Toffee Pretzel Bark

This toffee pretzel bark recipe is the third bark that I served at our holiday party last weekend. I love the salty-sweet combo featured in this bark (my mom used to send me chocolate covered pretzels in care packages throughout college).  Like the other two barks, this is pretty quick and easy to make, and keeps very well.

The recipe was adapted from My Kitchen Addiction via BrownEyedBaker. The only change I made to the recipe was to increase the amount of white chocolate, as 7 oz. did not quite cover the dark chocolate layer. This change is reflected below.

Toffee Pretzel Bark

Makes 1 1/2 lbs. bark


  • 14 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • ¾ c. broken pretzel pieces, divided
  • ¾ c. Heath toffee pieces, divided
  • 9 oz. white chocolate chips


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a double broiler, melt dark chocolate. Stir in 1/2 c. pretzel pieces and toffee. Pour on prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chocolate is set.
  3. When chocolate is set, set up the double broiler again. This time, melt white chocolate. Pour over dark chocolate layer, spreading until even. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c. pretzel pieces and toffee, pressing the pieces down a little bit so that they stick. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes, until chocolate is set.
  4. Remove from fridge, and using the tip of a knife or a fork, break into pieces.

Store in an airtight contain in the fridge or at room temperature.

Rocky Road Bark

This is the second type of bark that I’ll be serving at this weekend’s holiday party. I’ve tried a bit the three and I think this is my favorite. I love the dark chocolate, the sweet marshmallows, and the crunch of the salted almonds. Not going to lie, I hope there are leftovers of this one!

Rocky Road Bark

Adapted from Bakers Royale

Yields an 8×8 or 9×9 pan


  • 10 oz. good dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped salted almonds
  • 1 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows


  1. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment or wax paper, letting it hang over the sides a little bit, and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double broiler until completely smooth. Stir in chopped almonds and marshmallows. Pour into prepared pan, evening out the top with a spatula.
  3. Refrigerate until solid, at least an hour. Break into pieces using the tip of a fork or knife, or cut into pieces with a sharp knife.

Cookies & Cream Bark

Our annual holiday party is in a couple weeks, and as usual, I started menu planning, shopping, cooking and baking in late October. I usually serve heavy appetizers and desserts, enough for 30-50 people.

Between hosting several out-of-town relatives for Thanksgiving this year and having a crazy work schedule, I’ve tried to simplify this year’s holiday party just a little bit. Well, maybe I should say, I’ve tried to reduce the time I spend in the kitchen while still putting out an impressive spread. Instead of time-intensive Oreo Truffles and Peanut Butter Balls, I decided that this year, I would do a trio of chocolate bark. Still impressive and tasty, but definitely easier on my time.

This first bark recipe was adapted from Bakers Royale.

The below recipe makes an 8×8 pan, although I doubled (using 1 full package of Oreos) it for the holiday party.

Cookies & Cream Bark


  • 10 oz. good white bakers chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • 15 regular Oreos, crushed
  • 3 regular Oreos, crushed and set aside for topping


  1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, enough for a 1-in. overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double broiler, stirring regularly until all chocolate has been melted and chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add crushed Oreos, stirring to combine. Pour into prepared pan. Use a spatula to even out chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining 3 crushed Oreos. (This is optional, but if you don’t, your bark will have a slightly greyish color from the Oreo crumbs mixing with the white chocolate.)
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chocolate has set.
  5. Remove pan from fridge and with either end of the parchment paper, lift bark out of pan and onto counter.
  6. Break into pieces, using a fork to assist if needed. Or, for a cleaner look, cut with a knife.

Store in the fridge or at room temperature until ready to serve.

Looking for ideas for your own holiday party? Check out my menus for our 2009 and 2010 holiday parties.

Candied Lemon Slices

Go Big Or Go Home

This is a big year for many of my friends – the bit 3-0. Everyone is choosing a different way to celebrate. We had a ladies weekend at the spa for the first 30th birthday of the year, enjoying massages, pedicures, wraps, and the like for one friend’s birthday. For the second and most recent birthday, another friend hosted a birthday BBQ and asked K and I to bake her cupcakes. We were excited to provide dessert for the BBQ and the three of us made a night out of baking. We had a great night munching on a tomato-mozzarella tartlet, drinking limoncello cosmopolitans (had to beg a neighbor for ice), and baking up a storm. For the celebration, we made Cosmo Cupcakes and Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes or what K’s friend fondly dubbed “boozecakes.”

In the spirit of “go big or go home,” I decided to garnish my Limoncello Cupcakes with slices of candied lemon.  These sweets were easy to make, but did take a while. It took about two days before the syrup to dry enough for me to handle them. Completely worth it. Like any good cook, I had to try the lemon slices before serving… again and again and again. They’re very sweet, with a slightly stronger taste in the candied rind, and set on top of a cupcake, make a striking presentation. Not going to lie, I was also eating the leftover lemon syrup with a spoon (but would probably be a great addition to a hot or sweet tea or mixed drink).

 Candied Lemon Slices 

Adapted from Use Real Butter

Makes 1-3 dozen slices


  • 1-3 lemons
  • 2 c. sugar
  • water

Cut lemons into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick, 10-12 slices per lemon. If the slices tear easily, they’re too thin.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath and set aside. When water is boiling, blanch lemons for 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking.

In another medium saucepan (or the one you just used) over medium heat, bring 1 c. water and the sugar to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Lower to a simmer and add lemon slices. Simmer for 1-2 hours (I did about 90 minutes).

As water boils, set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

With a set of tongs, remove slices from syrup, allowing excess sugar to drop off, and set on a wire rack to dry. This may take up to 48 hours.

Vanilla Fudge

When I had been planning our annual holiday party, I also try to do a mix of sweets – not too much chocolate, not too many unusual or different desserts… but I do like to try out new recipes and get a bit creative. This Vanilla Fudge paired perfectly with the Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge, but gave me a bit of a challenge. I was a little nervous about heating the heavy cream, afraid it would curdle, but this fudge turned out to be one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made.

Note: This fudge will be softer than the Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge, but once it sets, it will melt in your mouth.

Vanilla Fudge

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes a 9×9 pan (about 80 1-inch pieces)


  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Prep Work: Butter a 9×9 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper (I had the parchment paper hang over the edges, but if you don’t, you’ll need a sharp knife to remove fudge from dish) and butter the paper. Set aside on a wire baking rack.

Prepare a small bowl of water and a pastry brush – set both by the stove.

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside. The fudge batter will later be added to this bowl.

Make the Fudge: In a medium, heavy saucepan combine cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (about 10 minutes). Raise heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. As mixture heats, wash down sides of pan with the wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming.

When boiling, attach candy thermometer to pan and continue cooking until mixture reaches 238F, the soft-ball stage. This will take 10-15 minutes. Do not stir mixture during this time!

When mixture reaches 238F, remove from heat and pour immediately into the bowl with butter. Do not scrape bottom or sides of the pan. Transfer candy thermometer to bowl and allow to cool until it reaches 110F, about 90 minutes. During this time, do not touch the bowl.

When the mixture cools to 110F, remove thermometer and using a wooden spoon, gently stir the mixture. Gradually increase speed, stirring until the mixture lightens in color and “loses it sheen,” about 5 minutes.

Pour into buttered pan, using a spatula or knife to ensure the fudge is spread evenly. Allow to cool in the pan on the wire rack for 1 hour.

Cover in Plastic Wrap and Refrigerate until fudge is set, at least 8 hours. When ready to cut, use parchment paper to lift fudge out of pan and onto a work surface. Cut with a sharp knife.

Storage: The original directions said that the fudge can be stored in the fridge between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week, bringing to room temperature before serving. I stored it a little longer than a week (in muffin liners) before moving to the freezer (with no parchment paper or lines) and it worked out just fine.   🙂