Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spiced Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Seed Bark with Sea Salt

Spiced Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Seed Bark with Sea Salt // The Parsley Thief
I'm dubbing this treat Halloween Candy for Grown-ups. It's my kind of candy - a perfect combination of just enough sweetness, crunch, saltiness, and a touch of spice. While the super dark varieties of chocolate aren't really my thing, I love bittersweet chocolate. Not only for it's purported health benefits, but for {as the name suggests} - it's slightly bitter, not too sweet taste. I know I'm probably not the only one who can get a bit overwhelmed with the sickeningly sweet candy overload that comes with Halloween. This treat is perfect for folks like us and it's a fun candy to whip up for a teacher goodie bag, a hostess gift, or to serve if you're entertaining during the upcoming weeks.
When I say you can whip this up, it's true. This recipe really couldn't be easier. Not only is it easy and quick to make, but it's very adaptable as well. If you're not a fan of bittersweet chocolate, use semi-sweet, or a combination of both. Add dried fruit, like cranberries, cherries, or apricots.
Mix & Pour
Pumpkin seeds are appropriate for this time of year, but pistachios, almonds, peanuts, or cashews would be great too. To add some depth and spice to the flavor of the chocolate, I've added some pumpkin pie spices and ground red chipotle. The flavors are evocative of Autumn and the chipotle adds a subtle heat, which you can certainly adjust to your taste. You can purchase pumpkin pie spice at your local market, but I've also included a quick recipe with instructions on how to make your own at home below.
Spiced Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Seed Bark with Sea Salt // The Parsley Thief
I hope you love this delicious "candy" as much as I do...just beware, it's highly addictive! Enjoy!
Some other sweet treats perfect for gift giving - Rum Balls | Coconut Brigadeiros | Saltine Toffee | Chewy Caramel Popcorn Pretzel Bars

Spiced Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Seed Bark with Sea Salt

{printable recipe}
Yields: about 12 ounces
If you don't have a double boiler, a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water will work just as well. The chocolate can also be microwaved at 30 second intervals, checking and stirring after each, until completely melted. Experiment with the ingredients and quantities to suit your taste...such as adding dried fruits, assorted roasted nuts, or using a combination or semi-sweet and dark chocolate. The spices give the chocolate a subtle heat, but not too spicy! If you'd like it on the spicier side, add a bit more ground chipotle. Pumpkin pie spice can be found in most supermarkets, but if you're unable to find some, I've included a recipe to make your own at home below.

3 - 3 1/2 ounce bars good quality dark chocolate {70% cacao or higher}
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice {recipe below}
1/8 teaspoon ground red chipotle
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons roasted & salted hulled pumpkin seeds {pepitas}
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Melt 3/4 of the chocolate in a double boiler set over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until melted. Add the dried spices and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in a 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds.

Using a silicone spatula, scrape the mixture out onto the parchment paper. Spread out evenly into a rectangle, as thin or as thick as you desire. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds over the top. Let the bark rest for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the top. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until firm. Break the bark into pieces and enjoy!
Make ahead: The bark can be made at least a week in advance and stored in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated, or store in a cool spot.

Pumpkin Pie Spice {Yields: 2 teaspoons} - In a small container, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. Stir to combine. Save the remaining spice blend for another use by storing in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

OH heavens! This looks AHHHHHMAZING!!

Joanne said...

I've become super addicted to spiced chocolate and so this is truly the bark for me!

Kelli said...

Oh my! This looks sooo good! Just may have to rethink the sweets I'm taking to a party this weekend. Thanks for sharing! :)

Rebecca said...

It looks beautiful! (and I'm sure it is delicious too!!)

Cookie and Kate said...

I am totally and completely in love with this recipe. I've got to try it right away!

Bree said...

I am printing this out right now--I am making this with my kids this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

Janelle Kibbe said...

Definitely making this recipe this weekend. Looks delish!

Anonymous said...

Everything that I love all wrapped into some bark! Love it!

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

The little spicy addition makes this extra special!

henni said...

What a great idea!!! Halloween is all about the kids...and we always forget about ourselves. Not this year! Great recipe, cannot wait to try this out!

Kathleen Richardson said...

I'm already thinking apricots and almonds. Bittersweet it is! Love the photos.

Georgie said...

I'm so grateful I stumbled upon you, I heart the site, the recipes, and the creative streak your share here. This recipe is pure goodness, I think it's up there like hot oil pie from the Colony.

Katelyn- Domestic Charm said...

Wow this looks amazing! I am a new follower and will be featuring this recipe on my blog. Thanks for sharing :)

katie said...

Thanks Katelyn for featuring my post!

And - a big thanks for all the kind comments :) This recipe was one of those creative moments I sometimes have in the kitchen...where I just go nuts experimenting [hmmm...maybe I should add a bit of this, or a touch of that?]
It happened to work out smashingly this time!

Glad you're all liking the post and I hope you all give it a whirl...but, be warned this stuff is addictive!

Anonymous said...

Just gorgeous!

Maris said...

Perfect Halloween candy for grown-ups!

Brenna Schwert said...

Just made this. It's the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Seriously. I can die happy.

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