How to Make Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

With just a few ingredients, you can make a copycat of Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark in no time.

With rich dark chocolate, nuts, crispy pretzels, buttery toffee and sweet Oreos, Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark is a beloved (and sadly discontinued) treat. We’re not sure why it was dubbed “ruggedly adventuresome,” but it was definitely chock-full of salty sweet goodness and is still one of their most beloved and missed items.

Luckily, we have an easy recipe for this salty-sweet snack. Having everything chopped and ready to go so you can quickly top the melted chocolate is key. Let it set for less than 30 minutes, and then it’s bark time! Package up the bark for the ultimate food gift, freeze it for later or just nibble some when the craving strikes.

Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark


  • 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup miniature pretzels
  • 5 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons toffee bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Step 1: Melt the chocolate

Line a 15x10x1-in. pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a double boiler or metal bowl over hot water, warm the chocolate until about two-thirds of the chips are melted. Remove the bowl from heat and stir until smooth.

Step 2: Spread the chocolate and add the toppings

Pour the chocolate in the prepared pan and spread about 1/8-in. thick with an offset spatula or knife. It won’t go to the edge of the pan, and it’s OK if it’s not even around the edges. Evenly sprinkle with pretzels, Oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds and sea salt. If the bark gets hard before everything is added, pop it in the oven for a minute or so to soften.

Step 3: Let it set

Refrigerate the bark until firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. You can also freeze it for the same amount of time. If you don’t refrigerate it, it will harden at room temperature after 1 to 2 hours.

Step 4: Break the bark apart and serve or store

Copycat Trader Joe's Cowboy BarkTMB Studio

You can neatly cut the bark, or just break it up into pieces. Store the chocolate bark in an airtight container.

Tips for Making Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

Copycat Trader Joe's Cowboy BarkTMB Studio

Can I use other types of chocolate?

Yes, you can use any type of chocolate for bark. But because this recipe includes some rather sweet toppings, dark chocolate offers the best balance.

Can I melt the chocolate chips in a microwave?

Absolutely! Heat the chocolate chips on high power to melt about 2 to 3 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to stir. You want a smooth chocolate, so make sure to stop when just melted. You don’t want to scorch it.

How do you store the bark?

Like other holiday bark recipes, you can store the bark either in the fridge or at room temperature in an airtight container. It’ll last about two weeks at room temperature and about a month in the fridge. You can also freeze bark for up to six months.

Lesley Balla
As an associate editor at Taste of Home, Lesley helps track food and cooking trends, and writes and updates digital content. When not at her desk, you'll find her whipping up something with finds from the farmers market, discovering new restaurants, or hiking and roadtripping with her husband and pup Pucci.