Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark Recipe: What’s Tempting Me Lately

Sneak Preview: Save this simple recipe for Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark with spicy nuts. The spicy nuts are delicious all by themselves for snacking and salads. Use your favorite dark chocolate for maximum pleasure.

Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan Bark --in serving dishPin

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Raise your hand if you have a wicked sweet tooth. Mine is up, too. For over two years, I’ve been trying to cut sugar from my diet–as much as I can without being a total freak.

Just kidding…I love dark chocolate. At least, it’s a little less sugar than the the semi-sweet chocolate chips that I adore.

Keep reading to learn how to make this dark chocolate treat for the holidays, gift-giving, or to eat all by yourself (that’s me).

Three Reasons Why You Won’t Regret Trying This Recipe

  1. No cooking on the stove or double boiler
  2. No worries about sugar crystals
  3. No fussing with a thermometer or constant stirring

Four Easy Steps to a Valentine’s Day

  1. Make and bake the spicy pecans. Dare ya’ not to nibble.
  2. Melt and temper the chocolate.
  3. After the pecans cool, chop and add them to the chocolate.
  4. Chill before breaking into pieces.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • BUTTER: Use unsalted butter. If you substitute salted butter, leave out the salt below.
  • EGG WHITE: I use the whites of a large-sized egg.
  • SALT: Use a table or sea salt, your choice.
  • SUGAR: The recipe specifies granulated sugar, but brown sugar is an alternative.
  • WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE: This condiment adds umami. Substitute with ½ tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos).
  • CAYENNE PEPPER: This provides heat and spice for the nuts. Adjust to your spice preference.
  • HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA: Adds color and mild spice. Plain paprika works, too.
  • PECAN HALVES: While I haven’t experimented with other nuts, feel free to try walnuts or almonds.
  • CHOCOLATE: Read on for insights about my favorite chocolate choice.

About My Favorite: Trader Joe’s 85% Chocolate Bar

85% dark chocolate from Trader Joe'sPin

I make Spicy Chocolate Bark with The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar from Trader Joe’s. It’s 85% chocolate. Yes, it contains a little sugar, but every heart needs some chocolate, right?

Reviews of this brand vary (read here and here, for starters). However, it’s budget-friendly and suits this candy perfectly, in my opinion

Melting and spreading it thin creates a flavor akin to chocolate pieces falling off a Dairy Queen-dipped cone—sweet! (Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with Dip-Cone Icing has the same taste phenomena.)

I’ve also tried sugar-free chocolate, but I don’t find it worth the calorie savings. Perhaps I haven’t found the right brand. If 85% chocolate is too bitter for you, try 72% or even bittersweet chocolate. 

Are You Trying To Follow a Keto Diet?

Use Swerve or a similar sugar substitute when making the pecans. Using Swerve will cause the pecans to brown more quickly. Keep your eye on them when baking, and stir more frequently.


Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan BarkPin
Cayenne-Spiced Pecans–munch-able on their own.

How To Make Spicy Pecans

Whipped Egg Whites
Whip the egg whites until frothy.
Spices added to whipped egg whites
Add remaining ingredients except for pecans.
Spices and egg whites combinedPin
Mix just until combined.
Butter and pecans folded into spiced egg whites.Pin
Add the pecans.
Spread pecans out evenly on a foil-covered cookie sheet.Pin
Spread pecans out evenly on a foil-covered cookie sheet.
Baked spicy pecans on cookie sheetPin
Bake in the oven at 300˚F (150˚C) for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

📌Kitchen Secret📌  These cayenne-spiced pecans have multiple uses. For example, try them coarsely chopped and added to a chicken salad for an interesting layer of flavor and crunch. Or sprinkle them over any green salad, especially delicious with a creamy strawberry dressing. In addition, I think these would be wonderful in brownies, but I haven’t tried it yet.


Making the Chocolate Pecan Bark

Chopped chocolate ready to microwavePin
Chop 3/4 of the chocolate bar into large chunks and melt in a microwave-safe bowl.
Finely chopped chocolate added to temper chocolate.Pin
Finely chop the remaining chocolate and stir into the previously melted chocolate until melted.
Melted chocolate with pecans spread on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheetPin
Fold chopped spicy pecans into chocolate, then pour in a thin, single layer onto a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Chill.
Broken Chocolate PiecesPin
Break up the cooled chocolate into bite-size pieces.

FAQs About Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark

How should I store this candy?

Keep it cool. Refrigerate or freeze.

If I don’t have Hungarian paprika, can I leave it out?

It won’t be quite the same, but if you leave out the paprika, increase the cayenne pepper by ¼ teaspoon. Plain paprika can also be used.


Parting Thoughts: Cooking candy isn’t my favorite kitchen activity, so I stick with simple recipes like this. It’s practically foolproof, and you’ll love the results.

More Simple Candy Recipes

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

dark chocolate pieces with spicy pecans in a dish.Pin
Yield: 16

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark Recipe with Spicy Nuts

Tempered dark chocolate is studded with spicy pecans for a memorable sweet and spicy flavor delight. It’s a great way to meet your chocolate requirement.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large (30 g) egg white
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ¼ cups (290 g) pecan halves
  • 7 ounces (198 g) bittersweet or dark chocolate

Instructions

Directions for the Spicy Pecans:

  • Melt 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter and set aside to cool.
  • Combine 1 large (30 g) egg white and 3/4 teaspoon (¾ teaspoon) salt in a small bowl and beat/whisk until foamy.
  • Mix in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika, and 3/4 teaspoon (¾ teaspoon) cayenne pepper.
  • Stir in cooled butter and 2 1/4 cups (290 g) pecan halves.
  • Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (I like non-stick foil) or a silicone baking sheet.
  • Spread pecans over sheet in an even layer.
  • Bake at 325˚F (165˚C) for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Directions for the Chocolate Bark:

  • Melt 3/4 of 7 ounces (198 g) bittersweet or dark chocolate in the microwave set on MEDIUM. I start with 1-1/2 minutes, then stir. Thereafter, stir every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted.
  • Chop the remaining bar very finely. Add to melted chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted.
  • Line a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) with wax paper. Spread chocolate out as thin as possible. Chill. When hard, break into bite-size pieces, but not too big. Store in the fridge or freezer. This candy definitely “melts in your hands.”

Notes

If your favorite chocolate bars are a little bigger than 3.5 ounces, no worries. Just add a few more pecans.
If you are not familiar with Swerve, it is a sugar substitute made with erythritol. If you decide to use it, watch the pecans carefully while baking as they tend to brown quicker than when using regular sugar. I reduce the temperature to 300˚F and the time back to 20-30 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. This sounds so good. Just so happened that I bought a box of that chocolate my last trip to Trader Joe’s and I still have one bar left. I’m going to give this a try for the holidays!! Thx Paula!

    1. Another Trader Joe’s chocolate junkie? Cool!