Speaking of time management...
I haven't been taking full advantage of my lunch breaks, mostly because I would like to go home and have a short amount of time with Chocolate Lover and not completely lose my mind in the evenings. Finding time to cook is a different challenge all together, but with the slew of holidays and birthdays and Wednesdays coming I'm sure I will find an excuse.
Anyway, my point was that I'm going to try to be responsible and start updating and photo editing when I'm not completely slammed on my lunch breaks. See? I'm not completely terrible at being an adult.
I am trying to really get a handle on my finances, so step one was obviously finding something to do with the rest of those pepitas from the butternut squash soup. Step two is putting lighting equipment on my Christmas list since one may have difficulty coming across decent natural light in Nashville this time of year.
This turned out really nicely as a birthday present; down to business.
Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Pepitas and Sea Salt
from this site that does really nice photography. Jealous.
3 (3.5 oz) bars good quality dark chocolate*
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8-1/4 tsp ground red chipotle**
1/2 cup + 2 Tbl roasted salted pepitas
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
*The original recipe called for 70% cacao or higher, but for the average consumer I wouldn't go any higher than that. Above 70% can be a little rough for the unprepared palate.
**Next time, I'm going to add closer to 1/4 tsp. I could barely taste any spice, and being a Texan I wanted it to be more like Abuelita with a kick.
To roast the pepitas, I scattered them on a parchment lined baking sheet and stuck them in the oven at 350 for about ten minutes. WATCH YOUR NUTS, PEOPLE! I always feel like I almost burn them :)
Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Break the chocolate into small pieces, and place 3/4 of it into a double boiler over medium heat- stir occasionaly. Remember with chocolate, always low and slow on the stove top. Once melted, add the rest of the chocolate and stir until everything is melted.
Stir in the spices and the roasted pepitas. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and sprinkle the extra 2Tbl pepitas over the top. Let it set for a few minutes... set in the southern sense and the culinary sense.
Sprinkle the sea salt over the top and stick 'er in the fridge for 45 minutes. Or, if you're short on time and you're brave enough to clean out your freezer in a mad dash, it should only take about 10 or 15 minutes.
Once the bark is solid, break it up with your hands and try not to lick your fingers clean afterward if you are in polite company. Give it away if you must, but I would recommend hoarding.