These No-bake Chocolate Pepita Crunch Bars are a candy and a brownie all in one. There is no baking, so they’re perfect in the summer or a great holiday treat to go along with all the cookies you’ll be trading at your cookie swaps.
I created this recipe for the wedding of a chef, Jorge Guzman, who wanted a Mexican-inspired dessert plate to be served to his guests, in addition to a cake. I kind of fell in love with them and when Bake From Scratch invited me to create some cookies for their Holiday Cookie Issue, I knew instantly that this would be in the mix.
The crunch comes from both the toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and feuilletine flakes (which are paper thin cookies that are broken up into what can best be described as dessert-cereal). The pepitas and feuilletine flakes are folded into a chocolate and hazelnut mixture, set firm, covered with ganache and then decorated with more pepitas and edible gold leaf. The result is a sophisticated chocolate bar that is regal enough for a wedding, a holiday party or just a midnight snack.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the Pinon Mexican Wedding Cookies, Chestnut and Honey Madeleines, Caramelized White Chocolate Sables with Sea Salt and and Hazelnut Spice Speculaas I developed for this Special Holiday Cookie Issue.
- 12 oz (340g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 12 oz (340g) chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 cups (180g) Feuilletine Flakes
- 2 cups (240g) toasted pepita seeds
- 4 oz (113g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 oz (113g) heavy cream
- Edible Gold Leaf Sheets for decorating
- Sea Salt for sprinkling top
- Prepare a 9 x 9 Inch Cake Pan Square with butter and line with parchment that comes up the sides
- In a large bowl over a double boiler melt the chocolate. Stir in the hazelnut spread, until well combined. Remove from heat and add the feuilletine and 1½ cups (180g) of the pepitas to the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Press the top flat with a piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, about an hour or overnight.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Swirl the pan so the chocolate is submerged. Allow to sit for 3 minutes and then gently whisk until the chocolate is smooth. Cool to nearly room temperature, but still pourable.
- Run a fork over the surface of the set feuilettine mixture, so the ganache will stick to the surface. Pour the ganache over the surface and spread evenly. Bang the pan a few times to smooth out the surface. Sprinkle the remaining pepitas over the ganache and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt. Refrigerate to set, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the cake pan by running a hot knife around the edge of the pan. Use a hot knife to cut into pieces, then decorate with gold leaf.
Here are some more of the cookies I made for the article: