This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MMSFlavorVote #Walmart #CollectiveBias.
Okay so let’s dish and by dish I mean the candy dish. What’s in yours? I grew up in a household that at least one candy dish had MARS M&M’s® in it. This is something we fought over all the time. So now fast forward some X number of years to present day (yeah… it’s a lot of years; no like A LOT. Like crypt-keeper a lot… LOL well okay not really). What’s in my candy dish? MARS M&M’s® The amazing folks at MARS M&M’s® reached out again to discuss their awesome Flavor Campaign. In this campaign they have 3 flavors that you get to help select! Well part of what they challenged me to do was show how any one of these amazing flavors M&M’s® Chili Nut, M&M’s® Honey Nut or M&M’s® Coffee Nut would rock your socks off either in a recipe or a tutorial. I mean how could I not do both?! EVERYONE loves M&M’s® so why not make some and share it with those I love?! So that’s exactly what I did in my Sweet & Sassy M&M’s® Chili Nut Chocolate Blueberry Bark! Not only are you getting seriously one of the BEST bark recipes I think I’ve made but also you are able to create your own Sweet & Sassy gift jars with downloadable printable gift tags to decorate with! I mean we all have those Sweet & Sassy moments!
Now what’s awesome is that many Walmarts are having in store demos featuring these 3 proposed flavors.
What was also even more awesomer (go with it) was during the demo events folks could try all three varieties: M&M’s® Chili Nuts, M&M’s® Honey Nuts, M&M’s® Coffee Nut. Now in my local Walmart my displays were right in front when you walked in the Market entrance. In other stores it’s right by cashier ‘row’ – meaning in front of the store when you decide which cashier aisle you want to check out in.
Now after you’ve sampled these awesome flavors M&M’s® is giving YOU a voice – you get to vote on the next flavor. Simply go to the M&M’s® Flavor Vote page on Facebook and cast your vote for your favorite flavor marking it also with hashtag #MMSFlavorVote. It’s super easy and c’mon, it’s delicious! But here, let me give you the delicious details more about this:
♥ Throughout the voting period of March 1 to June 17, you can purchase and taste each of the new flavors for yourself, and then cast your vote, once a day until June 17
♥ Once you cast your vote for your favorite new M&M’s® Peanut flavor, you are entered for the chance to win $100,000 and earn the title of the official M&M’s® Taste Tester. The winner will be announced in August, along with the winner of the ‘Flavor Vote,’ which will remain on retailer shelves nationwide
♥ Also you need to make sure when you vote for your favorite flavor you mark it with hashtag #MMSFlavorVote across all of your social media accounts
So now, let me get to the first awesome part of this post (I’m still undecided which I love more – the actual bark or the making the gift jar full of this bark). Wait does it count if I make these gift jars but then give them to myself? LOL Okay okay okay… Now this bark could not be any easier. I mean we’re talking melted chocolate (did I mention 2 different types of chocolate???), dried blueberries – no you cannot use freeze dried and those awesome M&M’s® Chili Nut candies. Literally that’s it. The hardest part was waiting for it to harden and then not eat every single piece when you slice it!
When it comes to bark I actually have a trick to cutting it. When I first started making it I’d tried to cut it and it would shatter into a bajillion delicious pieces. Sure it’s awesome but it’s not picture worthy. What I actually do is about 15-20 minutes into it setting I score it with the tip of my knife. Now it needs to be firm that when you score it with the knife it leaves the squares/lines but it’s too soft to actually cut it into real slices. Then once it’s fully hardened, you have your pre-cut portions. Just use the knife, cut there and it 99.9% of the time it cuts clean into chunks. Easy, huh?
Let’s talk about this bark…
No, let me talk specifically about those M&M’s® Chili Nut candies. These things are adorable and well, look like M&M’s® naturally. So if you’re like me you never eat them one at a time; typically you pop a couple into your mouth at the same time. But since I knew they were chili flavored I played it smart and put one into my mouth. The first few bites/chews I was like “Awesome! Same great M&M’s® taste!” so I popped a few more in my mouth and then the chili heat hit me. No they aren’t flaming hot but rather they have a heat to them that, when blended with the peanut and chocolate candy makes one amazing combination! I seriously am LOVING this flavor! Go team M&M’s® Chili Nut!
Now I could have easily stopped there with the recipe and this blog post but I love my friends and work with some amazing folks. I needed these people to try this recipe as one – I wanted their opinion and two – I would have eaten the entire pan myself if it stayed in my house! So that leads me to my tutorial on how to make your own Sweet & Sassy Moments gift jars!
So okay if you’re like me I’m all for giving edible gifts. I’m a foodie at heart so if you’re in my world there’s a really good chance that you are too. Now sure you may not be the one that loves to cook but you’re more the lover of eating. I’m a lover of both. Good thing for you guys, huh? *wink*
You’ll need the following items:
4-6 glass mason jars with lids (I went with pint jars)
bright colored plain gift tags
ribbon to tie the gift tags
a batch of this Sweet & Sassy M&M’s® Chili Nut Chocolate Blueberry Bark
a bag of M&M’s® Chili Nut
and the below printable (right click on the image to save to your desk top)
- Once the bark is made and cut into small squares, cut out the printable gift tags and glue them to your brightly colored plain tags.
- Cut the ribbon into strips that are twice the size of the opening of the jar – this way you can make a pretty bow!
- Fill the jars with bark and additional candies.
- Place the lid on, add the gift tag and share with your family and friends.
- Yes, you need to share at least one with them *wink*
I seriously loved making this recipe and these jars. Now what I love about working with foodies is that they make the best taste testers! I’ve been fortunate in my TKW career that I have some of the most candid tell-it-like-it-is friends that will be completely honest with me on recipes creations. It’s one of the best ways I can learn from my mistakes and grow as a home chef. Plus it’s a pride thing for me knowing that I, when it’s awesome, create something truly delicious and they rave over it.
So into work I went with a tray of these and bated breath. You see chili and chocolate isn’t a ‘traditional’ flavor combination. Yes it’s in many ethnic dishes (hello.. Mole ROCKS!) but most folks I know haven’t dabbled with it. I, for one, LOVE it. I love that sweet ‘n heat combination. To me it makes perfect sense – kind of like peanut butter and jelly but then I’m a bit more adventurous. I drafted up the email to my foodies, sent it out and pretty much said “Bark at my desk! No I don’t have a puppy with me. I created a killer new chocolate bark recipe featuring M&M’s® Chili Nut candies, 2 types of melted chocolate and dried blueberries. It’s sweet & sassy… like me! Be adventurous and come try some!”
And as soon as I hit send they started to head over, one by one until I had a bunch of folks at my desk asking “Chili and Chocolate? For real? It’s it hot? It is real spicy? Will I like it?” I just chuckled and said “Try it, I would not steer you wrong. It’s not hot but it has some backend heat but in a good way. It balances out the sweetness of the chocolate and blueberry. I have a feeling you will love it.”
Then the one guy said “Hey if Lori made it then it has to be something spectacular. EVERYTHING she makes is epic! Suck it up people and try it!” He then grabbed one, inspected it to see what it all looked like then took a bite. Now what’s cute is everyone watched him first. They wanted to gauge his reaction. By second chew he was giving me the thumbs up and then by maybe the 4th or 5th chew his eyes lit up as the chili spice hit him then he got the biggest chocolate toothed smile. LOL He swallowed it, grabbed the entire container and said “Forget you people this is all mine! OMG Lor I NEED this recipe! This is INSANE! How do you come up with these things? WOW!” and then stuck another piece in his mouth.
By then folks were trying to get some of which he literally was smacking their hands away, hissing and telling them he would kung-fu them if they took some. Then he, HE, rationed out the portions. I about died from laughing. All day long folks, that are not my taste testers dropped by to ‘say hi’ and then ‘Oh! You have goodies? Can I have one?’ – word spread that ‘Lori brought in goodies’. Needless to say that container didn’t last long and I promised to bring in more.
So with Mother’s day this Sunday why not make your Mom and Mother in law some of these jars because even Mom’s have Sweet & Sassy Moments!Print
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup M&M’s® Chili Nut
- 1 cup dried blueberries (not freeze dried)
- In a bowl, combine both types of chocolate chips and place either over a double boiler or in the microwave to melt.
- While the chocolate is melting line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper leaving a 1” overhang. Using an 8×8” pan will give you a thicker bark. If you want a thinner bark use a quarter sheet pan.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the dried blueberries to the chocolate and combine.
- Pour the mixture into prepared pan and gently shake to evenly disperse though do not get air bubbles in it.
- Allow to set for 15-20 minutes then, while the chocolate is still melted but starting to set slightly add the M&M’s® Chili Nut candies carefully placing each one it and slightly pressing down into the chocolate. Do not submerge it (not a big deal if you do but you won’t ‘see’ the candies on top).
- Place in the fridge for an hour to quick set though watch as chilled chocolate tends to get a white-ish hue or allow it to set out until fully set – 2-3 hours depending on the temp in your kitchen.
- Once hardened, break up or cut into squares. Store in an air tight container.