eaten the day or days after baking and coating. Continue reading

Tri-Chocolate Pate

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoTri-Chocolate Pate is  a spectacular, showy dessert that is easy to make and can be done well  ahead  of time.

Consisting of white, milk and dark chocolate,  each layer is highlighted with a complimentary flavor.  This was a catering favorite at the bakery.  The chocolate used will determine the underlying flavor of the pate.  The chocolate we used was a 58 to 62%.  If one of the newer, chocolates is used it may alter the outcome as they are much more liquid when melted.

Do not let the layers firm up completely before adding the next one.  If you do, they will not bond when you add the layer on top.  When you slice it the layer will separate.  Not a big deal, just push it back together on the plate.  However, it is best to have them bonding.  The white layer is the biggest offender as there is not whipped cream to soften it. Continue reading