Only one thing has been on my mind since sampling Lake Champlain Chocolates during my trip to Vermont.
SPICY AZTEC CHOCOLATE.
Dark chocolate with a hint of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Gotta love that sweet and spicy combination. But the most pleasant surprise inside?
Then, while in the Louisville area a couple weekends ago with my parents, I spotted these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed & Sea Salt Bark Thins™ at Earth Fare.
Creating my own spicy, chocolatey, pumpkiny treat became high on my priority list at that point.
A merger of the Spicy Aztec Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark was born. I present to you….Spicy Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark.
This recipe is so stinkin’ easy. If you like to give food gifts to coworkers, friends, family, or are already thinking about Halloween party treats to make, keep this recipe on file. If you’re not feeling extra spicy, just cut the amount of cayenne pepper in half. I found raw pumpkin seeds at Trader Joe’s, but have also seen them at Whole Foods and in the natural foods section at Kroger. I just love the crunch they add!
Spicy Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark
2- 4 oz. 60% dark chocolate bars
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set up a double boiler, or use a glass bowl over a saucepan filled with water*. Break chocolate bars into pieces before melting. Let the water come to a simmer over low heat, then turn off the heat and add chocolate pieces. Allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally with a plastic spatula.
2. Remove the pan from the burner and add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well.
3. Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds to the melted chocolate.
4. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into an even layer. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds.
5. Place baking sheet in refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden, about 60 minutes.
6. Lift parchment paper away from baking sheet to cut through bark with large knife and break into pieces.
*Note: If you do not own a double boiler, use a glass bowl that can sit securely on top of a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water, but only to the point where the bottom of your glass bowl does not touch the water. Let the water come to a simmer over low heat, then turn off the heat and add chocolate pieces. Allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally with a plastic spatula.