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.

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! ♦