a holiday bark foursome

holiday chocolate barks // Glazed & Confused

I'm alive! 

It's been forever and a day since I've posted a recipe on here and before I waltz back into the room unannounced, let me explain. Soooo.... college. Yeah, it's absolutely miserable right now. My Thanksgiving break was insane, considering that I was pretty much in charge of the whole Thanksgiving dinner and cleaning my totally destroyed kitchen. On top of that, all of my friends were home and I went overboard on making up for the past 4 months of extremely limited social interaction. If that wasn't enough, I have a theory that all of my professors met and divulged a plan to assign every single paper and project due the following week, obviously in an effort to make my life a living hell because they have some sort of personal vendetta against me. 

Peppermint Bark - the classic.

Peppermint Bark - the classic.

So no, I haven't just disappeared and been laying in bed this whole time, checked out from the world. (Oh God, how I wish that was the case.) I've been living the past two weeks of finals on edge, having panic attacks in the middle of the library, bullshitting my final papers, and avoiding studying at all costs. Needless to say, it's been rough a few weeks. But alas, I've survived and only two finals are separating me from my Christmas break. 

Cranberry & Pistachio Bark with Mini White Chocolate Chips because why not! 

Cranberry & Pistachio Bark with Mini White Chocolate Chips because why not! 

It's been really upsetting, because Christmas is totally my thing. When I say that I have actually cried because it wasn't Christmas, I'm not lying. (Yes, I really am that overdramatic in real life too.) The worst part about all of this? I've had multiple Christmas-themed recipes photographed and waiting to be posted since Thanksgiving, but no time to sit down and actually post them. You know what that means? It's gonna get all types of Christmassy up in here until the 25th. 

Gingerbread Man Bark — crushed gingersnaps, gumdrops, red hots, and extra Christmas sprinkles!

Gingerbread Man Bark — crushed gingersnaps, gumdrops, red hots, and extra Christmas sprinkles!

gingerbread man bark — white chocolate, crushed ginger snaps, gumdrops, red hots, and sprinkles // Glazed & Confused

For some reason, people always ask me for bark recipes around the holidays. (I wonder why anybody would want chocolate right now? Crazy people!) As much as I want to be the sarcastic asshole that I sometimes am and say something along the lines of "you do know that chocolate bark is literally just melted chocolate with random things from your pantry thrown on top of it," I restrain myself. To make up for my sassiness (or maybe just reinforce it), I'm providing not one, but four different recipes for literally just melted chocolate with not-so-random things from your pantry thrown on top of it. 

Enjoy! 

Hot Cocoa Bark — milk chocolate, mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, hot cocoa dust

Hot Cocoa Bark — milk chocolate, mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, hot cocoa dust


Peppermint Bark 

  • 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 12 oz white chocolate, chopped 
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 6 candy canes, crushed

Directions  

In a microwave, heat the dark chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Pour the melted dark chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate using the same heating process. Once melted, mix in the peppermint extract and stir to combine. Pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate layer. Top with crushed candy canes. Return to fridge to set before breaking into pieces to serve. 

 

White Chocolate Gingerbread Bark

  • 12 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 6 gingersnap cookies, crushed 
  • red hots
  • gumdrops, cut in half
  • christmas sprinkles!

Directions

In a microwave, heat the white chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper and cover with the crushed gingersnaps, red hots, gumdrops, and sprinkles. Refrigerate until set. 

 

Hot COCOA BARK 

  • 12 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon hot cocoa mix 
  • mini white chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a microwave, heat the milk chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper and cover with the mini marshmallows and white chocolate chips. Sprinkle the bark with the hot cocoa mix. Refrigerate until set. 

 

 

Cranberry Pistachio Chocolate Bark 

  • 12 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios
  • mini white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

In a microwave, heat the milk chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper and cover with toppings. Refrigerate until set. 

The Salty Pilgrim (& a virtual potluck!)

the salty pilgrim: sweet corn ice cream, sweet potato caramel, valrhona dulcey magic shell, & sea salt // Glazed & Confused

Do you ever dream up what the Big Gay Ice Cream menu would have looked like in 1621? Nope. Okay, definitely just me.

A few weeks back, Renee from Will Frolic for Food contacted me and bunch of other bloggers about participating in a huge virtual Friendsgiving potluck in collaboration with J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works and I immediately jumped on board. I mean, wouldn't you want to have two Thanksgivings in a single week too? Sure, the first of the two may be virtual and you can't actually eat any of the food, but I'm sure that we'd all feel a little bit less guilty that way anyways. 

the salty pilgrim: sweet corn ice cream, sweet potato caramel, valrhona dulcey magic shell, & sea salt // Glazed & Confused

Given my inability to cook real people food (read: anything that isn't sugar), I hopped on the dessert train faster than Michelle Obama could turn up with a root vegetable. Then came the panic over what to make...

I'm not one for pumpkin or sweet potato pies, so the classics were out of the picture for this Thanksgiving spread. I thought to myself — and probably out loud, too — "hmmm, what type of dessert is the farthest from traditional for a Thanksgiving dinner?"

Ice cream sundaes. 

Disclaimer: If your annual Thanksgiving celebration is complete with a sundae bar, I have two questions for you: 1) who the hell are you? and 2) where is my invitation? 

valrhona dulcey magic shell // Glazed & Confused
J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works coarse sea salt

It took milliseconds before I was thinking of ways to reimagine Big Gay Ice Cream's Salty Pimp for turkey day. I don't know how many pimps were roaming around Plymouth County, but my speculation is that the number was preeeeetty low, so I made the executive decision to rename this sundae the Salty Pilgrim and make it all types of first harvest inspired. 

In case you're unaware of the Salty Pimp, it's a cone of vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, chocolate shell, and flakes of sea salt. Aside from shedding its overtly sexual nature and being much more PC, the Salty Pilgrim is composed of the following:

  • Sweet Corn Ice Cream (not soft serve, but just go with the flow)
  • Sweet Potato Caramel 
  • Valrhona Dulcey Magic Shell (v important !!!!!!!!!!!!) 
  • J. Q. Dickinson Sea Salt flakes  

and holy Jamestown, is it delicious! One bite in and my mom was doing the whole *eyes wide open, gasping for air, and kind of muttering "holy shit" under her breath* thing she does whenever I make something really freaking good. I prepped a sundae for my dad later on last night. He practically moaned, then said "you need to give this to somebody. People need to have this in their life." So there you go, a damn harvest sundae called the Salty Pilgrim is Trey Blackall approved. (and that's QUITE the feat!)

the salty pilgrim: sweet corn ice cream, sweet potato caramel, valrhona dulcey magic shell, & sea salt // Glazed & Confused

Disclaimer: this post is part of a virtual Friendsgiving potluck with J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works. All opinions are mine, like the fact that this salt is soooo bomb! 


Sweet Corn Ice Cream

(adapted from this Jeni's recipe)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

Directions

1Make the ice cream: In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Cut kernels off cob of corn and cut cob into large chunks; reserve kernels and cob together. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; add corn kernels and cob and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl and discard corn solids. 

Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer's instructions. 

 

Sweet Potato Caramel

(adapted from Crazy for Crust)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt 

Directions

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the sugar over medium-low heat. Cook the sugar until it melts and turns into an amber caramel, stirring often. Add the butter and stir until combined, it will bubble up like crazy here. Add half of the heavy cream, stir to combine, and then stir in the remaining half. Add the sweet potato, spices, salt, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. 

Pour the caramel into a jar and store at room temperature or refrigerated. 

 

Valrhona Dulcey Magic Shell 

  • 160 grams Valrhona Dulcey, chopped
  • 100 grams coconut oil 

Directions

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and oil together in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until melted. Store at room temperature. 


Cornbread Tres Leches with Maraschino Popcorn

cornbread tres leches with maraschino cherry popcorn // Glazed & Confused

I've been surrounded by corn lately.

No really, I poured corn kernels all over myself in a "corn crib" a few weeks ago and I swear I found a piece of corn lodged in between my car seats or just casually chilling in my shoe every other day. I probably shouldn't be annoyed, considering the fact that I have a whole Facebook album devoted entirely to pictures of me and corn, but wanted corn kernels are taking over my life and driving me crazy. The strangest part about this whole corn situation is that I don't even like corn that much. 

cornbread tres leches with maraschino cherry popcorn // Glazed & Confused

I'm currently in the process of planning the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner and between all of the stuffing, potatoes, mac and cheese, bread (and butter) recipes I'm sifting through, I've got carbs on my mind. My current dilemma is over breads, because these pretzel parker rolls and this harvest focaccia and the thought of hot buttery cornbread all sound equally delicious. I was this close to saying screw it and deciding on all three, but that would be overkill for my oven AND my thighs, so I decided to make cornbread this weekend. Things took a turn for the sweeter side really quickly and before I knew it, I was brainstorming how to deploy my cornbread into desserts. 

Cornbread trifles? Nah, Molly made those. Cornbread bread pudding? That's already been done. Then it hit me, cornbread tres leches has the potential to warrant the reaction of a handful of 100 emojis and, despite it being a bit reachy, doesn't it just make sense? Tres leches is Mexican. Corn plays a huge role in Mexican cuisine. Graham Blackall is a genius. (Joking!) So I did it. And it's kinda the best tres leches that I've ever had. Far too often, I find tres leches to be cloyingly sweet, but the cornmeal adds a much needed balance that catapults tres leches into the upper echelons of dessert enjoyment. 

maraschino cherry popcorn // Glazed & Confused
cornbread tres leches with maraschino cherry popcorn // Glazed & Confused

I know what you're thinking right now. "Uhm.... popcorn?" To be honest, there's really not more reason than me want to be as corny as possible. (Get it?) In all seriousness, I've always been a tad bit disgusted when people cover their tres leches in cool whip and maraschino cherries. Even though I'm the epitome of dessert trashiness at times, imitation whipped cream and cherries straight from a jar is just a little too uninspired for me. To sustain the utmost level of corniness in this dessert, I decided to top the cake with a marshmallow whipped cream and white chocolate-cherry glazed popcorn. 

Off kilter, maybe. Delicious? Oh yes.  

cornbread tres leches with maraschino cherry popcorn // Glazed & Confused

Cornbread Tres Leches 

(adapted from this lovely recipe)

  • 2 14oz. cans sweetened condensed milk 
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • a dash of cinnamon 
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave 
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and cinnamon. Whisk the mixture until completely smooth. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and refrigerate; you'll use this for plating when you serve the tres leches. Set the rest of the liquid mixture aside; this will be used to soak the cornbread. 

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, add in the oil, melted butter, honey, eggs, & milk and stir. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. 

Using a skewer or straw, poke holes throughout the warm cornbread. Pour half of the milk mixture from earlier over the cornbread. Once the bread is soaked, pour the remainder of the milk mixture on the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. (The longer the flavors can mingle, the better!)

When you're ready to serve, whip up a batch of the whipped cream and top the tres leches with it and the cherry popcorn. Before plating the tres leches, pour a layer of the milk mixture that you set aside in the refrigerator on the plate for extra triple milky goodness. 

Marshmallow Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 7oz. container marshmallow cream 

Directions: 

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the marshmallow cream and whip until fully combined. 

White Chocolate Cherry Popcorn

(inspired by Jessica!) 

  • 5 cups popcorn (from a bag or popped yourself, just don't use movie theatre butter lol) 
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry syrup (from the jar) 

Directions: 

Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl. 

Melt the white chocolate over a double broiler or in the microwave. If using microwave, make sure to heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time. Pour over the popcorn. 

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and cherry syrup and mix until a glaze forms. Pour over the popcorn. 

Mix the popcorn until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Transfer the mixture to a wax paper-lined baking tray and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate before removing to serve