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I have never liked Halloween much. I went trick-or-treating a handful of times as a kid, but the spooky darkness of the night, the creepy costumed teenagers lurking in the shadows of the street lights, and the scary front porch decorations always made my skin crawl.
After a few years of going door to door for candy on Halloween night, my sister and I eventually resolved to staying home and answering the door to dole out treats with our parents. The safety of home really wasn’t much more comforting, though. The all-too-real mummies that came knocking on the door, the witches with their warts and broomsticks, the shadowy vampires with pearly white fangs…they still gave me the creeps.
So when I set out to make a spooky pre-Halloween treat last week (as you may have seen me mention on Twitter), I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I chickened out. I just couldn’t bring myself to make something—let alone eat it—called Black Cat Claws or Eery Eyeballs. I guess I’m somewhat of a cream puff when it comes to scary cuisine. Give me all the pumpkins, apples, and gourds you like. But keep the spiders and black cats far from me!
In the end, I came up with these tasty cupcakes. The bit of turmeric in the batter enhances their orange quality, while the drizzle of chocolate completes the “orange and black theme” so often seen throughout this season. The cupcakes are super moist and fruity from the applesauce and pumpkin puree, so store them in the refrigerator for best keeping.
While others munch on Witch Hat Cookies and Creepy Crawly Candies, I’m perfectly happy popping down a couple of these friendly treats. If you’re looking for a spookier treat to enjoy this month, I’d suggest you take a look at these Cobweb Brownies (complete with a great demonstration video) at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Today also marks another edition of Amy’s blog carnival Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Head on over…I’m sure there will be more spooktacular autumn recipes popping up in the blogosphere!
Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Drizzle – makes 12 mini cakes
1/2 cup blanched almond flour (also called almond meal)
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, but not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric, optional
For the chocolate drizzle:
6 tbs. gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips (I used EnjoyLife brand that I purchased at Whole Foods)
1 tsp. coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 12 cups of a mini-muffin tin with coconut or olive oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a wooden spoon until smooth. Divide batter evenly among greased muffin cups, filling each all the way to the top.
Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 24-26 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. (Run a sharp knife around the edge of each cake to help release it from the pan.)
For the chocolate drizzle: melt together the chocolate chips and coconut oil over very low heat in a small saucepan, stirring often to avoid burning the chocolate. When chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat. Drizzle chocolate over top of the cooled cupcakes using a teaspoon. Transfer cupcakes to refrigerator to set up the chocolate.
Store cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve, or up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
What tasty fall recipes—spooky or friendly—are you making these days?