It’s nearly the end of October and I’m finally getting into the pumpkin mood. It’s been such a mild fall on the East Coast—I’m talking in the 80s—so turning on the oven has been a slow start. Now that we’re in the steady 50s, I’m ready to go all in with my favorite season full of pumpkin picking and decorating, baking hearty loaf cakes and, yes, even sipping on steamy hot pumpkin spice lattes (made with frothy unsweetened almond milk).
A couple weekends ago, my daughter Chiara and I went to Elwood Pumpkin Farm in Huntington, New York, to pick out a pumpkin she could decorate for Halloween. As city folk, we were surprised to see that all of the pumpkins stems were still attached and rooted in the ground. We were incredibly selective to choose our one special pumpkin.
I’ve gathered some of my most popular pumpkin-filled recipes for this sun-kissed, crisp autumn week. Here’s the recipe lineup, including the Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cups above (perfect as a Halloween treat!) and Isaiah’s all-time favorite pumpkin muffins. I’ll be adding recipe links throughout the week (or you can join me on Instagram or Facebook) so you can find all of the recipes in one place:
Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cups
Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping
Pumpkin Cinnamon Loaf Cake with Streusel Swirl
Pumpkin Pie Cannoli
Turkey & Pumpkin Seed Chili (something savory!)
These coconut cups prove that Halloween can be sinfully good and good for you. Extra dark 91% chocolate—the darker the healthier—enrobes the pumpkin filling with its rich, complex flavor. Plus, I use coconut butter (a healthy fat) and maple syrup (unrefined sugar). One bite into these chocolates and you’ll know there are no tricks, just real treats!
1 cup extra dark chocolate, preferably for coating, chopped
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup coconut butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
Line a 12-cup mini cupcake pan with 12 liners. Bring water to a low simmer in a double boiler. Place 2/3 of the chocolate in the double boiler and melt to 115 degrees. Stir in the remaining 1/3 chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let the chocolate cool down to 90 degrees. Pour about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate into each liner and use a butter knife to coat the bottom and sides. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Reheat the chocolate to 90 degrees. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, coconut butter, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and flatten slightly; place each in the chocolate shells. Top each with melted chocolate to cover completely. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or refrigerate.