Halloween Cookies

It is Halloween weekend, and you know what that means! Costumes and candy galore, of course! I want you to imagine the spooky holiday season from a different perspective for a minute…the candy’s perspective. Imagine being given to someone awash with excitement and wonder at the thought of you only to sit on a counter for months getting yuckier by the minute. Eventually you get thrown away and replaced by festive Christmas candy. What a sad life all our leftover candies live!

Well we can make these candies have a purpose again! After all the Halloween excitement has died down next week, these pumpkin cookies are a fantastic way to utilize leftover chocolate candies (I would not suggest mixing pumpkin spice with sour gummy worms…) and eliminate food waste. The cookies themselves are fantastic: thick and cakey with real pumpkin, the chewy texture of oat flour, all the fall spice flavors, and sweetened with maple syrup. Then you add some chocolate on top and wow! Halloween explosion in your mouth!

I tried three types of chocolate candies with these: plain dark chocolate, crushed up Heath bars, and Reese’s cups. I will say that the Reese’s ones did not look too attractive because the candy didn’t really hold its shape, but those were a family favorite based on taste alone. I kept thinking that Rolos would taste amazing with the caramel, peanut butter or plain M&Ms would be a fun pop of color, and probably almost any of the little snack-sized chocolates would go great on top. If you try these out with your kids’ leftover candy, please let me know which candies you used and how they turned out! If you’re like me, throwing out food makes you cringe, so I hope this recipe hits the spot while simultaneously creatively using leftovers. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Cookies

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of oat flour (you can blend your own old-fashioned oats for this)
  • 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 30 small chocolate candies/pieces of candies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients (pumpkin through eggs) in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients (except candy) and stir to combine.
  5. Using your hands or a cookie scoop (my favorite birthday gift from my husband!), place 1 tbsp balls of dough on baking sheet.
  6. Press candies on top, slightly flattening the cookies – they are so cakey they don’t spread much.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  8. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for three days; after that, store covered in the fridge.

If you can’t get enough pumpkin this season, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping or Pumpkin Spice Cake, and for fall-inspired breakfasts, check out my Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and Pumpkin and Oat Blender Waffles. I hope that whatever you eat this weekend warms your tummy and your heart. Be safe, have a fun Halloween, enjoy family…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

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Holiday Desserts

Sitting by a crackling fire, listening to classics like “The Christmas Song”, watching the tree lights twinkle, and enjoying my mom’s sweet, chocolatey fudge are some of my favorite Christmas traditions while growing up.

I’m not sure I can call myself “grown up” now, but I guess having two kids, a mortgage, and crow’s feet kind of qualifies me as so. Being a wife and mom myself (and, yeah, I guess a grown up) now, one of my greatest joys is creating a safe, cozy home for my family, and at this time of year, holiday traditions really add to the coziness of home.

I am sure throughout the years we will add in some more traditions, but right now our traditions are: picking out and decorating the tree together, having a Christmas scent on the stove filling the house with sweet and spicy aromas, Chinese food on Christmas Eve (which started as a young married couple after a busy evening at church, and I liked it so much we have kept it up), and of course, having ample goodies. Two goodies we have every year are peppermint bark and molasses cookies, but I am trying to add some more snacks and treats into the mix.

The holiday season always has its own level of Crazy, but add in a global pandemic, and having a new baby, and you have A [big] Pinch of Crazy! All of that to say, this year I didn’t really have the time or mental capacity to come up with a new holiday goodie, but I wanted to compile a list of some of my previous holiday treats for y’all to maybe make some traditions of your own!

Our Favorites

  • Marbled Peppermint Bark – This treat is both cool and refreshing and chocolatey and rich. While it is not refined sugar free, it is a breeze to whip up, and everyone is sure to love it!
  • Molasses Cookies – These warmly spiced cookies are soft and chewy with just the right touch of unrefined sweetness. These are my husband’s favorite, and I love making them for him every year!

Fall Flavors

  • Apple Pie Parfaits – These cute individual desserts are layered with warm apple pie filling, granola crumble, and whipped cream.
  • Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping – Just because fall is over, doesn’t mean you can’t finish up your canned pumpkin in the pantry. Pumpkin bread is always a hit; add a cinnamon crumb topping and you’ve got a family favorite!
  • No Bake Pumpkin Pie – Not just for Thanksgiving, this pie will be sure to please with its date and walnut crust filled with spiced pumpkin filling.

Candies and Confections

  • Chocolate Nut Clusters – These crunchy chocolate covered nuts are topped with a touch of salt, and are perfectly poppable for this time of year.
  • Two Layer Paleo Fudge – Fudge is a Christmas classic, and this refined sugar and dairy free version has a creamy almond butter layer beneath a salted dark chocolate layer.
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – Who doesn’t love a peanut butter cup at Christmas time? This healthier version of the classic candy is rich, gooey, and so simple to make!

Classic Desserts

Holiday Beverages

  • Dairy Free Eggnog – Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday drinks, and being strictly dairy free this year doesn’t mean I have to miss out! This thick, creamy, and sweet drink is made with coconut and almond milk, sweetened with coconut sugar, and can be made “adult” with some bourbon.
  • Slow Cooker Apple Cider – Warm, spiced apple cider is simple to make in your slow cooker, and your home will be filled with all the spicy scents.
  • Death by Hot Chocolate – Another treat we have often this time of year, this dairy free, refined sugar free hot chocolate is not missing out on flavor. It is so rich, it tastes just like drinking melted chocolate!

This year has been tough on so many in different ways; I hope these treats can fill your home with love and Christmas cheer. Maybe you can even add a new tradition to your usual ones. Stay safe and healthy, hug your loved ones, soak in the magic of the season… and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!