With a roasted pumpkin kicking around in my fridge and Halloween on the brain, these came together without much thought. For me, Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cups were the best part of my childhood Halloweens. They took top prize, followed by Coffee Crisp (a Canadian treasure), and Mars bars. This is my adult-ified version that you can pop in the freezer today, and bring out for yourself while handing out candy to the youngins. Less sweet than the original but still intensely chocolatey, nutty, and spoooooooky. Pumpkin and chocolate and almond butter, oh my.
They’re a healthier alternative to the traditional peanut butter cup, not a replacement, but a relative. Plus, pumpkin contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, fibre, potassium, and complex carbohydrates. And, cocoa powder is a superfood, so these could practically pass as lunch. If you want to make them with icing sugar in the centre, you could do that, but I’ve opted for agave, giving them a caramel-like taste and texture (agave is also quite a bit lower on the glycemic scale to avert a big energy crash). Whatever sweetener you choose, you’ll be a happy Halloweener.
The chocolate here is very quick to make yourself–melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and molasses, to give it that stalwart autumnal flavour, combined and added as a base and top. The chocolate makes an incredible snappy sound when you sink your teeth into these beauties, and then, SURPRISE!, cinnamon, almond butter, caramel, and pumpkin are waiting for you inside.
Contrary to what the photographs look like, these firm up in the freezer completely, but I enjoyed them still a little gooey after their photo shoot. They were 100% worth a chocolate-covered camera.
They come together in about 10 minutes (less the time roasting a pumpkin, but you can absolutely use canned), an added bonus for the time-crunched chocolate fiend. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go find something to do to take you mind off of them while they chill. You could watch Hocus Pocus a couple of times, make a homemade costume, or carve a pumpkin or two. Those activities should distract you plenty. After congratulating yourself on waiting for the chocolate to harden, head into the freezer and grab your prize.
I promise it will be worth the wait.
- ½ cup roasted, mashed pumpkin (see notes) or canned pumpkin
- ½ cup natural roasted almond butter or peanut butter
- ⅓ cup agave
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together all filling ingredients until fully combined.
- Make the chocolate: Melt coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining chocolate ingredients.
- Assemble the cups: Add 2 tsp or so of chocolate in the bottom of the muffin papers. Evenly divide filling over top. Add remaining chocolate on top and lightly swirl with a toothpick (a rustic appearance makes them spookier). Adorn with 1 almond per cup. Freeze for at least 3 hours (6 hours are needed for them to be completely solid). Once frozen, store in a sealed container in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a topped, halved, cleaned pie pumpkin face side down on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until they collapse and you can easily insert a knife (45 minutes to 1 hour). Cool and scrape out flesh. Keep for use in soups, smoothies, hummus, or eat as a simple vegetable side dish with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
If not using immediately (or within one week), freeze the roasted pumpkin in a ziptop bag for up to 2 months.