Malted Milk Brownie Bark is super crunchy and super chocolaty. Each munchable square of this brittle brownie treat is like the crunchy corners that everyone fights over on a pan of brownies! No arguing needed with Malted Milk Brown Bark. This recipe makes plenty of crunch for everyone to enjoy. Make an extra batch to share in care packages and holiday gifts!
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I bet “Chocolate!” was the first thing you thought of when you saw the title or the photos for Malted Milk Brown Bark. You are correct. These pop-in-your-mouth squares have intense chocolate brownie flavor enhanced with the warm taste of malted milk.
Chocolate is a tricky ingredient. Most Monday Box recipes for chocolate candy, cookies, or cakes are reserved for cold weather months. Chocolate melts in care packages during warm weather. As soon as the temperature drops, chocolate baking season begins! Malted Milk Brownie Bark, made with cocoa, chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles, is my Chocolate Season opener!
Chocolate is also a tricky because unethical sourcing of cocoa is a huge human rights issue. Did you know that 70% of the world’s cocoa is harvested using human trafficking, child slavery, and abusive labor practices? I wrote a post giving more details if you would like to learn more and there are links at the bottom of this post which I urge you to read. Chocolate companies have accepted these horrific human rights violations in order to keep the prices of chocolate lower.
I have been on a personal mission to find ethically sourced cocoa and chocolate ingredients for the past two years. And guess what?! Finding cost effective, incredibly delicious, substitutes for the mainstream brands (Hershey’s, Nestle’s, etc.) has been EASY. This is what I found out.
How do I know if the ingredients in chocolate has been ethically sourced?
- Chocolate labels may list the country of origin of the cocoa. Cocoa from outside of West Africa is almost always ethically grown and harvested.
- Organic chocolate is generally ethically sourced.
- Smaller “bean to bar” chocolate companies and shops, choose their sources for both ethical and culinary reasons.
- Chocolate labels may have the symbol of organizations that oversee ethical sourcing. Look for any of these symbols.
Where can I buy ethically sourced chocolate for baking?
- Buying ingredients that are ethically sourced doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
- Aldi’s grocery chain has a large selection of inexpensive chocolate bars with the UTZ symbol by the brand Moser Roth and peanut butter cups by the brand Choceur with the Fair Trade Certified symbol. Aldi’s also stocks beautiful seasonal chocolates like foil wrapped Santas for Christmas, foil wrapped coins for Chanukkah, Easter eggs, and Valentine hearts all with the UTZ symbol.
- Whole Foods supermarket brand, 365, is all fairly traded and ethically sourced. The excellent 365 brand chocolate chips are comparable in price to mainstream brands. The chips are available in semisweet jumbo, regular, and mini. White chocolate chips are also available in regular and mini.
- There are several brands that make ethically sourced cocoa powder. Whole Foods carries 365 brand cocoa powder (my favorite for its dark, rich color and flavor) and Equal Exchange. Dagoba cocoa powder is available in many supermarkets. Dagoba is the ethically sourced division of Hershey’s.
- Many popular recipes use whole or crushed Oreos. Unfortunately, Nabisco does not trace the sources of the cocoa it uses. Newman’s Own brand (with ethical sourcing on all of its products) is available at most supermarket and produces Newman O’s, which are an ideal substitute.
What ethically sourced cocoa products are used to make Malted Milk Brownie Bark?
- 365 brand cocoa powder
- Horlicks malt powder or European Ovaltine (UTZ) from an international supermarket or online.
- 365 brand semi sweet mini chocolate chips
- De Ruijter milk chocolate sprinkles (UTZ) Did you know that the Dutch eat chocolate sprinkles on their breakfast toast?! In the Netherlands, De Ruijter sprinkles are on every supermarket shelf! In the United States, you can find them at World Market, international supermarkets, and online.
Where can I learn more?
Malted Milk Brownie Bark is more than a little addicting and everyone will want some. This bark is a major success in college care packages. A bowl of these bite-sized treats is sure to satisfy the late night study session munchies. Malted Milk Brownie Bark also makes great holiday gifts. Stacked in cellophane bags and tied with festive ribbons.
Malted Milk Brownie Bark
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder alkalized, Dutch process
- 2 tablespoons malted milk powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 large egg whites
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- 4-5 tablespoons sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa, malt powder, and espresso powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Mix in the sugar, oil, and vanilla.
- Whisk in the powdered milk, then add flour mixture and mix until combined. (The batter will resemble cake batter in consistency.)
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread, as thin as possible, into a rectangle approximately 10.5” x 12.5”.
- Distribute sprinkles over batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a pizza wheel to cut the brownie crunch into squares. Do NOT separate.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before separating cookie pieces. The Brownie Crunch crisps as it is cooling. If for any reason the cookies aren’t completely crisp once cool, return them to the oven for a few minutes of extra crisping time.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 weeks.
- For dark chocolate color, use Dutch process (alkalized) cocoa. Regular cocoa will work but the color will be lighter and the chocolate flavor not as rich.
- Spread the batter as thin as possible, yet still solid without holes, approximately 10 ½ by 12 ½ inches.
- Double wrap short stacks of 4 or 5 pieces of Brownie Crunch in plastic wrap before placing in airtight containers.
- Make sure to pack without wiggle room using tissue paper if necessary.
- Plastic storage containers offer more protection than ziplock bags against breakage.