Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe’s Copycat Recipe

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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.


Yield: about 36 ounces

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: about 30 minutes, for setting up



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)
1/3 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (I used roasted lightly salted)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds (I used roasted lightly salted)
sea salt for sprinkling, to taste



  1. 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.
  2. Coarsely chop the chocolate or break into chunks to encourage smooth melting.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment and with a spatula or offset knife, smooth into a large rectangle, about 10x15-inches, and about 1/8-inch thick; just eyeball.
  5. Evenly sprinkle with pretzels, Oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt to taste.
  6. Allow chocolate to set up for at least 1 hour at room temp, or in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  7. 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.