It might be a bit of an understatement to say that I like chocolate. In fact, I would even say that I have a love affair with chocolate. No, it would probably be more apt to say that chocolate and I are basically the same person. Which makes the idea of eating it a little strange if you look at it that way…but since when have I ever worried about sounding rational?
Anyway, I love chocolate and all the ways to eat it—in brownies, frozen desserts, cookies, and of course, the old fashioned way—by the handful. And sometimes that hand is full of bark. Chocolate bark. If you’ve never had bark, it is basically akin to a candy-bar that you can make at home super easily and you can put all sorts of ingredients in it, like nuts, fruits and spices. Chocolate almond bark is my personal favorite. You create a big sheet of molten chocolate and your add-ins, chill it and break it apart into big or little pieces. They’re great for just a big of snack…and are excellent for bagging up and giving away as gifts.
In honor of Halloween though, and the flaring up of my love for pumpkin seeds, I decided today to make chocolate pumpkin seed bark. This is one of those things where it’s really the method that you should pay attention to, and not so much the ingredients or quantities; you can make this pretty much however you like.
Chocolate Pepito Bark
12oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted (you can melt chocolate in the microwave, carefully, or in a heatproof glass bowl over a pot half-filled with simmering water)
5oz pepitos (pumpkin seeds)
1 tsp hot pepper–ancho, aleppo, cayenne or red pepper (totally optional, obviously–for more heat, add a bit more)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Fold pumpkin seeds and spices into the chocolate and mix thoroughly.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the sheet and spread out until you get a spread about a half inch thick. Chill until firm, about two hours, and then cut or break into chunks.
You can store the bark in an airtight container on the counter for a couple of days or in the fridge for a couple of weeks. And then nibble and enjoy!