Fun

How to Make Your Favorite Candy

A super-simple DIY with delicious results.

I believe it was William Shakespeare who once said, “Fun-size? What’s so fun about less candy?” I could not agree with him more. For 364 days of the year, we are told not to take candy from strangers, and then come October 31, we’re just supposed to be cool with it—and it’s mostly miniature? Or worse, we get RAISINS?!

No. I say you should be the master of your own destiny. Today, I’m going to show you how to make chocolate bark, one of the least-complicated kinds of homemade candy, which you can customize to make all of your confectionery dreams come true. Seriously, if you’ve ever heated up Kraft Easy Mac in the microwave, then you possess all of the necessary skills to make chocolate bark. Just make sure you don’t give this stuff out to trick-or-treaters, because it’s unwrapped, and you don’t want to end up like Mrs. Weir in Freaks and Geeks, with the neighbors tossing it on your lawn.

You’ll need:

  • A 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (white, milk, or dark chocolate)
  • Mix-ins (see below)
  • One medium microwave-safe bowl
  • A spatula or spoon
  • A baking sheet
  • Waxed or parchment paper

For mix-ins, your options are basically anything that is edible and sounds appealing to you. If you can dream it, you can put it in chocolate bark. In an effort to create maybe the most perfect snack in all of history, I am going to be using salted potato chips and pretzels.

1. If you’re using an ingredient that isn’t already bite-size, chop or crush it. I left the potato chips and pretzels in their original bags and simply crushed them from the outside to keep my hands clean.

2. Place your bowl of chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, remove, and stir with your spatula. Repeat until the chocolate is melted throughout. It should take about 90 seconds.

3. Add half of your mix-in ingredients to the chocolate, and stir until everything looks uniform.

4. Place the parchment or wax paper on the baking sheet. Using your spoon or spatula, spread the chocolate mixture onto the paper until it’s about a quarter-inch thick.

5. Top the chocolate with the rest of your mix-ins.

6. Place in the fridge for about two hours. Once the chocolate hardens, break it apart into irregular pieces.

See how easy that was? Below are some suggestions for other flavor combinations. You can always cheat by crumbling your favorite chocolate bar on top of your spread, but this is way more fun.

Almond Joy
1½ cups shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup almonds

Mix one cup of shredded, sweetened coconut and half a cup of almonds into the melted chocolate before spreading. After spreading, top with the remaining ingredients.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup peanut butter chips

Add the peanut butter to the chocolate chips before microwaving. Mix with the chocolate until smooth. After spreading, sprinkle the peanut butter chips on top.

Chunky Monkey
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup banana chips

Place the banana chips in a plastic bag and crush. After melting the chocolate, mix in half of the banana chips. After spreading, top with remaining chips and walnuts.

Cookies & Cream
12 chocolate-sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
12-ounce bag of white chocolate chips

Crush the cookies. After melting the chocolate, mix in one cup of crushed cookies. After spreading, top with whatever remains.

S’mores
12 graham crackers
1 cup mini marshmallows

Crush the crackers. After melting the chocolate, mix in one cup of crushed graham crackers and half a cup of mini marshmallows. After spreading, top with remaining crackers and mini marshmallows.

Now lock your front door, turn on a scary movie, and keep this treat to yourself! ♦

37 Comments

  • Bubz October 12th, 2012 3:07 PM

    Yummy!! I made something like this a while ago, and it. was. good. :)

  • I.ila October 12th, 2012 3:20 PM

    Yummm! for halloween you could also color white chocolate orange and drizzle it on top!

  • A Fox In The Snow October 12th, 2012 3:46 PM

    Gabby, this looks so easy and delicious and your writing style is amazing!

  • anton October 12th, 2012 3:52 PM

    Yummm this sounds perfect!

  • raggedyanarchy October 12th, 2012 3:53 PM

    SO doing this! I shall never have to be trusted with an oven for delicacies again!
    The cookies and cream variation sounds REALLY good. I know what I’m doing this lazy weekend.

  • Katherine October 12th, 2012 3:57 PM

    Would it still be good with butterscotch or mint chips instead of chocolate chips?

    • Gabby October 12th, 2012 6:24 PM

      i think so! the butterscotch or mint MIGHT be overpowering, but if you’re really into those flavors, go for it! you could also do 1/2 mint, 1/2 regular chocolate.

      • Katherine October 12th, 2012 7:40 PM

        That’s a really good idea. I hope to try this soon!

  • Celia October 12th, 2012 4:03 PM

    Oh man s’mores would be amazing. Chocolate chips are actually made to be difficult to melt, so that they hold up in cookies and such, so you could also melt down several nice chocolate bars.

    Also, the trick to not getting gritty melted chocolate (I think it’s called seizing), is to 1.) stir stir stir and 2.) don’t get any water in it while melting. :D I’ve had melted chocolate chips go gritty on me before and it’s the. worst. possible. thing.

  • umi October 12th, 2012 5:07 PM

    YUMMMMMMMM this will be happening yup yup

  • kolumbia October 12th, 2012 5:15 PM

    I am going to try this with butterscotch and heath crunchies!! This is an awesome idea!!

  • Ruby B. October 12th, 2012 5:26 PM

    I’m definitely doing this tonight!!

  • Jessica W October 12th, 2012 5:27 PM

    Everything’s better for you when it’s homemade.

    The Lovelorn

  • DrewNotBarrymore October 12th, 2012 5:40 PM

    This looks amazing. <3 Thank you very much, Gabby! ^_^

  • Abby October 12th, 2012 5:46 PM

    I’m going to cry. Because I don’t have access to any of these things until christmas. College sucks.

  • mayaautumn October 12th, 2012 5:50 PM

    :O best recipes! making all of these.. very soon.

    http://mayathapapaya.tumblr.com

  • helene October 12th, 2012 6:43 PM

    no don’t you can’t mix those :’(

  • Izzzzzy October 12th, 2012 6:44 PM

    How do I make it without a microwave???!

    • Bug October 12th, 2012 6:54 PM

      ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcr5BAew2bI

    • Ella W October 12th, 2012 7:02 PM

      What you do is get a pan of boiling water, then put some sort of bowl over the top of it with the chocolate in. Don’t let the water get into the chocolate!! Then just keep mixing until the chocolate melts.
      This is the official way of doing it, however sometimes I just put chocolate in a pan and heat it. I think people don’t do this way, because the chocolate burns or something, but this has never happened to me!

      By the way Gabby, this looks super nommy! I shall be trying this out!

  • Hedwig October 12th, 2012 7:54 PM

    every cell in my body approves this

  • ivoire October 12th, 2012 8:03 PM

    ugh im so hungry now! this is great.

  • Ginny October 12th, 2012 9:51 PM

    I just made some with peanut butter mixed in and mini marshmallows on top. It’s kind of like fluffernutter and IT IS DELICIOUS

  • Eryn October 12th, 2012 10:06 PM

    I love making bark, it’s soo easyy and yummy. Another ingredient I’d like to suggest is blueberries :)

    http://fashionfledge.blogspot.ca/

  • Mimi7 October 12th, 2012 10:48 PM

    This looks soooo good!!! It seems like something that would be good to have with hot chocolate if you were in a really chocolaty mood. I can’t wait to try this for halloween. Thanks!

    http://dreaminginfashion.wordpress.com/

  • MaggietheCat October 12th, 2012 11:56 PM

    My friend made this one year and gave it out for her christmas gift and it was SO GOOD. She used crushed up candy canes.

  • TessaTheTeenageWitch October 13th, 2012 4:39 AM

    Praise this post.

  • all-art-is-quite-useless October 13th, 2012 8:48 AM

    this wood be so good with crushed up crunchie bars on top… or with POPPING CANDY… or with toffee or caramel…

  • radiofireworks October 13th, 2012 10:40 AM

    Ooh, I’ve never had chocolate and crisps(/potato chips) together but it sounds delicious! And, well, pretzels go with anything :D

  • paashaas21 October 13th, 2012 1:42 PM

    Chocolate+chips=omg great

  • Jean. October 13th, 2012 3:55 PM

    Another topping idea: the heads of those who do not understand the importance of candy

  • Mary the freak October 14th, 2012 12:12 PM

    OHMY! I am really hungry now. this looks totally delicious.

    Excuse me now, I will make my own now. (:

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • insteadofanelephant October 14th, 2012 1:22 PM

    YUM. I am going to make these tomorrow after I finally make it to the grocery store. I deserve to eat this after only pasta for three weeks!

    instead of an elephant

  • Laura Lemon October 15th, 2012 6:05 PM

    SO GREAT.

  • Paulatte October 27th, 2012 11:45 AM

    I just did this and this is really simple. REALLY SIMPLE, and it says a lot because it comes from a girl who doesn’t know how to cook pasta. Whatever. I made the ” Cookies & Cream” one, with piñon nuts instead of white chocolate chips because piñon nuts for president! Strong recommendation. Anyway it’s delicious, thank you Rookie!:)

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica November 3rd, 2012 12:02 PM

    OH MY GOD I WANT TO EAT ALL OF THESE VARIATIONS SO BADLY OMG OMG OMGGGGGGGGGG. (Except for Chunky Monkey, because I don’t like walnuts OR bananas.)

  • Jenius November 17th, 2012 4:27 PM

    Thank you for validating my claims about the deliciousness of chocolate-covered potato chips.