Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

If you have not visited a Trader Joe’s grocery store, then you may not be familiar with their ‘Cowboy Bark’.

I have no idea why it’s named that, but I can tell you that it’s pretty darn awesome. It has that sweet and salty combo that I loooovveee. Luv. Lurve. Just imagine (or read on the above package) – dark chocolate, loaded with toffee, pretzels, chocolate sandwich cookies, peanuts, almonds and a little salt. Holla. (Anyone else watching Big Brother?!)
This is SO easy to make at home, and as you can see, the girls and I loaded our chocolate down with toppings. That’s the great thing about making this at home, you can be as generous with the toppings as you like. You can also substitute ingredients to whatever you like best or have on hand.
The only difference is that I used Oreo’s instead of Joe’s O’s and I used Heath Bar pieces instead of just plain toffee pieces, because, seriously…can you have too much chocolate?

Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

1 lb. dark chocolate (I used Chocoley Extra Dark Chocolate, it’s not bitter at all!)
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pretzel pieces
1/2 cup Heath toffee bits
1/2 cup chopped peanuts and almonds
sea salt, for sprinkling – too taste
*measurements are approximates – you may want more or less, and there was an awful lot of ‘sampling’ going on while my girls helped me make this!
  • Have your cookies, pretzels, toffee, and nuts chopped and ready for placement on the bark
  • Line a baking dish, plastic container or cookie sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap

*I used a plastic container that was a little too small and my bark came out a bit thicker than I wanted. I would recommend a cookie sheet, then you can spread it out to your desired thickness

  • Melt chocolate per instructions on bag/bar/etc.
  • Pour melted chocolate on parchment paper and spread to desired thickness.
  • While chocolate is hot, quickly add cookie and pretzel pieces. Then sprinkle on toffee, peanuts and a little sea salt.
  • Allow chocolate to set. (I placed mine in the fridge for a few minutes)
  • Break into pieces and enjoy your copycat creation!
Chocoley sent me a sampling of their products to try. No compensation was received for posting. 
 
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Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs {Recipe Repeat}

Even though Easter is coming later this year, it is still coming too fast for me! I think the weather is partly to blame for my lack of Easter prep…it hasn’t felt like Spring! But with the Easter Bunny arriving this weekend, I better get myself in gear. One thing that is a ‘must have’ around here, as far as Easter candy goes, are peanut butter eggs. Chocolate covered, peanut butter filled, shaped like eggs….yes, please.

Lucky for us, (lucky being a relative term here), I discovered how to easily whip these up at home with just a few ingredients, and no BUTTER. Don’t get me wrong, butter is awesome. However, I don’t want to eat it when it’s not necessary…you know, the whole ‘moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips’ thing. I’m not saying these peanut butter eggs are healthy, but there are no weird ingredients, no added butter, and they taste awesome.
 
The filling is only 3 ingredients and then it’s dipped in chocolate. In my experience, regular peanut butter works better than natural peanut butter, but natural peanut butter can be used if you chill the dough well (the filling get’s soft and hard to dip otherwise.) I also recommend doubling the posted recipe, because they are that good! HERE is the link to the original post. Enjoy!

Egg McMuffin Casserole

Where did my weekend go?!  My kids had school on Saturday to make up for one of the missed days due to the storm.  School. On Saturday!  It’s not even right.  It was only a half day, but it really screwed up my weekend.  I shouldn’t complain however, there are far worse things going on right now. For those of us who enjoy a super easy meal, I gotcha covered.  This Egg McMuffin Casserole is SO easy, and unlike other breakfast casseroles, it doesn’t have to sit for hours before baking…but it can!  We had this for dinner, but obviously, it would be good for breakfast too!

Egg “McMuffin” Casserole 

4 English muffins, split *I used Nature’s Own 100 calorie multi-grain
6 oz Canadian bacon
1 cup cheddar cheese *I used a blend of cheeses
4 eggs *I used half Egg Beaters & 2 Eggland’s Best eggs
1 1/4 cup skim milk
salt
pepper

  • Preheat over to 325 degrees F.
  • Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Cube English muffins and chop Canadian bacon.
  • Add half of the cubed English muffins in a single layer.
  • Top with half of the Canadian bacon and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
  • Layer the remaining English muffins and Canadian bacon and 1/2 cup more cheese.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole.
  • Wrap the baking dish with plastic wrap and place refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day.
  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes.
adapted from Plain Chicken
Verdict? This was good.  It tasted like the traditional breakfast casseroles I have made in the past, not really an Egg McMuffin from the golden arches, but that could be b/c I altered the recipe some and did not use American cheese, which is what is on a McMuffin.  I like the fact that it only has to sit for an hour, but can sit all day.  Of course, Mr. Three is allergic to eggs, so he had something different. But knowing him, he would not have eaten it anyway!  It also can be whipped up super fast, so if you wanted to put it together in the morning and leave it until dinner time, you could. (Or the night before, to have for breakfast.)  We had grits on the side, because grits are super awesome, and grapes. Easy peasy.