Any Princess Bride fans in the house? Today’s hybrid cookie bark recipe brought to mind this quote from one of the most quotable movies of all time*:
Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togeder today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam…
I’m referring, of course, to the mawwiage—excuse me, the marriage—of some of my favorite dessert ingredients. Soft chocolate chip cookies, chunks of walnuts, toasted coconut, and semi-sweet chocolate are mixed together to form a quick candy bark that’s crunchy, chewy, nutty, sweet, and full of rich chocolate flavor.
All of that, in one simple recipe? I’m in wuv. Twu wuv.
This recipe starts with cubes of soft chocolate chips cookies—except I baked them all in one pan, so I guess it starts with cubes of chocolate chip blondies. But why quibble over technicalities, when the end result is this gorgeous mound of soft cookies studded with mini chocolate chips? I want to dive in and backstroke in the cookies, Scrooge McDuck-style.
The first time I made this bark, I kept it super-simple and made it with just cookies and chocolate. It was good, but it needed a bit more texture for my taste, so I added two of my favorite chocolate chip cookie mix-ins: toasted walnuts, and toasted coconut. (I actually used a mix of toasted coconut and Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips—which, sidebar, are amazing! Way too addicting!—but that’s another quibble for another day.) The nuts and coconut added the perfect balance of crunch and chew, so that each bite was a little bit different.
If walnuts and coconut aren’t your thing, you can add other nuts, dried fruit, toffee chips—anything your creative little mind can dream up!
This candy is such a fun way to enjoy what is typically a pretty staid, traditional dessert. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with chocolate chip cookies—heaven knows I’ve scarfed down way more than my fair share of them. But sometimes you just need to shake things up a little. So next time you’re craving some variety, engage in a little unholy matrimony and give this bark a try!
*No offense to the Princess Bride, but we all know that the most quotable movie of all time is Mean Girls**, followed by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I would say Princess Bride is in the running for third, but I am open to debate on this point.
**”Four for you, Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco!”
Recipe Notes: I hope you have your tempering pants on, because this bark works much better if you temper the chocolate! I’ve included brief instructions in the recipe below, but for an in-depth discussion, with pictures, see this post on how to temper chocolate. If you don’t temper the chocolate, you’ll probably want to store the bark in the refrigerator so the chocolate doesn’t bloom or get soft.
The chocolate chip blondie recipe yields about 4 cups of cubed cookies, so if you don’t want to make the cookies from scratch, substitute 4 cups of (soft!) bakery-style chocolate chip cookie cubes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
For the Cookie Chunks:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter (2 2/3 oz), melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
For the Bark:
2 lbs semi-sweet chocolate
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup toasted shredded coconut
To Make the Cookie Chunks:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside for now.
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the melted butter and both sugars. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until it’s well-combined. Turn the mixer off and add the dry ingredients, then mix on low just until most of the flour is incorporated. Finish mixing by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the miniature chocolate chips and stir them in.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer—it will be a very thin layer. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, take the cookie out of the pan and cut it into thin rows, between 1/4-1/2 inch wide, then cut the rows across so you’re left with about 4 cups of small cookie cubes.
To Make the Bark:
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and set aside for now. Remove at least a quarter of the chocolate (about 8 oz) and set it aside—it doesn’t have to be a precise amount. Chop the remaining 3/4 chocolate into small pieces, and place in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave the chopped chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after every 30 seconds. Once melted and smooth, insert the chocolate thermometer and make sure that it has reached a temperature of 115° Fahrenheit (46° C) on the thermometer. If it’s not close to that, heat it in short bursts until it reaches the right temperature.
Add the reserved block of chocolate and stir it in. Continue to stir the chocolate frequently as the block of chocolate melts and the chocolate cools. When it reaches 90° F (32° C), test it to see if it’s in temper. Smear a bit of chocolate onto a piece of parchment. If it starts to set within a few minutes, your chocolate is in temper. If it remains wet-looking and does not set, continue to stir the chocolate and let it cool a few more degrees before testing again. Once tempered, remove any excess unmelted chocolate from the bowl and set aside to use at a later time.
Add the cookie cubes, the chopped walnuts, and the toasted coconut. Stir until everything is coated with chocolate, then scrape the candy out onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it into a thin layer—it’s easier to eat if the bark isn’t too thick. If desired, sprinkle the top of the bark with more chopped nuts or chopped coconut while the chocolate is still wet. Let it set completely at room temperature.
Once set, cut or break the bark into small pieces. Store Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark in an airtight container for up to a week.
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