Continuing my 4th of July goodies, this cookie bark is a wonderful blend of salty and sweet. And a great way to use up leftover Oreo's, should there ever be such a thing. I went out and bought a new bag of Oreo's...and this recipe didn't use the whole bag, so now maybe I need to make another batch. It didn't help that the day I made these I finally got around to watching the last episodes of House (which the connection won't mean a thing unless you saw said episodes). So yeah, I looked at my bag of Oreo's and got all weepy. Sigh.
Anyway, another quick 4th treat that is super simple to make and can be coordinated for any holiday. You could even use holiday Oreo's if you can find them (I'm thinking the Halloween Oreos with the Halloween or Fall M&M's will go great!). The best photo of the Oreo Cookie Bark with a recipe I found on Pinterest is here. The recipe for Halloween bark which is the recipe I'll use for pretty much any holiday bark is on the Kraft site here.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE COOKIE BARK
16 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups miniature pretzel twists, coarsely broken
1 12-oz package White Chocolate Chips
Enough white chocolate melts to make a pound of white chocolate
3/4 a bag of Patriotic M&M's
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles, Jimmies or sugar
Line a rectangle baking sheet pan with a silpat liner, parchment paper, or lightly grease with cooking spray.
Mix the chopped Oreo's with the broken pretzels and spread in an even layer over baking sheet.
Gently heat the white chocolate chips and white melts in the microwave (do not overheat!)
Spread the warm chocolate mixture over the oreo/pretzel mixture using a spatula to evenly coat all ingredients. Top with M&M's and sprinkles; lightly press into chocolate mixture to secure.
Cool until firm, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
NOTE: Don't pulverize the Oreo's. You want some small chunks to give the bark texture and a nice look.
NOTE: Though lots of recipes say to use all white melts for better consistency (you know the packages you can get at Michaels that come in quarter size discs) using good quality white chocolate chips makes for better flavor. I've started mixing the two (more chips than melts though) to get a nice dipping or pouring consistency. How much you use of each is a personal preference. I just made sure I ended up with a pound of chocolate.
NOTE: You could use a whole bag of M&M's, I wanted room for the sprinkles.
NOTE: Though most of the photos of this type of bark used the red, white and blue sprinkles that include stars, I couldn't find any...or any that I'd buy. I found one ridiculously exspensive bottle of the stuff at Michaels. I ended up just using blue and red sugar to blend in between the M&M's.
NOTE: I just used some parchment paper without any cooking spray and the bark came up fine.
NOTE: I'd say use a 13x9 or 10x15 inch cooking sheet. I was worried that I had too much "stuffing" and that the chocolate would spread enough or hold the mixture together. You can see by the photo below that my mixture didn't cover the entire sheet pan so don't spread it out to thin.
NOTE: When microwaving white chocolate chips, I read that it should be done in a bowl that doesn't collect heat, otherwise the chips might overheat. So I melted mine in a heavy tupperware type plastic bowl. It still got hot so I'm not sure it helped at all. Microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments. Even though it looks like the chips haven't melted, take them out at each interval and stir. Better to stir a bit to melt the entire batch than have the mixture seize up from overheating.
NOTE: Definitely smush the M&M's and any sprinkles into the chocolate coating to make them adhere. Even though I did this, once the mixture set, there were plenty of M&M's and bits of this and that in the pan after breaking into pieces. Take all that goodness and use it to top some ice cream.
Again, couldn't be simpler or quicker to get a treat on the table after dinner. Or to nibble on before dinner. Or during the day. Or while your at work. Or waiting in line at the store...