Aztec Chocolate Bark

New world chocolate bark with semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, chili pepper, and toasted pumpkin seeds.


  • 1/2 cup of hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, plus a dash extra
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, plus a dash extra
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ancho chili powder, plus a dash extra
  • 12 oz. of bitter or semi-sweet chocolate


1 Place the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the pumpkin seeds for about 5 minutes, they'll pop and jump a bit as they release their oils and moisture. Allow to cool.

2 Melt the chocolate according to the manufacturer's directions. Once melted add the cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ancho chili powder, and most of the pumpkin seeds saving some to decorate the top with.

3 Spread onto a flat baking pan lined with a silpat or wax paper. Sprinkle over and press into the chocolate the last few pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on a dash more of the spices for color and taste. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container. Best consumed in one or two days.

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  • michelle

    What a delicious and easy recipe! I used chipotle chili powder instead of ancho. Loved this! We had it for our New Year’s Eve party tonight. :)

  • Mike

    Looks like a great recipe. I love the combination of sweet and spicy. I’ve been buying pepper (jalapeño, habanero, red) for years and love it with ice cream. Of course there are a lot of people who have a hard time crossing the mental hurdle that the two could go together so well.

  • Steve the Mexican

    Anchos in the UK??…. Look no further than the Mexican Food specialits :

    They’ve got loads of products that I love love love. The best range of authentic Mexican foods & chillies.

    Check them out folks! Saludos!!

  • Shana

    Great recipe, I was looking for a different type of chocolate bark recipe to make for holiday party gifts and I will have to test this one out! Thanks for the background on the mixing of spices and chocolate.

  • meliss

    Thank you Garret & Elise. This was such a quick and easy recipe, I will be making variations throuhgout the yesr. For the trial, I used Pepitas, roasted/salted pumpkin seeds, and it came out fabulous. I am a big fan of sweet and savory dishes.

    Side note, does anyone have a simple or not so simple recipe for just making chocolate? I know you need cocoa powder and nibs, coco-butter, powdered sugar and something else? Help me please, thanks, ~m

  • Rebecca

    I made this for my new year’s party ( People enjoyed it. It wasn’t as spicy as I expected — just the right amount of kick. Next time I’ll add extra pepitas though, I like how they breakup the chocolate texture and flavor.

  • Zoe

    I made this with both pistachios and almonds and gave the pistachio version to my husband in his stocking. He has been raving about it! I will be making this throughout the year using sugar-free chocolate (I used the stuff from Trader Joe’s) as a not-too-bad-for-you treat. Thanks!

  • Marcia

    This is crazy good! Made this along with some other candies/cookies/barks on trays for family for Christmas but this was, by far,the hit. Thanks!

  • Mia

    I made this last night and instead of the cayenne, I used some dried orange peel. I used the ancho chile powder though. I am taking it to a holiday party tonight.

  • Kevin

    I made this last night and the results were heavenly. I tried giving some to my godchildren, who are usually scared of chile, and they loved it. Of course, at first I didn’t tell them that it had chile in it! To get the ancho chile powder I bought whole dried ancho chiles and toasted them for about 12 minutes in a 325 degree oven. I then ground them in my spice/coffee grinder.

  • jen

    Recent houseguests brought us some spicy chocolate bark–stunningly addictively delicious. I think only the pistachios were covered in the spice mixture, however. Small explosions of spicy goodness per bite.

  • David Daniels

    Sounds tasty. I love chocolate and this is an interesting twist. Ancho chile powder can also be made by getting whole dried ancho chiles (Most grocery stores carry them) and grinding them in a spice or coffee grinder. Ancho chiles are dried jalapenos and are also good in moles. I’m going to have to try this.

  • Kate

    Cost Plus also carries pepitas, FYI.

  • jonathan

    Yum. I’m thinkin’ that using an El Rey or Ibarra (latin) brand chocolate would make this muy auténtico…