Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Bark Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on January 25, 2008

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Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Bark Recipe

When Jaden from Steamy Kitchen sent me these really cool spices, true cinnamon and ancho chili powder, with the challenge to use them in a recipe, my mind automatically went to chocolate. I instantly thought of how I could kick up my Flourless Chocolate Cake and give it a Mexican flair. But as the spices come in really cool 1 teaspoon packets, I thought it only fair to figure out how to use no more than the 1 teaspoon of each spice in a recipe. Hmmm, chocolate, cinnamon, ancho chili. What to do? Make a Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Bark Recipe of course!

This bark is a snap to make. It starts with the luscious sweetness of chocolate, then comes the salty crunch of the pistachios and pumpkin seeds and then the heat of the chili kicks in. It’s chocolate with a major attitude!

Thanks Jaden, for inspiring me to come up with what is very likely to become a new addiction for me!

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Bark Recipe


½ cup shelled, salted pistachios
¼ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground instant espresso or coffee crystals
¾ teaspoon cinnamon plus a few pinches extra
¾ teaspoon ancho chili powder plus a few pinches extra
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt


Prepare a flat baking sheet with a Silpat or a sheet of waxed paper.

Toast the pistachios in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until starting to brown, about 1 minute. Place on a small plate to cool. In the same skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds until they start to pop and turn brown. About 1 minute. Add to the pistachios to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (if you are lazy like me). If using a microwave, stir every 30 seconds until melted and smooth, for about 2 minutes.

Set aside one big handful of the nut and seed mixture and add the rest to the melted chocolate along with the vanilla, espresso crystals, spices and salt. Stir to combine.

Spread the chocolate mixture on the prepared pan and even it out. Sprinkle reserved nuts and seeds on the top and press them in slightly. Mix together a few pinches of cinnamon and ancho chili powder and sprinkle on top of the whole thing.

Cool in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes (or 5 minutes in the freezer if you are in a hurry!)

Break into pieces and enjoy!


This Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Bark Recipe serves 9

Mexican Chocolate Bark – Gluten Free Recipes

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

SteamyKitchen January 26, 2008 at 11:10 am

ooooooh….I want some! Love the combo of spices and nuts.


Naomi Devlin January 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Yum! Can’t write because I am overwhelmed with salty, spicy, chocolate bark lust….

Have you discovered urfa biber chili flakes? they are a smoky, salty, mild turkish chili that I go through phases of sprinkling over everything. Now I want to sprinkle them on some chocolate. Damn!

Do you use couverture chocolate drops? I find that if I don’t temper standard munching chocolate it won’t set properly again – obviously not a problem with couverture.

x x x


Simply...Gluten-free February 2, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Naomi, I am not sure what couverture chocolate drops are. I use a high quality chocolate chip like Ghirardelli and I just melt in the microwave (cuz I’m lazy) and have no problems. I’ll have to Google couverture chocolate drops and see what I’m missing.


Naomi Devlin February 4, 2008 at 5:36 am

Carol, I think couverture is tempered so that it sets again once melted – regular chocolate tends to go a little soft and not set with a snap once cooled – hence having to keep it in the fridge.

For Urfa Biber flakes, have a look at this site (probably have to copy and paste the link)

If you are going to become adicted to something, I’d say these are a safe bet. I don’t think they lead to other harder kicks – like birds eye chili addiction, or harrisa fetish. Never heard of chili anonymous anyway…..

x x x


Vittoria May 15, 2008 at 11:08 am

I was just reading your older posts. This looks great. Similar to what I gave as holiday gifts: dark chocolate with cinnamon, cayenne, walnuts and dried cherries and white chocolate with pecans and maple. When I have an excuse to make them again, I’ll post them to my blog. Cheers


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