Another day of student meetings, hence another day to experiment with pumpkin recipes. I love making “bark” around the holidays – it’s so easy and always well received. It occurred to me to try to create a pumpkin bark. I searched for recipes and there’s actually quite a bit of variety. Some recipes don’t use any pumpkin at all (just pumpkin pie spice), some use a candy base instead of chocolate, some look really healthy and hearty with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and some were very festive looking for Halloween. I encourage searching the many possibilities. As is typical, I morphed two recipes and adapted a bit for my liking and or what I had. I used semi-sweet chocolate (chips) because that’s what I had on hand, but I think I would prefer this made with milk chocolate. The semi-sweet (and also dark chocolate) has a more pronounced flavor which, in my opinion, distracted a little bit from the pumpkin flavor – and I was looking to have pumpkin be the star. Another option would be to do a layer of white chocolate on the bottom – this would be pretty and very festive for Halloween, but I’m not the biggest fan of the flavor of white chocolate. Whatever chocolate you use, choose a good quality. Anyway, here’s what I made:
- 2 Cups Milk or Semi-Sweet Chocolate (chips, chunks, or block broken into pieces)
- 1 1/2 Cups White Chocolate (chips, chunks, or block broken into pieces)
- 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Mix together pumpkin puree and spice mix in a small bowl – set aside. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Melt your darker chocolate (either in a double boiler* or in the microwave). Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking tray and spread to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. The chocolate will not go all the way to the edges of the pan, and don’t worry about trying to make straight edges. Melt the white chocolate – if using the microwave, be careful not to overheat; white chocolate can be very sensitive. Add the pumpkin mixture to the melted white chocolate. Pour the white chocolate/pumpkin mixture over the spread chocolate on the baking sheet and use a knife or fork to swirl the top layer in with the bottom layer. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set. When hardened, break into pieces. Store bark in the refrigerator to keep from melting.
*If you don’t have a double boiler, you can place a heat-proof bowl on top of a pot of water (water should just reach the bottom of the bowl).