Trader Joe’s. One of my first (and favorite) jobs. I worked there for a couple of my high school years and was lucky enough to go back during breaks in college. I felt so cool being part of a team there and also felt like I was part of a secret society. I loved trying new products before they hit the shelves, wearing a Hawaiian button down shirt, and running around the store while it wasn’t open for business…getting it ready for the day.
As an adult, I still frequent TJ’s and I LOVE their snacks. Obv. They have this amazing concoction called Cowboy Bark. It’s a combo of sweet, salty, and amazing. It’s not too sweet which is clutch.
For Mother’s Day, I was heading to my boyfriend’s family’s house and wanted to make my own version. Super easy…and super amazing. It literally took 10 minutes to put together. All you need is a bit of time and some kitchen tools. And you’ll have many, many friends!!
Crazy Cowboy Bark
- 16 oz. dark chocolate chips, melted*
- 2/3 c. salted pretzel rods, smashed
- 10 sandwich cookies (your preference — I used ones that were half vanilla, half chocolate), smashed
- 1/2 c. lightly salted and roasted peanuts, quickly pulsed in the food processor
- 1/2 c. M&M’s, quickly pulsed in the food processor
- 1/2 c. blanched sliced almonds
- 1/2 c. toffee bits
- 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
~ Prior to melting the chocolate, prepare all of your toppings. This will make life so much easier for you. I put the pretzels and sandwich cookies together in a zip-top gallon freezer bag and smashed them in there. I emptied them out into a large bowl. In a small food processor, I pulsed the peanuts and M&M’s together and mixed them in with the sandwich cookie/pretzel party. Have everything else ready to go, too.
~ * In a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt your dark chocolate chips. If you do it in the microwave, warm it in 1-minute increments. This will prevent it from burning. This is the technique that I used. A double boiler requires more patience than I have.
~ While the chocolate melts, roll parchment paper out onto a regular sized cookie sheet. This spares you a mess and makes it so much easier to peel the bark off of the cookie sheet.
~ Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and spread it out as thinly and evenly as you possibly can. Top with all of your toppings….GO CRAZY! 🙂 🙂
~ Press lightly to make sure that everything sticks to the chocolate. It’s amazing how well everything sticks to the chocolate.
~ Refrigerate for at least one hour. After one hour, take out and remove from parchment paper. Break into pieces, arrange on a pretty plate, and DEVOUR. 🙂 <3