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Spicy Chocolate Pecan Bark for Dark Chocolate Lovers

Do you love dark chocolate? Do you enjoy sweet/spicy flavors? Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan Bark is for you. Cayenne-spiced pecans are added to melted and tempered 85% chocolate, then spread thinly to make bark. 

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

Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan Bark --in serving dish

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 one can without being a total freak.

I’ve read that eventually one loses his taste for sweets. “How long does it take?” is what I’m asking.

So here I am with my latest “sweet substitute.” For a while, it was sugar-free, grain-free chocolate chip cookies. I’m off of those for now because I’ve found a replacement.

About Trader Joe’s 85% Chocolate Bar

85% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's

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

Reviews of this particular brand vary (here and here for starters), however, it’s cheap and suits this candy perfectly, IMHO. 

Ultimately, melting and spreading it thin makes it taste like pieces of chocolate that fall off of a Dairy Queen dipped cone. Sweet! (Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with Dip-Cone Icing has the same taste phenomena.)

Alternatively, I’ve tried sugar-free chocolate.  Not worth it in my opinion. Maybe I haven’t tried the right brand.

On the other hand, if 85% chocolate is too bitter for you, try 72%, or even bittersweet chocolate. 

Are you trying to eat Keto?

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  Bark
Cayenne-Spiced Pecans–so munch-able on their own.

Spicy Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark is a two-step process but still very easy. First, bake the spicy pecans. (Recipe below.) Dare ya’ not to nibble.

Second, after pecans have cooled, chop and add them to melted and tempered chocolate.  Finally, chill before breaking into pieces.

That’s it. No worries about sugar crystals, using a thermometer or stirring for hours.

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 combined
Mix just until combined.
Butter and pecans folded into spiced egg whites.
Fold pecans and butter into spicy egg white mixture.
Spread pecans out evenly on a foil-covered cookie sheet.
Spread pecans out evenly on a foil-covered cookie sheet.
Baked spicy pecans on cookie sheet
Bake at 300 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 strawberry or poppy seed dressing. In addition, I’m thinking these would be wonderful in brownies but haven’t tried that yet.

Making the Dark Chocolate Bark

Chopped chocolate ready to microwave
Chop 3/4 of the chocolate bar into large chunks and melt in a microwave-safe container
Finely chopped chocolate added to temper chocolate.
Finely chop remaining chocolate and stir into the previously melted chocolate until melted.
Melted chocolate with pecans spread on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet
Fold chopped spicy pecans into chocolate, then as thinly as possible on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill.
Broken Chocolate Pieces ready to eat

More Candy Recipes:

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    Yield: 9 ounces of chocolate bark

    Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan Bark

    Spicy Dark Chocolate-Pecan Bark

    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.

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg white
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (I substitute Swerve, see notes)
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 1/4 cups pecan halves
    • 2 packages of 3.5 ounce 85% chocolate (or your own personal favorite)


    Directions for the Spicy Pecans:

    1. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
    2. Combine egg white and salt in a small bowl and beat/whisk until foamy.
    3. Mix in sugar, Worcestershire, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
    4. Stir in cooled butter and pecans.
    5. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (I like non-stick foil) or a silicone baking sheet.
    6. Spread pecans over sheet in an even layer.
    7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

    Directions for the Dark Chocolate Bark:

    1. Melt 3/4 of chocolate in the microwave set on MEDIUM. I start with 1-1/2 minute, then stir. Thereafter, stir every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted.
    2. Chop remaining bar very finely. Add to melted chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted.
    3. Line a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) with wax paper. Spread chocolate out as thin as you possibly can. 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."


    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 degrees F and the time down to 20-30 minutes.

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    Monday 17th of December 2018

    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!


    Wednesday 19th of December 2018

    Another Trader Joe's chocolate junkie? Cool!