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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready for Its Close Up

Food, like women, benefits from having a stylist.  As we all know, Jennifer Aniston doesn't wake up looking red carpet ready.  (Okay, so maybe the body is red carpet ready, but I'm sure she has puffy eyes first thing in the morning.  After all, she is over 40.)  Anyway, food, like Ms. Aniston, sometimes needs a little help to look its best.

Enter the stylist.  The food stylist can make burnt toast look sexy.  

It is not often that I make something that is photo ready.  As hard as I try to "style" the food on the plate, it usually falls short.  So it was just amazing to me that the Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bark featured in this month's Bon Appetit came out ready for its close up.

First of all, it was so easy to make.  Melted chocolate and chopped candy.  All the good stuff.  Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Heath Bars,  Butterfingers, Reese's Pieces, Peanut M & M's.  Need I say more?  (It's a good thing I made this at 8:00 in the morning.  It just didn't seem right to have a Reese's for breakfast, though I considered it.)  Melt, spread, sprinkle, press.  Done.  So easy.

And, the end result was as stunning as this year's Dior over the knee boots.  (Mind you, I do not have over the knee boots legs but my friend Deborah does.   She bought them and they're traffic stopping.)   This bark is that good.  In fact, that picture at the top. It's my bark.  It came out so great that Kate is breaking with the tradition of bringing Frank (see my post dated October 12, 2010) some of her Halloween candy after the holiday and bringing him this instead.  High praise from my daughter.  Hopefully Frank will admire the beauty of the bark and then the beauty of her forehand.

You can make this bark with any candy you like.  Maybe wait until Sunday (if you can wait that long) and see what the kids bring home from trick or treating!

Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bark
(Bon Appetit, October, 2010)


1 pound bittersweet chocolate
3 2.1-ounce Butterfinger candy bars, cut into irregular 1-inch pieces
3 1.4-ounce Skor or Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 3/4 inch pieces
8 peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
3 ounces high quality white chocolate
Reese's Pieces and/or yellow and orange peanut M & M's

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Melt bittersweet chocolate in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch.  Pour chocolate onto foil: spread to 1/4 inch thickness (about 12x10 inch rectangle).  Sprinkle with Butterfinger candy, toffee, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch the melted chocolate.

Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan.  Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch.  Remove from heat.  Dip spoon into chocolate: wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines.  Scatter Reese's Pieces and M&M's over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate.

Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes.  Slide foil with candy onto work surface: peel off foil.  Cut bark into irregular pieces.

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