Flash in the Pan: Cookie Chocolate Bark

[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s quick and easy–no fuss.  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

Chocolate Cookie Bark recipe on RickiHeller.com

I had actually been thinking of a completely different post for today, but then this happened. (And seriously, how could I not share?)

I often tell the story of how, when we were in our twenties, my friend Gemini I announced one day that she was going to quit smoking (at the time, most of my friends and I were smokers). “I am never going to smoke another cigarette again for as long as I live,” she proclaimed. I was aghast. Completely incredulous, I asked, “But how can you be so sure?” Shaking my head, I persisted, “I mean, what if you have a craving? What if someone offers you a cigarette at a party? What if you really want one?” Of course, it wasn’t the thought of giving up cigarettes that truly bothered me (I knew I could stop smoking at any time; and shortly thereafter, I did). No, when I imagined myself in that situation, I was thinking “chocolate” instead of “cigarette.” I knew that for me, life without chocolate was simply unthinkable. Then, candidahappened. No more Caramilk while watching my soap opera (and for that matter, no more soap opera). No more milk chocolate chips in my chocolate chip cookies. No more Hershey kisses. No more Wunderbars split with the HH. Not even any more Godiva truffles for Valentine’s Day. Well, these days, I can say with certainty that I will never eat another piece of conventional (dairy-full, sugar-laden) chocolate again for as long as I live.  Luckily, the ACD doesn’t veto raw cacao, unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder (at least, not in the later stages).

vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cookie bark recipe on rickiheller.com

This recipe is the result of the ultimate collision of serendipity, synergy and synchronicity (or any other fancy “s” words you can think of). I struck on the recipe totally by chance, as a result of having the disparate components on hand and deciding to combine them, just for the heck of it. The final product, I daresay, outshines any one of the ingredients on its own. So, you know how when you bake cookies, sometimes they don’t all turn out perfectly? You’re prepping a batch to bring to that office cookie swap, say, or to bring to a potluck at your BFF’s house, or maybe for your daughter’s birthday party at home. And you end up with a few of those slightly distorted, slightly-too-large, or oval-instead-of-round, or raggedy-on-the-edges, or not-enough-chocolate-chips duds that you don’t want to serve to anyone, but you also don’t want to eat all on your own, either? Or maybe you’re making shortbread and a few cookies crack down the middle, or shatter into pieces when you remove them from the cookie sheet. Well, what to do with those extra bits and pieces that just don’t seem to fit anywhere else? Here’s what: you put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer and save them for this chocolate bark. After I made my glorious Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Tarts, I found myself with a few remnants of broken tart shells that hadn’t made it out of the pans in one piece. I decided to save them in the freezer, thinking I’d use them later as cookie crumbs or folded into ice cream. Instead, I had the notion to enrobe them, rather than nuts, in chocolate for homemade chocolate bark. Oh, my goodness. Oh. My. Goodness. Oh. MY. GOODNESS. Holy yum! HOLY. YUM. I say, yes! (yes! yes! yes!). Seriously, this stuff is worthy of a scene in When Harry Met Sally. (“I’ll have what. . . I’m having.”). And it’s so easy! The bark is ready in about 15 minutes, and contains only five ingredients (if you don’t count salt). I made the first batch with leftover shortbread crust, and the second (on the right in the photos) with the Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Both were spectacular. Give up chocolate? Thankfully, there’s no need. And when it’s made with raw cacao and sugar-free to boot, you can indulge happily. In fact, I think I’ll bake another batch of shortbread just so I can make this bark again. Then, I’ll invite Gemini I over and we can eat a bunch of it together, non-smoking style.

candida diet, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free chocolate cookie bark recipe on rickiheller.com

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  1. Oh my, I can just imagine how good this tastes. Wish I could dive into that plate right now! To me, it looks like you’ve created a healthy version of ‘rocky road’. I never imagined that such a thing could exist… but then I should have guessed that you’d be able to create it 😉 Job well done Ricki 😀 xx

    • Sharon, I think I’m not familiar with the UK version of Rocky Road! Over here, it’s a combination of chocolate, marshmallows and nuts. Is that what you’re referring to? There are no nuts (or marshmallows) in this–just cookie bits–but that does sound lovely to me, actually!! 😀

  2. This is similar to tiffin, it looks so delicious!

  3. Brilliant idea, Ricki! I sometimes keep bits and pieces of cakes/cookies and mix into ice cream – but that’s no new idea (just my personal fave). 😉 But THIS? Such a neat idea – and great alternative for people that don’t want nuts in chocolate bark. Love it!

    p.s. you know you’re a chocolate saviour to so many, right?!!

  4. Oh my! You had me at chocolate!

  5. This is such a great idea! I am going to start saving up leftover cookie bits to give this a try.

  6. “Luckily, the ACD doesn’t veto raw cacao, unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder (at least, not in the later stages).”
    Thank goodness!! Did you know I have gestational diabetes? So I’ve really had to ratchet everything down & pay extra attention to every morsel I put in my mouth. Just reading that list of things you used to eat (the Godiva truffles, the milk chocolate), makes me queasy & thank the heavens there are alternatives!

    This recipe looks marvelous, btw! (I love QUICK recipes)

    • Hi Janae–no, didn’t know about the diabetes! From what I understand, it goes away after you deliver? Well, glad you can have something like this, especially if you make the stevia-only version. And yes, if you already have cookie bits ready–really quick! 🙂

  7. I love recipes like this one and have to get back to making my own chocolate!

  8. I may have to bake some purposely-imperfect cookies just for the occasion!

  9. Genius!!!! I can’t wait to make this with my next cookie flop!

  10. OH MY GOODNESS is right Ricki! I am so with you on these, holy moly. I need some broken cookies ASAP!

  11. PS I want to try this recipe simply for the creation of chocolate! I bought some cocoa butter and I need to use it. I also saw vanilla powder the other day and was so intrigued. Do you use it tsp for tsp? Thanks Ricki!

    • I do use about the same amount of each, but I’ve read other people’s blogs where they say the powder is much more intense than the liquid. I just find that it tastes a little different. . . but I like using one for one. I’d start with half as much powder and see if you like flavor. You can always add more later, but can’t take it out! (sort of like when you cut your hair. . . start long, then go shorter because you can’t reverse it once it’s done!) 😉

  12. Yum!! I tried making some peanut butter rice crispie bars the other day but they haven’t stuck together properly, I think they would be delicious combined with chocolate! I don’t have any cacao butter though, will it work if I use extra coconut oil instead?

    • Mel, it should be fine, but you’ll need to keep them in the refrigerator right up until you eat them. With the cacao butter, they’ll stay solid at room temperature for several hours. 🙂

  13. Louise Merrington says

    Looks so yummy! Is it possible to replace the stevia with (birch derived) xylotol?

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