Cookie-baking season is in full swing, but I’m going the no-bake route this year! Instead of turning out sheets of sugar cookies, I’ve been melting chocolate into batch after batch of holiday bark — first with this White Chocolate Cheesecake Bark, then with this Elvis Bark, and now today's Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark.
This version is my favorite so far. White and dark chocolate get swirled together to form the base (so pretty!), and a confetti of cookies, chopped walnuts, and mini chocolate chips is scattered on top. This is an easy homemade gift and a gorgeous addition to any holiday dessert tray.
While you could theoretically make your own teeny tiny cookies to top this bark, it’s much easier to go out and buy a tub of them at Trader Joe’s. If you’ve never tried their Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies, then I applaud your self-control, but you have been missing out, my friend.
These mini cookies measure about an inch in diameter, making them a perfectly cute topping for this holiday bark. Also, once the crunchy cookies hit the warm, melty chocolate, they soften up a bit, giving them a more typical chocolate chip cookie texture.
If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, you can just substitute any regular-sized cookies, breaking them into bite-sized pieces. If you're going this route, break up the cookies into a bowl rather than directly over the bark, to avoid getting crumbs in your bark.
Oh, and I think the walnuts really make this recipe. Their slightly bitter flavor provides a welcome contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate and cookies, and their crunchy texture is nice, too.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
Makes one baking sheet of bark
1 pound white chocolate chips
1 pound dark chocolate chips or couverture disks
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chip cookies
2/3 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Line a standard (18-x-13-inch) baking sheet with wax or parchment paper, and set it aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring after each heating. (Alternatively, melt in a double-boiler.) Drape a quart-sized plastic bag over a large cup or mug, then use a spatula to transfer the melted white chocolate chips into the bag.
In another microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate in 20-second bursts in the microwave (or over a double boiler), stirring after each heating, until just melted and liquidy. (See Recipe Notes for tempering instructions, if you'd like to do that!) Pour the dark chocolate onto the lined baking sheet, and using a spatula, spread it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick.
Snip off a small corner of the bag with the melted white chocolate chips, then pipe it out onto the dark chocolate in 1/4-inch thick stripes, covering the surface of the chocolate. Drag a spatula through the stripes of white and dark chocolate, and then again going the opposite direction, creating a swirled pattern. Repeat down the length of the chocolate.
While the chocolate is still soft and liquidy, quickly press the mini chocolate chip cookies into the surface of the chocolate, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the walnut pieces and mini chocolate chips over top, and press the walnuts gently into the chocolate with the palm of your hand.
Place the sheet of bark in the fridge and allow it to set up for an hour, until completely solid. Cut or break it into large 2- to 3-inch pieces. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- While sprinkling the ingredients over the chocolate, it’s important to work quickly so that the chocolate doesn’t set up before the toppings have had a chance to stick. If the chocolate begins to set up, you can use a hair dryer to gently re-melt the top layer. On a high setting, hold the dryer about 6 inches from the chocolate, moving it around quickly to avoid melting all the way through to the bottom.
Tempering the dark chocolate: If you’re using pure dark chocolate disks, or couverture, it’s worth going the extra step to temper the chocolate. You can see step-by-step instructions right here, but it’s also easy to temper chocolate in the microwave. Measure about 3/4 of the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, then zap it on high heat in quick, 20-second bursts, stirring and checking the temperature after each heating. When it reaches a temperature of around 115ºF, add the rest of the chocolate, stirring frequently until the temperature drops to 81ºF. Place the bowl back in the microwave, this time in 10-second bursts, until the chocolate is heated to 88-90ºF. Your chocolate is now tempered and ready to use.
(Image credits: Coco Morante)