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Bark Brittle {or “seizing” the moment}

Bark Brittle – Fixing a Mistake

You know how everyone cautions you to microwave chocolate chips in small increments, stirring between each one because they can seize up? Well the white chocolate chips that really aren’t chocolate, they’re vanilla, are way touchier than regular chocolate chips in the microwave. I killed two packages. I may be wanted on criminal charges.

The silly chips don’t like me, is my story. I started out with one bag in a glass bowl, and I swear I set the microwave for 45 seconds. That’s not much! And bam, they were so stiff they wouldn’t stir into any creamy goodness. Ouch. So I set them aside and tried a second bag. At 30 minutes they were holding their original shapes and mocking me “We’re not melting”. So I gave them a second 30 minutes and bam! As I stirred them they melted then firmed right back up into a glump. That’s my word. Glump. You don’t want to know what it’s short for…

Seized up white chips

Seized up white chips

I was trying to make chippers by dipping potato chips into melt chips. I’ve made white coated ones many times with no problems. I’d just made two batches of chocolate ones and melted the chips in the microwave each time. I was sure I was a pro at melting chips. Nope.

So I decided there would be no white coated chippers in Whoville this year, mighty Melady had struck out. Mixed metaphors and all. We had a white Christmas, with brown chippers.

I hated to toss my glumps, and thought there must be a way to save and use it without potato chips being involved. I microwaved the white mess for 20 seconds with a lump of shortening, several times, and got it to melt pretty well. It still had small lumps of chips all over that weren’t going to get smooth, but I thought it had bark potential.

Prezels, rice cereal, and dry roasted peanuts

Prezels, rice cereal, and dry roasted peanuts

Looking around I zeroed in on a jar of dry roasted peanuts leftover from another recipe, about a cup’s worth. I threw those into a large bowl. A trip to the other side of the kitchen produced a container of crispy rice cereal and I added the last of it, about 2 cups, to the bowl. One last look and I found a bag of pretzel sticks also leftover from another recipe. I took a large handful and crushed them up slightly so they wouldn’t stick out all over and look like they were trying to escape.

Mix together chips, pretzels, cereal and nuts

Mix together chips, pretzels, cereal and nuts

I scraped the white chips into the large bowl and used a big metal spoon to mix it all together. It was beginning to firm up fast so I spread it onto a piece of waxed paper I’d placed in a sheet pan. I used an icing knife to smooth it and try to pretty it up. Then I let it set to totally firm up, about an hour.

Spread into a sheet pan evenly

Spread into a sheet pan evenly

Firmed and ready, I broke my new candy into small pieces and stored it in a plastic container. I decided it shall be called “Bark Brittle”, having the look of almond bark, with nuts and things usually added to peanut brittle. I’m wishing I had melted chocolate chips and spread it over the top of my bark brittle, for one more flavor. But I was done with melting chips and didn’t want to make any more glumps.

Bark Brittle

Bark Brittle

I’d say “Don’t try this at home”, but really you should try it. It is tasty, with the salty peanuts and pretzels and sweet vanilla chips. Salty and sweet is always a winner. My P.S. sampled it and with a raise of his shoulders and eyebrows said “Hm!” I think that was a yes. I’ll ask the grandkids next. They like anything with sugar.

Bark Brittle

Bark Brittle

Bark Brittle

2 bags premium white chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup broken up pretzel sticks

Place peanuts, cereal and pretzels in a large bowl.

Melt chips in a glass bowl in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each round until melted.

Pour chips into bowl and stir to mix with peanuts, cereal and pretzels.

Spread on waxed paper lined baking sheet, smoothing and spreading uniformly.

Let set until firm, then cut and break into pieces to store.

May be kept at room temperature.

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