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!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Pumpkin and Oat Blender Waffles

As a new mom for the second time (still unreal?!) I get attacked often by hanger. Feeling “hangry” is feeling so hungry that you get angry, and unfortunately, this happens to me fairly frequently. It goes a little something like this: I wake in the 6 o’clock range to chubby fingers pulling my eyelids open and giggling morning breath in my face. After some persuasion, I get out of bed and am greeted by Coffee, my morning buddy. After having a semi-rough night of sleep either comforting a preschooler with a bad dream and/or nursing a hungry baby, the hanger strikes.

All of a sudden my hands are shaking, my stomach is growling, and my patience is thin. And something like cereal will not cure the hanger; at this point I need something substantial, and I need it fast! At this time of year, pumpkin flavored everything abounds, and I am not ashamed to say I love pumpkin flavored goodies (still haven’t tried a PSL, though), and even more so if I can have healthy pumpkin goodies!

How can this breakfast live up to all of my demands: fast, pumpkin flavored, healthy, and filling?! Blender waffles! It does not get much easier than blending all your ingredients then pouring them into a waffle iron! Have your kiddos help you blend it up while you sip your coffee: healthy, fun, and delicious for the whole family!

Pumpkin and Oat Blender Waffles

  • Servings: 12 mini waffles
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tsp of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • Optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, pecans, or collagen peptides

Directions

  1. Plug in waffle iron to begin heating. (My husband got me this mini waffle iron for our anniversary)
  2. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Oil your waffle iron, then pour in desired amount of batter. Have a little fun and stud your waffles with chocolate chips or pecans!
  4. Cook waffles according to your waffle maker directions.
  5. Top with butter, honey, syrup, cinnamon, peanut butter, whatever your heart desires!
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

These waffles will be sure to hit the spot! For more quick breakfasts to beat the hanger, check out my Berries and Greens Smoothie or Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and for another pumpkin treat, check out my Pumpkin Spice Cake.

Beat the “hanger”, have fun with your family, eat waffles…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, but a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping

This post contains a promo code and other affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me! Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy. 

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Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year for candy and sugar crashes. I think we experienced our first set of sugar-induced temper tantrums yesterday brought on by all the treats Zemirah’s been having lately. We are still going trick-or-treating tonight, but will be limiting the amount of candy to one or two pieces, and keep the rest hidden away for potty time rewards…or for Mama and Daddy 😉

I am still working on finding my food freedom and living a balanced lifestyle, but you know what? A few pieces (not the whole bucket!) of the sugary, processed candy on Halloween is not going to kill you or your child! It’s a fun night for dressing up and eating candy, so let’s not spoil it with worrying. However, after tonight’s candy, you might need some help getting back on track, and I have just the thing: this delicious, refined sugar free pumpkin bread! It is also dairy free, can be made egg free using flax eggs (directions in this post), and gluten free! (I still have this promo code for 20% off a huge 3 pound bag of gluten free flour until Nov. 16th, good for all your gluten free baking.) This pumpkin bread is so flavorful and sweet that no one will be able to tell that it’s a healthier version, and you can snack away guilt free!

Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping

Makes one standard loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For crumb topping:
    • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/8 cup gluten free flour
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Grease a standard size loaf pan
  • Combine dry ingredients for the loaf (flour through salt) in a bowl
  • Whisk together
  • Add wet ingredients for the loaf (pumpkin through vanilla)
  • Stir together until well combined
  • Spread into prepared pan
  • In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork, the mixture should look like damp sand
  • Press the topping on top of the batter
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Store covered, at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week

If you are looking for more pumpkin recipes, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer; other non-pumpkin yet fall-y treats I have are Banana Bread with Granola CrumbleChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, and Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies! Plus my Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent to make your home smell like fall. I love this time of year *happy sigh*. I hope you have a fun Halloween night! Eat some candy, bake all the pumpkin bread…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

psl2.0

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

The nights here in Southern California have been dipping down into the 50s; it’s so nice, crisp, and cool in the mornings. I just want to cuddle up under a big, fluffy blanket with a warm mug full of delicious, flavored coffee. Mmm. And since it’s fall, the flavor of the coffee should obviously be…PUMPKIN PIE! 

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is kindaaa unofficially the official first sign of fall, and one thing’s for sure: the sugar content is spooky. In a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and no whipped cream there is… 48 grams of sugar! *cue dramatic thunder clap and flickering lights* That’s scarier than anything you’ll see this Halloween.

I’m not a huge fan of really sweet coffee, and have never actually tried a PSL; however, at this time of year, I love all things pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, and spice-y. If you want to make your own homemade and healthier version, I have just the thing for you! This creamer is dairy free and refined sugar free…not to mention pure pumpkin coziness in a cup! It includes real pumpkin puree in the mix, which is great for gut health, and of course, delicious. You can mix the creamer right into your brewed coffee, or blend it up to make it foamy like a latte; I gulp it down either way. I hope you make a batch, or two, or 10 to enjoy this fall!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

Makes two cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  • Warm over medium-low heat, whisking until well combined
  • Remove from heat
  • Pour directly into coffee to stir in or make a “faux latte”
    • To make a “faux latte”
      • combine desired amounts each of coffee and creamer in blender
      • blend on low speed for 30 seconds until foamy
  • Once cooled, store leftover creamer covered in fridge for a week (it still stirs in just fine when it’s cold)

If you like all things pumpkin this time of year, you should bake my Pumpkin Spice Cake and enjoy a slice along with your spiced coffee! If you make either pumpkin recipes, I’d love to see it; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). Have some delicious coffee, cuddle up with your family, stay cozy…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links it is of no extra cost to you, I just get a small commission. So basically, you can help me fund my pantry so I can bring you more yummy treats! 

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Happy October!

Anne Shirley famously said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables), and I have to agree. I love October! First of all, it’s my birthday month, but I love the changing of the leaves (not so much in Oceanside, CA…the palm leaves kind of die, but that’s about it), the cool breeze, the fact that it starts getting darker earlier, and, of course, all the pumpkin treats!!!

I have to admit, I’ve never tried a PSL from Starbucks because sweet coffee makes me feel like my teeth have a five o’clock shadow, but I will eat all of Starbucks’ pumpkin bread. It’s so spice-y and moist (ugh, yes, I said it), and I love the pumpkin seeds on top. But, according to the Starbucks website, each slice has 410 calories, 500 mg of sodium, and a whopping 39 g of sugar! (information found here) It is so easy to gobble up a piece of that bread, but not so easy to deal with the spiked blood sugar and the general yuckiness you feel after eating it.

At first I thought I would make a pumpkin loaf to celebrate October, but then I thought I would do a frosting, because everything is better with chocolate! Now my idea had morphed into a pumpkin cake, and then I remembered Starbucks’ crunchy pumpkin seeds on their loaves, and decided I would add some on top of my cake! So while I titled this recipe “Pumpkin Spice Cake” it should actually be called “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Maple Dark Chocolate Ganache and Candied Pumpkin Seeds”. That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but you need to get the full mouth-watering affect.

My little family of three gobbled this cake up in one weekend (oops) because it is that good. But it is also free of refined sugars, dairy and eggs, and made with a hearty whole wheat flour so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it! If you are gluten free, you could easily swap the whole wheat flour for your favorite gluten free blend. (I shared in my Banana Bread with Granola Crumble recipe that I love this GF flour). For me personally, if a treat has good, clean ingredients, I can happily enjoy it guilt-free…but I guess you should practice a little self-control and not eat it all in one sitting. Your family might want a taste, too 😉

I hope you start this spooky month off with this notsospooky, healthier cake!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Makes one standard size bundt cake.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour (you can order my favorite brand here)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 “flax eggs” (directions below)
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the ganache:

  • 4 oz of 100% chocolate
  • 3/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

For the candied pumpkin seeds:

  • 1/2 cup of raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut sugar

Directions:

  • First, make your flax eggs
    • combine 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds (you can order some here) with 5 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl
    • once combined, place in refrigerator until needed.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Grease bundt pan and set aside
  • Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl
  • By now, your flax eggs should be slightly gelatinous, remove from fridge
  • Create a well in your dry ingredients and add wet ingredients (pumpkin puree through vanilla)
  • Stir until well combined
  • Pour batter into bundt pan, bang it on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles and smooth it out
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean (it is okay if some cracks form on top)
  • Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to let cool completely
  • While cooling, make your candied pumpkin seeds
    • toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan around occasionally
    • push the seeds aside and add the coconut sugar
    • once the sugar starts melting, stir to coat the seeds with the melted sugar
    • let sit for a minute or two, then remove from heat and let harden
  • Once cake is completely cooled, make your ganache (the ganache needs to be warm to drizzle and for the seeds to stick)
    • melt your chocolate, stirring often
    • while stirring, slowly pour in the coconut milk
    • stir until smooth
    • add maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg
    • stir until smooth
  • Time to decorate!
    • drizzle warm ganache all over your cake
    • break up pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on the warm ganache
  • Let ganache cool before slicing
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for a week (not that it will last that long)

I know this isn’t as quick as some of my other recipes, but sometimes, you just need a frosted and decorated cake. The baking time is therapeutic, and once you eat it, it will be totally worth it! If you make it, I’d love to see pictures; you can tag me on Instagram (@mrsmollymills) or Facebook (Molly Mills). I hope your family loves it as much as mine did! Eat all the pumpkin treats…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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