Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark features smooth semi-sweet and white chocolate, salty pretzel sticks, tart strawberries, and festive sprinkles for a fun and tasty homemade candy treat!
I apologize for two candy recipes in the same number of weeks, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I apparently have chocolate on the brain. I promise that there’s a dinner recipe coming up on the roster later this week! 😉 But in the meantime, how gorgeous and yummy is this Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark?!
If you’ve never made chocolate bark, it’s only one of the simplest homemade candies to make…ever. No standing over the stove stirringstirringstirring, no candy thermometers, no soft ball or hard crack stages to assess. Rather, it’s just a matter of melting, spreading, sprinkling, and chilling. And what’s especially fun about bark is that it’s so darn customizable!
I shared a scrumptious Chocolate Mint Cookie Bark around St. Patrick’s Day last year. So almost a year later, I think that it’s high time for another bark, and just in time for Valentine’s Day! I decided to swirl semi-sweet and white chocolate together as the base, because I figure if one is good, both are better. I also thought it would be fun to incorporate pretzels this time — because I’m always a sucker for sweet + salty — as well as some cute V-Day sprinkles.
But then one day last week, as I was flipping through my latest issue of Food Network magazine, I came across a page where they were adding freeze-dried strawberries to homemade candies. And seeing as how my 2-year-old has a freeze-dried strawberry addiction and I already have a big ol’ bag of them in my pantry, I thought that would be the perfect addition to bring a pop of Valentine red to my swirly pretzel bark! As an added bonus, the slightly tart strawberries bring a nice balance to the aforementioned salty/sweet combo already going on. I’m telling you, if chocolate-covered strawberries and pretzel bark had a baby, this would be it.
This treat is super easy to throw together, y’all, and it’s a great cooking project for involving the kiddos. Simply melt semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls at the same time. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and Baker’s white chocolate baking bars (not an ad…I just love how smoothly that brand of white chocolate melts).
You could certainly melt your chocolates simultaneously using the double-broiler method on the stove. But I find it easier to alternate the two bowls in the microwave…one minute for the semi-sweet chocolate, stir. Then one minute for the white chocolate, stir. Then 30 seconds for the semi-sweet chocolate, stir again. And 30 seconds for the white chocolate, stir again. I think you get the point…keep alternating the bowls in the microwave and stirring until everything is smooth and melted. I typically find that white chocolate takes slightly less time to melt than semi-sweet chocolate, so just watch everything carefully. The key is to have both types of chocolate melted and ready to go at about the same time.
Then it’s time to spread the majority of the semi-sweet chocolate onto a prepared baking sheet, dollop it with the white chocolate, and then dollop the remaining semi-sweet on top of the white. After that comes the fun part…simply swirl with a toothpick to your little heart’s content! And finally, working quickly while the chocolate is still soft, arrange your pretzels and strawberries on top of the swirled chocolate and finish off with sprinkles. Chill, cut, and enjoy!
Well, I think I’ve given you enough recent chocolate recipes to get you through until Valentine’s Day, between this Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark, last week’s 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups, and the Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip posted earlier this month. But now I’m curious…which one are you most eager to try? And if you answer ‘all three,’ no worries…your secret’s safe with me. 😉
Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark Recipe
Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces white chocolate baking bars, such as Baker's
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries, such as Just Strawberries
- 1/2 cup salted pretzel sticks
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Pour semi-sweet chocolate chips in one microwave-safe bowl. Chop white chocolate baking bar into small pieces and place in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave semi-sweet chocolate chips for 1 minute; stir chocolate well. Microwave for another 30 seconds; stir until chocolate is smooth. (If necessary, microwave in additional 15-second increments, stirring between each one, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.)
- Melt white chocolate by repeating the above process, but microwave for only 15 seconds after the initial 1 minute since white chocolate melts more quickly than regular chocolate.
- Spread about 3/4 of the melted semi-sweet chocolate in a thin layer onto prepared baking sheet, forming a rough rectangle that measures about 9- by 12-inches. Dollop the melted white chocolate on top. Spoon the remaining semi-sweet chocolate onto the centers of the white chocolate dollops. Use a toothpick to swirl the semi-sweet and white chocolates together.
- Immediately arrange pretzel sticks onto the swirled chocolate. Fill in the spaces between the pretzels with the strawberries. Sprinkle the entire surface with sprinkles, pressing them lightly into the chocolate, if necessary.
- Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 45 minutes. Slide wax/parchment paper onto a cutting board and cut bark into pieces. Serve immediately or store in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator.
- The semi-sweet and white chocolates need to be melted and ready to go at about the same time, so I like to alternate them in the microwave (heat semi-sweet bowl for 1 minute, stir; exchange bowls and heat white chocolate bowl for 1 minute, stir; exchange bowls again and heat semi-sweet for 30 seconds, stir; then white chocolate again, and repeat until both bowls of chocolate are melted and smooth).
- Alternatively, you may melt the chocolates simultaneously in two double-boilers on the stove.
- You may use white chocolate chips instead of baking bars. Just be careful to heat in short increments and stir frequently, stopping when white chocolate is just melted and smooth.
- You may break this bark into chunks if you wish. However, if you prefer to cut it into neat pieces, I find that making it on a rimless cookie sheet allows me to easily slide the wax/parchment paper directly onto a cutting board for cutting. If you do use a rimless baking sheet, just be sure to hold on to the wax/parchment paper as you transfer the bark between the counter and the fridge, or the whole thing might slide to the floor!
More Sweet Treats for Your Valentine
- Cherry Cheesecake Chocolate Cups
- Warm Chocolate Cobbler
- White Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip
- Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce