Chili Chocolate Bark

I know this is a little late for Easter candy but homemade chocolate desserts really never go out of season, do they?  Not in our house!  I definitely have a sweet tooth and try to have at least one homemade dessert available in our house at all times.  I love the idea of chocolate bark because it can be broken into bite size pieces and you can add lots of yummy – and even healthy – extra ingredients and the result can be a little different each time.  I also like that you can store it in the fridge or freezer which helps to keep it from disappearing as fast as it might if we kept it out on the kitchen counter.  So I’ve tried lots of variations on this recipe but I think this is my favorite basic version to which you can add any sort of dried fruit and nuts or seeds that you have on hand.  [My second favorite is probably chocolate bark without the spices (chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne) and with raisins and sunflower seeds added at the end.  The possibilities are endless!]  Any way that you make it, this recipe is super fast and easy.  Everyone in our family is digging it so I hope you will, too!

 

Chili Chocolate Bark
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Ingredients
  1. (all ORGANIC, if possible)
  2. 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  3. 1 ½ Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  5. 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  6. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Optional
  1. 1 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, goji berries, raisins, apricots)
  2. 1 cup toasted and chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a double boiler (I used a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water) and heat and stir until melted and smooth. If desired, stir in nuts or dried fruit at this point. (I added chopped dried cherries and toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into a 9x13” baking pan lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. (At this point, I also sprinkled some Himalayan pink sea salt on top as well as a few extra toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  3. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in fridge/freezer in airtight container. Enjoy! 🙂
Notes
  1. [A note about the spiciness of the recipe: I used only 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper because the kids and I prefer a mild version of spiciness – just enough to know it’s there – but you can add up to twice as much if you prefer your spice level closer to hot or extra hot. Or you can leave it out altogether if you don’t like the spiciness…of course, it would no longer be “chili chocolate” but it would still be yummy!]
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