Monday, July 9, 2012

M & M Bark


It is hotter than Hades outside this week.
I think I could bake cookies in my car right now.
Seriously.
Ridiculous.
I am adamantly refusing to turn on the oven.
That being said....I still need some chocolately/caramely treats to help me survive the heat.
I would make ice cream but that would mean driving to the store to buy ingredients and....that ....is just not happening right now.


M & M Bark

Ingredients
enough pretzel sticks to just cover the bottom of an 8 X 8 pan
30 or so caramels (I use Kraft caramels)
1 Tbsp cream (or whole milk)
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 - 2 cups mini M & M's

Directions
Line an 8 X 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Spread out a layer of pretzel sticks, enough to cover the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, stir caramels with the cream and heat, in 15 - 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
Carefully spread the caramel on top of the pretzels.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave, stirring after every 10 - 15 seconds or so until smooth. (Be careful not to overheat or chocolate will seize.)
Spread over caramel layer.
Sprinkle with mini M & M's and lightly press into chocolate. (I put 1 to 2 cups of mini M & M's because you can use as many or as little as you want.)
Chill in fridge until solid, about an hour or two.
You can either cut it with a knife dipped in hot water OR simply break up with your hands.

A couple of good things about this recipe:
1. No oven involved (yay!)
2. Sooooooo easy
3. So so so tasty
4.  You can use what you have on hand and sub out the ingredients. ie: don't have pretzel sticks? Break up the bendy pretzels or use chopped nuts. Don't have chocolate chips? use a chopped up chocolate bar. Don't have mini M&M's? Use any candy or nuts you have. The only thing you really need to have is the caramels BUT, if you are so inclined, you can make your own.
Seeeeeeee...you can still have yummy treats without completely melting in the heat.

UPDATE!
We made this with Reese's Pieces for Thanksgiving!


It looked very pretty....this would be great for Halloween too.
Because the Reese's Pieces are bigger than the mini M&M's it is a little harder to cut into bars. The Reese's tended to pop off. It wtill worked out and looked pretty....and tasted very yummy!



Check out My Turn (for us) for some great links!

69 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I love your blog!
    This recipe looks amazing and your photos are always so spot on!
    Keep up the good work!

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    1. What size pretzel sticks do you use? The large ones or the small ones?

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  2. did you try using Dulce de Leche can instead of caramels and cream?

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    1. No...we just used the caramels and cream. I haven't really used Dulce de Leche in many recipes - I don't know if it would set up enough to use for this bark. If you try it, please let us know how it works! :)

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    2. I used Dulce de Leche and although it is tasty (kids love it) it does not set. Had to break off pieces and put them back to back so as not to make a huge mess. I will maybe try with a chocolate layer, pretzel layer, Dulce layer then another chocolate layer and finally the M&M's. Even if it doesn't work out the kids will be happy. : )

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  3. YUM! I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing! I'd love for you to come visit me at www.eatloveinspire.blogspot.com to try some of mine!
    Cheers!

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  4. Hi Jo and Sue, thank you so much for visiting Cute Food For Kids ^,^

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  5. OK! I am pinning this! The salty and sweet and carmel is just amazing and now I am drooling all over my keyboard, LOL. Thank you again for sharing amazing recipes at Freedom Fridays! I am so lucky to have these links at my party.
    Have a great week!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting again! And, thanks for pinning :)

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  6. wow that looks good! even if it is too hot to bake at the moment :)

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  7. Sounds yummy! Can't wait to try this.

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  8. Can you use a substitute for the parchment paper? wax paper or alum foil??

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  9. Just wanted to share this. I only had 10 caramels and I didn't feel like running to the store so I used caramel ice cream topping....DON'T BE LAZY LIKE ME AND TRY THIS!! The dessert tasted great except the caramel didn't harden so it was a little gooey....we crumbled it over ice cream instead. An awesome recipe if you follow it CORRECTLY!!!

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  10. I think we'd love this--thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  11. Can I use chocolate bark in place of Choc chips?

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    1. I don't see why not. As long as the chocolate bark melts smoothly, it should work just fine :)

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    2. Awesome thanks!

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  12. I've not made many desserts, so could you please explain what it means when chocolate "seizes"?

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    1. It basically turns into a horrible, solid, lumpy, clump of nastiness. Melted chocolate does this when it is overcooked and/or when it comes into contact with any moisture. I guess technically when it is overcooked it just burns...not "seizes" but the end result is similar to when it comes into contact with moisture.

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  13. I made this for a fundraiser recently. Mini m&m's are hard to find (went to 3 different stores). Ended up also using more caramels because it certainly is not easy to spread. But, everyone enjoyed them.

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  14. Looks so great! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Whoa. Thank you for this. Made them yesterday. AMAZING!!!! I am in huge trouble. Delicious trouble.

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  16. I am so sad, I must have gone wrong somewhere because the caramels didn't harden after and it was a huge goopy mess when we took it out of the freezer after being in there overnight. Did I add too much cream? I even used the Kraft ones as suggested!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my! Im not too sure what could have happened. Did you only add 1 tablespoon of cream? We've never had that happen :(

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  17. Great idea! Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. can you use ghram crackers instead of pretzels?

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    Replies
    1. It would completely change the flavor and texture BUT I don't see why it wouldn't still hold together. :/

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  19. Do you think you could put a little peanut butter in the chocolate? I think that sounds good to?

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    1. It might be better to use some peanut butter chips instead of actual peanut butter. The peanut butter might make the chocolate too runny so it won't set up. You may be able to get away with a TBSP or 2 - but for a more peanut buttery taste I would go with peanut butter chips! --> let us know if you give it a try!

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  20. Because the Resse's fall off, I put them in the caramel with the pretzels and just added a few Halloween sprinkles to the top of the chocolate for color.

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  21. Just wondering how long this keeps for? I am looking for some things to ship, I live in Canada and want to ship some snack to the states.This looks so great!

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    1. I would imagine these would ship quite well. In an air tight container they should last as long (or longer) than cookies.

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  22. Did you use the regular skinny pretzel sticks?

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  23. Could you use the caramel in the squeeze bottle ( like ice cream topping ) instead?

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    1. I'm going to say no. I don't think it would set up nd you would have a bit of a gooey mess...

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  24. Highly recommend the pretzels with peanut butter in the center for an added twist, they are delish in this recipe. I make this for potlucks & gifts such a nice combination.

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    1. We can't get those in lillooet but I will keep my eye out....that sounds likes something I'd like to try :) thanks for the suggestion!

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  25. Is it pretzel rods or the tiny sticks ?

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  26. I think the new Mint Chocolate M&M's would be good for Christmas. Going to try and will let you know.....

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  27. Have you used caramel bits? How much would you use?

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    1. I haven't used the caramel bits. Sorry!

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    2. I just made these using the bits and I used the whole 11 ounce bag and it seemed to be a perfect amount

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  28. Would this freeze well at all? I want to give it away for Christmas, but I want to make it now and give it away in a week or so.

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    1. Hmmm....good question. I don't see why it wouldn't freeze well. My only concern is that the pretzels may go a little soft BUT... I don't know if they would...I haven't tried to freeze it. Sorry I can't be much help. If you freeze it, please let us know how it works out. :)

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  29. I am going to attempt to replace the pretzels with rice chex as my brother has a wheat allergy that limits his holiday treat enjoyment. Hope for the best!

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  30. Should this be refrigerated or is it ok to just sit out?

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  31. Can I use 2% milk instead of cream?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it should work too. Just add a little bit less

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  32. Made these today with my kids(they were great caramel unwrappers and testers). We did a layer of dark chocolate, followed by caramel with pretzels and Christmas colored M&Ms and topped with another layer of chocolate. Yummy.

    Used 1% milk and it set-up fine.

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  33. Do you use milk or semi sweet chips?
    lindsey

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    1. You can use either! I believe for the photos above we used semi-sweet for the reese's pieces and milk for the M&M. They both taste great - use your favorite! :)

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  34. Can I use aluminum foil instead of wax paper?

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    1. Hmmmm....I would think if you sprayed the foil lightly with cooking spray it would work. I haven't used foil with this recipe before......please let us know how it works for you

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  35. I just made a batch for Valentine's Day with white chocolate and decorative sprinkles. I lovedthis at the holidays with the milk chocolate and sprinkles. What a great and versatile recipe!

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  36. I just made some with chopped egg shaped peanut butter m&ms on top. Delish! Thanks for this recipe, we are stuck with just a microwave for a while so this was much needed!

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  37. Looks really beautiful, I would love to have a piece of this right now!

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  38. I can't wait to make this!! YUM! I'll use the Kraft caramel bits instead! No need to unwrap a gazillion caramels! LOL
    You can find the mini M&M's AND mini Reese's Pieces in the baking section at WalMart! Especially during the Holidays! I usually can find the mini M&M's in the candy isle at WalMart as well.

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  39. I can't wait to make this!!! It looks so good! I was just wondering if I could use your photo in a school project. I just wanted to check that this was ok with you before I went and did it. Thanks!

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    1. As long as you are not reproducing it online - you can absolutely use our photo for a school project :)

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