Halloween

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blossoms

Get your taste buds ready for fall with these sweet and chewy snickerdoodles topped with a pumpkin spice Hershey’s Kiss. 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blossoms 1

Despite the summer weather I am still experience, I caved into the pressures of fall baking. Although I did resist opening a can of pumpkin just yet. Instead I snagged a bag of festive candies. Fall and winter holidays bring some of the best festive candies there’s no reason to avoid them. Has anyone found the Pumpkin Golden Oreos yet? I have heard mixed reviews but still want to try them for myself.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blossoms 2

I am starting my seasonal candy baking with the pumpkin spice Hershey’s kisses. These pumpkin kisses paired perfectly with chewy snickerdoodle cookies especially with the addition of some nutmeg into the cinnamon-sugar coating. You may be tricked into thinking the cookies themselves have pumpkin in them.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blossoms 3

One year ago: French Toast Waffles

Two years ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
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Halloween 7-Layer Bars

It’s the day before Halloween, which means you should be fully stocked with Halloween candy (unless you plan on turning off all your lights). I rarely get any trick-or-treaters so I don’t bother buying any extra candy because I can easily scrounge up some from my stocks for baking. It’s practically a requirement as a food blogger to have all kinds of stuff on hand at all times. Although I admit I was a food pack-rat even before I started this blog.

Halloween 7-Layer Bars 1

But if you did need to buy large amounts of candy in preparation for tomorrow and you happen to have purchased more Halloween candy than you needed, you should make these 7-layer bars! I used the pumpkin spice M&Ms and candy corn but you can easily substitute any of your favorite or leftover candies. Throw those snickers and Reese’s cups in there, you won’t be disappointed.

Halloween 7-Layer Bars 2

One year ago: Pumpkin Oreo Truffles
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Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

Need a great festive snack for Halloween? How about popcorn balls that look like little pumpkins? Using GH Cretors Chicago Mix (combining cheese corn and caramel corn in the same bag), these popcorn treats offer sweet, salty, crunchy and cheesy in every bite. The color of the popcorn made for an easy transition into resembling pumpkins, especially with the addition of little stems and candy leaves (from a Wilton Halloween cupcake decorating kit).

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls 1

Want to get your hands on some of G.H. Cretor’s Chicago Mix? Full size bags for parties are available at select natural food and mainstream grocery stores across the country, while single serve bags (for trick-or-treaters!?) can be purchased on their website.

One year ago: Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
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Guest Post: Horror Show Pistachio Zombie Cupcakes

Halloween is nearly upon us. Take control of your own little monsters and whip up these zombie cupcakes together, using many of your favorite candies!

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This sweet post comes to us courtesy of Ben DeMeter from ACandyStore.com. When he’s not creating delicious content for the ACS Blog, Ben is doggedly pursuing his campaign to get cake accepted as one of the major dietary food groups. He currently lives in Houston, TX.

zombiecupcakeheader

Zombies have been feasting on humanity for decades. This Halloween, it’s time to strike back. Let the undead menace discover what it’s like to be gnawed on by whipping up a batch of these Horror Show Pistachio Zombie Cupcakes. Green, delicious and shockingly easy to make, they’re sure to be a hit at your next holiday party.

zombiecupcakes

I based this recipe for off of the Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes Recipe from EatLiveRun. There are only three ingredients in the cupcakes themselves, which makes them a can’t-miss for amateur bakers or parents with “little helpers.”  Add some whipped pistachio buttercream frosting and a few candy decorations and you’ve got soft and spongy treats that both look and taste good enough to raise the dead.

zombiecupcakes3

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Pumpkin Spice Brownies

Last fall I saw a few bloggers post about two-ingredient pumpkin brownies, which only requires a box of brownie mix and a can of pumpkin. I was skeptical but finally decided to try it out this year except I added in a couple more ingredients such as cinnamon, frosting and pumpkin spice M&M’s I found at Target.

Be warned, if you do not like dense fudgy brownies these are not for you. But if you do then stick around and stay awhile! As you can see from the pictures of these brownies, they are so fudgy that they actually look like fudge. I also think that the additions made them taste a little more like pumpkin than they would have otherwise. They really are a great way to make a slightly healthier Halloween treat!

Pumpkin Spice Brownies 1

Speaking of Halloween, while snapping photos of these brownies on my porch I spied a huge spider in the top corner of my porch, resting on an approximately 3-foot wide web spanning from the roof to the handrail. Commence freak out! His/her abdomen was about the size of a nickel. Add a head and legs and you’ll understand why I quickly snapped these photos and ran inside.

No I did not attempt to kill it, because when it comes to bugs, I don’t like feeling when I kill them and when they are that big that’s exactly what will happen. Besides, the spider was basically floating in the air on the web so it would’ve been hard to squash without catching it first. Who has a flame thrower I can borrow? I don’t think my kitchen torch will cut it.

In the meantime, thanks for the Halloween decorations?

Pumpkin Spice Brownies 2

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Oreo Crumbs
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Ghost Chili with Cornbread Topping and Chipotle Creama

It’s finally cooling down here in Memphis, which means it’s chili time! Normally when I crave chili I gravitate towards the beef version, but sometimes I like a little variety with chicken, known as white chili or in this case ghost chili for the upcoming spooky holiday.

Ghost Chili 1

I have shared a white chicken chili before and this recipe today is an adaptation from that. The updates included hominy, red bell pepper, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream,  a cornbread topping and served with a chioptle creama. It’s also prepared in a large cast iron skillet so you can throw it in the oven in order to bake the cornbread right on top. Less dishes!

Ghost Chili 2

This chili was already a favorite of mine, but the addition of the cornbread topping won me over all over again. The sweetness from the cornbread perfectly balanced out the spiciness of the chili. I chose a boxed mix in order to cut down on prep time but you can use a boxed mix or your favorite cornbread recipe. Just make sure to not overfill the skillet when adding the raw batter, otherwise it will overflow as it bakes and expands.

Ghost Chili 3

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Pumpkin Oreo Truffles

After a great win over Penn State this past Saturday, you wouldn’t think I could have asked for more from the weekend (other than not pulling a tendon in my foot). But Hurricane Sandy had other plans for me, in the name of an extended weekend in State College! I was scheduled to leave on a flight Sunday evening, but my first flight was delayed so much that I would’ve missed my connection in Atlanta. Thankfully Delta let me reschedule my flight for the next day. Upon waking up however, my Monday flight had already been cancelled. Now the plan is to leave this afternoon, with a connection in Detroit. Not that I mind the extended mini vacation, I am just worried about my cat, Brady. So hopefully while you read this I am on a flight back to Memphis.

Despite all my traveling dilemmas, I still have a treat for you today in preparation for Halloween tomorrow! I am sure you are familiar with Oreo truffles. The combination of cream cheese and crushed Oreos is nearly perfection. Nearly, only because I may have discovered an even better way to make these treats – substitute the cream cheese for canned pumpkin puree! The truffles ended up being softer than when made with cream cheese, but it did not bother my taste buds in the slightest. You could always reduce the puree to 3/4 cup if you would like them to be firmer. I also think these would’ve been phenomenal dipped into white chocolate. Yum!

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Mini Pumpkin Black and White Cookies

I seriously cannot believe October is upon us already. Didn’t we just celebrate New Years? I’m so confused. But I guess it’s time to start digging into all things pumpkin! Let’s start with a fun twist on a classic cookie. Check it out on my post on Culinary.net today HERE.

MINI PUMPKIN BLACK AND WHITE COOKIES

Source: Joy the Baker Cookbook, pages 60-61.

Sweet Potato Dark Chocolate Bars

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Finding Joy in My Kitchen. After digging through some delicious sounding recipes such as White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese, Zucchini “Pizza”, and Healthier Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Crumble Topping, I finally decided to make these sweet potato dark chocolate bars. It seems that I have not been able to get my fill of sweet potato lately.

These bars could have been made with pumpkins puree, which would have been easier because all I would’ve had to do is pop open a can. But I decided to go ahead and cook up some sweet potato and dig out my food processor to make puree. Was it worth it? Definitely. These bars are like sweet potato cheesecake, with a dense-cakey (almost sugar cookie-like) crust and a granola-dark chocolate topping. I have never used granola for a topping (only oats) and really enjoyed the extra crunch it added. I used one of my favorite store-bought granolas that has pumpkin seeds in it to complete the fall-ness of these bars.

Also, in the original post she wondered if this recipe would also work with a homemade yellow cake mix. So took up this challenge and went ahead and made my own homemade cake mix and used it in this recipe. Sure enough it worked! I’ll be sharing the recipe for the homemade mix tomorrow.

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Fall Recipe Roundup

Tomorrow, September 22nd, is the official start of the fall season. So why not compile a list of some fall favorite recipes in order to prepare oneself? Granted, I will still be living in the land of mid-80 degree highs, but I can try to pretend by lighting lots of fall scented candles. It is getting cooler at night, but unfortunately the boots and sweaters have to wait just a little bit longer for the daytime.

What is your favorite thing to make & eat during the fall?

One year ago: Sausage Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Breakfast

Appetizers


Entrees

Sides

Dessert

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