Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe’s Copycat Recipe

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Have you tried Cowboy Bark?

If you haven’t, don’t even start. It’s so addictively good.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

Which is why I’m not sure why I made my own bark that’s every bit as good as the real deal.

Having the ability to make bulk quantities is dangerous since I can down a bag of the Trader Joe’s version in a day if I let myself. Six servings in one little 9-ounce bag? No way.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

Now I have an endless supply in my cupboard, and I stashed some in the freezer, and I gave plenty away.

The bark only takes about 5 minutes to make, making it the perfect fast, easy, and extremely satisfying treat.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

It’s just melted chocolate, topped with a mixture of toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, pretzels, Oreos, and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Sounds simple enough, but there’s something about the combination that’s just irresistible. Salty-and-sweet treats can do no wrong.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

And the bark is a texture lover’s dream. The smooth, rich chocolate that melts in your mouth is in contrast with crunchy and salty peanuts and almonds and crispy pretzels. The sweet buttery toffee bits and crunchy Oreos provides so many flavor combinations in every bite. The more you eat, the more you want.

For the chocolate, I used a mixture of Trader Joe’s chocolate bars. I used equal parts of the 72% Pound Plus, Dark Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate bars. I have a well-stocked pantry of chocolate and can manifest bulk quantities of chocolate in any percentage from 60 to 90% at the drop of a hat.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

For authenticity, if you’re only using one chocolate, I’d use TJ’s Dark Chocolate bar or your favorite dark chocolate. Definitely not milk, and don’t go too dark so that it’s bitter. A nice, middle of the road dark chocolate is best.

For the toppings, if you don’t have all of them on hand, mix and match based on what you do have.

I went a little heavier-handed than the Trader does with the quantity of nuts, pretzels, and toffee bits. The more, the merrier.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

For the cookies, use Chocolate Jo-Jo’s or chocolate-filled Oreos for maximum authenticity, but traditional Oreos are fine. It’s cookies for candy-making. There are no wrong choices.

The batch makes about 4 times what you’d get in one $3.69 9-ounce bag. For me, it’s definitely cheaper to make than to buy because I already have all those things on hand.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

You’ve been warned. This stuff is crazy good.

Best use of 5 minutes ever.

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty, sweet & supremely good!

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe - Just like the real thing & ready in 5 minutes. Salty-and-sweet & supremely good!

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4.38 from 16 votes

Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe

By Averie Sunshine
The bark only takes about 5 minutes, making it the perfect fast, easy, and extremely satisfying treat. It’s just melted chocolate, topped with a mixture of toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, pretzels, Oreos, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Sounds simple enough, but there’s something about the combination that’s just irresistible. Salty-and-sweet treats can do no wrong. The bark is a texture lover’s dream full of smooth richness along with crispy and crunchy in every bite. Use your favorite dark Chocolate bar, definitely not milk, and don’t go too dark so that it’s bitter. For the toppings, if you don’t have all of them on hand, mix and match based on what you do have. The batch makes about 4 times what you’d get in one $3.69 9-ounce bag, enough to share with friends and they’ll love you for it. Before beginning to melt the chocolate, have everything else chopped, prepped and ready to go.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 36 ounces
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Ingredients  

  • 16 ounces dark chocolate, 1 pound; I used equal parts TJ’s 72% Pound Plus, Dark Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate Bars; if only using one, select a favorite dark chocolate
  • about 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels
  • 8 chocolate-stuffed Oreos, roughly chopped (or use TJ’s Chocolate Jo-Jo’s; regular Oreos may be substituted)
  • cup toffee bits
  • cup coarsely chopped peanuts, I used roasted lightly salted
  • cup coarsely chopped almonds, I used roasted lightly salted
  • sea salt for sprinkling, to taste

Instructions 

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper; set aside. Before beginning to melt the chocolate, have all the ingredients chopped, prepped, and ready to go so that they’re ready to be added while the chocolate is hot and melty. I use my Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor to grind the nuts in seconds rather than hand-chopping, but I hand-chop the cookies.
  • Coarsely chop the chocolate or break into chunks to encourage smooth melting.
  • Place chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high power to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to check and stir until mixture can be stirred smooth. Be careful not to scorch it; or use a double boiler.
  • Pour melted chocolate onto parchment and with a spatula or offset knife, smooth into a large rectangle, about 10×15-inches, and about 1/8-inch thick; just eyeball.
  • Evenly sprinkle with pretzels, Oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt to taste.
  • Allow chocolate to set up for at least 1 hour at room temp, or in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  • After chocolate has set, break into pieces or chop with a knife. Bark will keep airtight at room temp for many weeks and in the fridge or freezer for many months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 256mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 35g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.38 from 16 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! However ingredients don’t stick well. Next time will melt additional chocolate to drizzle over in hopes of toppings adherering better.

  2. I’m going to make this for gifts. Do you think I could add all the toppings into the melted chocolate and then spread it on the pan? Would that keep it from falling off the chocolate? Or would the topping get soggy nod it wouldn’t look as pretty?

    1. I would just make as written and try to push the toppings into the melted chocolate as well as you can or maybe not use quite as much and I think they’ll stick well enough.

  3. I used mostly semi sweet brick chocolate (about 14 oz) (couldn’t find dard chocolate) but was a little short so used about 1/2 to 2/3 c of semi sweet chocolate chips and 2 hrs. later my bark is still not hardened…would just that few chips do this :( I’m going to see if I can fit it in my freezer to see if it will harden…may have to eat with a spoon – hahaha

    1. I think the culprit here is that you added chocolate chips and they don’t always re-solidify after being melted, hard to say, things vary from brand, and exactly how much you added, etc. Hopefully the freezer works otherwise next time use 100% brick chocolate. That will guaranteed work.

    2. Freezing overnight worked! Set on counter the next morning and after they ‘thawed’ they were perfectly set and perfectly yummy! Thanks!