From carving pumpkins to caramel apples, there is so much fun to be had on October 31st. Back here in Virginia the air is chilly, the leaves are glorious stages of red and yellow, and Halloween is just around the corner. Growing up in Southern California fall was never so much fun as it is back here. My little street is festooned in orange lights, fuzzy spiders, and skeletons in gardens as if they are getting up from a dirt nap. This adorable decoration gave way to a fun recipe idea.
This year I decided to plant sugar pumpkins and we have been dining on them the last few months. So this year at the trader joe’s pumpkin patch we were delighted to partake in some other choices. White, heirloom, and unusual pumpkins as far as the eye can see.
Although my trick or treating days are far behind me I have moved on to more delectable Halloween treats. This one gets down to basics but still keeps with the spirit of October 31st.
The expresso powder (available online from King Arthur Flour) enhances the chocolate flavor in these brownies. Adding chocolate chips makes them a little more decadent.
½ cup butter or coconut oil, softened
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
Scant one cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup g-f flour blend
1 tsp espresso powder
½ tsp xanthan gum (only if not already in flour blend)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup chopped nuts or ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter and chocolate in saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar and remove from heat. Stir in eggs, one at a time, stirring well to incorporate. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, espresso powder, xanthan gum (if using), salt and baking soda and mix well. Pour into greased 8×8 pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Do not over bake.
After cooled, cut in bars and decorate with candy skeleton pieces. (Melt white chocolate chips or white candy wafers and pour into skeleton molds. Thoroughly cook and remove from molds. Press pieces into cut brownies, and each brownie becomes a grave with a skeleton emerging.)