A Skinnyfat Halloween: Pumpkins, Monsters, and Homemade Candy

Happy Halloween! We’ve already had a partially Halloween themed post already, but now it’s time for the full-fledged version.

Earlier this week, Becky and I had one of our weekly Beckesha fun fests.  I drove out to her neck of the woods and we had basil mozzarella avocado paninis and pumpkin spice gelato at Pinocchio’s, a cute little cafe we’ve grown to love. After that, we decided to stop by the store to buy supplies to make our very own homemade peanut butter cups and peppermint patties.  It just so happened that located at the front of the store were the cutest pumpkins ever.  We couldn’t resist.

Once we got back to Becky’s place we began to set in motion what turned out to be quite an adventurous, and at times terrifying, evening.

First, we mixed together the ingredients for the chocolate layers (cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and agave nectar).  Then we poured the first thin layer of chocolate in the the mini muffin cups.

We put them in the freezer to harden and decorated our pumpkins. They’re probably the cutest couple I’ve ever seen.

I was amazed at how fast the chocolate solidified; it seemed like barely 10 minutes and they were ready for the next layer. The peanut butter layer consists of peanut butter (hello, obvious) and agave nectar.  The mint layer is coconut oil (solid, not melted), stevia, and mint extract.  It sounds too simple doesn’t it?  Use your fingers or a spoon to spread the mint layer onto your mint chocolate cups and the peanut butter layer to your peanut butter cups.

As you can see, we used melted coconut oil, which turned out to be a big hassle. Trust me, use solid coconut oil and save yourself some trouble. We put them back into the freezer and Becky made us each a cup of chai tea.  While I was enjoying the first sips of my tea, I heard a blood curdling scream from behind me.

Becky had her hands over her mouth in horror.  When I went to see what she was looking at, I saw the most terrifying sight.  There, waving his evil claws, was the scariest scorpion I have ever seen!

Of course, at this point I, too, began jumping up and down and shrieking in horror.  Chai tea, peanut butter cups, and mint chocolate cups forgotten, Becky and I attempted to calm ourselves down enough to formulate a plan to destroy the evil in our midst.  I have had great success in the past in killing evil insects by throwing phone books at them (seriously), but we didn’t have a phone book.  The next idea was to try to scare him from out of the oven burner and smash him with a shoe.  This idea was quickly vetoed as neither Becky or I had the nerve to try to chase him down.  Then I had the brilliant idea to cover the burner with a pot to prevent his escape and to fry him.  Maybe we were not in our right minds, but frying seemed like the best option at this point.

Pot in place, we cranked the burner up as high as it would go on until we smelled burning. We turned the oven off and each of us tried to build up the nerve to lift the pot, expecting to see a black, crispy scorpion.  We were still terrified and persuaded Becky’s hubby to lift the pot.

Our nemesis was nowhere to be found.

He’d disappeared. Vanished into thin air.  Becky and I stood frozen in shock and fear for a few minutes until we regained some of our composure. We reasoned that he must have fled into the stovetop the moment things got uncomfortably warm and there was nothing else we could do. We agreed to try and forget about the monster for the time being and got back to our chocolates.

We took them out of the freezer, poured the last layer of chocolate on top, and put them back in the freezer to harden the final layer. We finished our chai while discussing the very real possibility of the giant scorpion taking up permanent residence in Becky’s stovetop. After about 10 minutes, the last chocolate layer had solidified and we bit into the most decadent and wonderful chocolate candies ever! Any fear or unhappiness caused by demon scorpion was forgotten and replaced with blissful chocolate pleasure.

They even have creepy spikey edges.  If this isn’t the perfect Halloween treat, I don’t know what is.

Here is the recipe so that you can make these treats too.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Peppermint Patties
Adapted from this recipe
Note: we doubled this recipe and ended up with about 25 cups

Chocolate Layer:
1/3 c  coconut oil
1/4 c cocoa powder (we used dark)
2 T agave (or honey, we used a combo)
1/2 t vanilla (do NOT omit)
Pinch sea salt

Peanut Butter Layer:
Combine peanut butter and agave (or honey) until you like how it tastes. Really, it’s that easy.

Mint Layer:
1/3 cup solid coconut oil
1 T stevia blend (or sweeten to taste)
1/4 t mint extract (or more, if you really like  mint!)

Instructions: To make the chocolate, melt the coconut oil in the microwave and mix thoroughly with all other ingredients. Stir frequently, as the agave tends to settle to the bottom. Pour a thin chocolate layer into the bottoms of mini muffin cups. Freeze for about 10 minutes, until solid. Remove and cover with a peanut butter or mint layer. Freeze for about 20 – 40 minutes, until solid. Remove and cover with a final layer of chocolate and freeze until solid, about 10 more minutes. Remove and enjoy! Store in the freezer.

(NOTE: Although these are technically “frozen”, they do not taste like a frozen treat. You’ll be able to eat them like regular peanut butter cups or peppermint patties, but remember that if you leave them out for too long they’ll get melty).

In case you were wondering, the monster did not reappear before I left. He’s still out there, biding his time, plotting his revenge.  I know I’ll be watching my back, and Becky sleeps with one eye open.  He’s sly, this one.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Okay, so by now you may have noticed that I rarely title my post by the recipe I’m making.  I like to think about it as a way to lure you in without quite knowing what you’re being lured into.  I’m just sneaky like that.  However, as you can see, I did use the name of the recipe as a title for this post.  Am I suffering from multiple personality disorder?  Well, you never know, but that’s not why I chose this title.  I have a sneaky suspicion that just the words “mint chocolate chip” combined with “cupcake” is all the creativity I need to attract you to this post.  However, if that still doesn’t do it for you, what about this?

So now that I have your attention, I’m just going to dive right in and tell you how to make these.

The Recipe

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Begin by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

Then measure out 1/4 cup of the mint leaves.

You can set aside some of the prettiest mint leaves to use later to garnish the cupcakes.

Then you can measure out your fresh spinach leaves in a measuring cup, no this ingredient is not a joke and I didn’t have the idea first either.  Check out Katie’s mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Is anyone else thinking mint chocolate chip ice cream and mint chocolate cupcakes just may be the perfect pairing?

Combine the spinach, mint leaves, agave nectar, applesauce, milk, and oil in your blender and puree until there are no green specks and then mix the puree into your dry ingredients.

See how beautiful and green the batter is?

The last step, of course, is to add your chocolate chips.  I chose to melt down unsweetened baking chocolate and sweeten it with stevia and agave nectar.  I chilled the chocolate in the fridge and once it was firm, I made it into chocolate shavings.

Does this not look like the ice cream? 

Then separate the batter into your muffin tin and bake at 350 until the tops of the cupcakes are no longer wet.  Don’t overcook these, the cupcakes will be moist and perfect if you remove them when they are just barely cooked through. 

My camera doesn’t quite do these cupcakes justice, but they are absolutely divine!

The perfect frosting without powdered sugar is still a work in progress, so I won’t post the recipe to the icing in the picture (even if it does look pretty, if I do say so myself).  Until then, I recommend that you use the dark chocolate ganache I made in this recipe.  Or just eat them sans frosting, trust me they’re just as delicious solo.

You know one of the best parts about these cupcakes?  My husband doesn’t like mint and chocolate together which means that I get to keep these all to myself.  I don’t know about you, but as for me I am going to slip away into a mint chocolate heaven for awhile.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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