Cayenne Nut Squares

We really loved these spicy treats: they are simple to make and packed with flavor. Somehow the addition of chili in sweet things makes them more satisfying, and a smaller bite is needed to satisfy my sweet tooth – the advantage being that one batch lasts longer. And these treats actually even improved in the fridge!


There’s only enough batter there to keep things together, letting all the nutty goodness really shine. We munched on these from the fridge for more than a week and the flavors just kept on getting better. I used a cayenne-flavored dark chocolate for the topping, but regular would be fine – maybe sprinkled with a bit of extra cayenne for more spicy kick. I also used whole cane sugar and agave as sweeteners, but to simplify things I’m sure using just one or the other would work as well.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 and 1/2 dl assorted nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and almonds)
  • 1 dl raw coconut flakes
  • 1/2 dl chick pea flour (gram or besan)
  • 1/2 dl whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 dl coconut oil in room temperature
  • 1/2 dl whole cane sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy yoghurt
  • 60 grams (cayenne-flavored) dark chocolate, chopped

First, I preheated the oven to 175 degrees Celsius, covered my baking dish with parchment paper, and sprayed it with a bit of olive oil. I also chopped the nuts and the chocolate – the nuts quite coarsely, dividing them only in 2-3 pieces each.

To make the batter, I mixed the dry ingredients except nuts and coconut flakes (chickpea flour through cayenne) in one bowl, and the wet ingredients (coconut oil through soy yogurt) in another. Now I poured the dry into wet and stirred with a fork just enough to mix. Then I poured nuts and coconut flakes in the batter bowl and stirred until they were evenly coated with the batter. There should be just enough batter to coat.

Now I spread the mixture in the baking dish and baked the squares for 15 minutes, until nicely browned. I turned down the heat in the oven, sprinkled the chocolate evenly over the nutty layer, and then placed the baking dish back in the oven for 1 minute to melt the chocolate. I removed the dish from the oven and spread the chocolate evenly with a butter knife, then let the whole thing come to room temperature, and refrigerated for a few hours before cutting into small squares with a sharp, unserrated knife.