Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Made Easy

I admit, sometimes I go off into my own little happy, food allergy world and I just cook things. The plus- (most) of the time, is that I end up with simple, family-fun recipes. The negative- between me cooking, tweaking the recipe, taking food photos, etc. everyone in my home is almost at starvation mode by the time I serve the foods. Which, I suppose could work in my favor since hungry children are often a lot less picky children.

I have no shame in stating that I consider myself a Kitchen Geek <3 I don't have patience to learn mundane tasks but I will spend hours forming detailed foods for my children. Maybe a tad O.C.D. but that's in between me stopping to Google "How to make your own dishwasher detergent cubes", starting laundry, wondering what the brown smudge is on the kitchen cabinets, making more coffee and..whoops! You get the way my brain works. For Halloween, I made some foods that I wanted to share in case anyone just needs a few new, simple ideas. Simple is always good.

Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Pancakes
I tweeked my original recipe for gluten free pumpkin pancakes (HERE) by adding maple syrup and decorating with green sprinkles and Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips. I do warn you that you will need to wipe the griddle in between batches to avoid having the majority of your pumpkins covered in melted chocolate (unless you like that, than that's cool).

Preheat ungreased griddle at 300 degrees. Spoon the prepared batter in an oval and add a stem. If the stem goes wonky, simply add a bit more to the oval of the pumpkin or leave it, because in real life pumpkins are not perfect and your hungry family won't really care if it's not perfect.

Next, add green sprinkles to the stem area. Add chocolate chips for the eyes, nose and mouth. (Bonus- every once in awhile you will get a few of those chocolate chips stuck together in a line- perfect for the mouth!) Flip when the pancake is browned.

Clean the griddle with a damp sponge before beginning the next batch. You may also need to clean the spatula as well. You may also lose an eyeball or a random nose while removing. Simply add another chocolate chip to the cooling pancake and the heat from the pancake will melt it right into place for you.

Serving size varies depending on size of pancakes. Refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container and reheat in a toaster oven at 300 degrees to avoid making the pancakes rubbery. (Gosh, I just love the shadows in the pictures, don't you? Too much coffee and chocolate early in the morning!)

Pumpkin SunButter Cups (we don't need no stinkin' Reese's!)
Most of the time, those dreaded Reese's Peanut Butter cups are the rage on Halloween. This is an allergy-friendly substitute that everyone will love just as much if not more. My favorite recipe for SunButter Chocolate covered anything is from Jazzy Allergy Recipes. Prepare the inside part of the recipe first and cool in the refrigerator while you do the rest.

To make these, I found a simple pumpkin mold  tray at the dollar store (I looooooovvvvve the dollar store!). Wash with warm soapy water and dry completely. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons of Winona Pure Sunflower oil (oil makes the chocolates shiny, oohhh, ahhh!). Once melted, use about 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate per pumpkin mold and gently swipe up the sides of each mold, creating a shell. Making it too thin will cause the finished chocolates to crack away while removing them from the molds so thicker is better. Cool in the refrigerator until completely firm.

Once the chocolate is solid, fill with the prepared SunButter filling, making sure you leave a bit of room at the top of the mold for the chocolate. Melt more chocolate chips and cover the tops of the filled pumpkins completely. Return the mold to the refrigerator to cool.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

And, if you have malfunctioned baked goods, I recommend my previous post I Suck at Making Crispy Treats. After all, if you can't laugh at yourself, well, there's always chocolate to make it better.

I used Brothers-All-Natural Fruit Clusters & Crisps to decorate

Wishing all of you a safe & sugary Halloween ~

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