Roasted Chicken + Smoked Gouda Enchiladas w/Fire Roasted Tomatillo Cranberry Sauce.
Guess what, guess what, guess what?!?!
I made us a healthier alternative to Halloween candy this year!!
I know, me? Queen of butter, sugar and pure chocolate decadence? Hey wait, give me some credit, I do enjoy a healthier treat every now and again. I mean, I am somewhat of a normal person, I like balance. Actually, to be honest, Halloween candy pretty much grosses me out because of the loads upon loads of sugar… and the corn syrup. I am not a corn syrup fan. I mean, I’ll use it if I have too, but I try my best to stay away from it. It’s just so much sugar and so processed. It gives me the creeps. The creeps guys.
I do think I will forever be a Reese’s girl at heart though. It’s the combo of peanut butter and chocolate that I will always love so much. Oh, and Malley’s Milk Chocolate bars. Oh, and I can’t leave out the occasional Snickers at Christmas in mom’s Death By Chocolate. Yep, these three are probably my favorites.
Today though, I took the idea of a Reese’s and layered in some honeyed pumpkin seed candy. It’s almost like caramel, but on the healthier side and with toasted pepitas (SO GOOD) and salted peanuts. It’s a little crunch, plus a little creamy and all things delicious.
On a very random note here, pumpkin seeds kind of remind me of chicken feed. I don’t know why because chicken feed is like tiny little pebbles and looks nothing like cute pumpkin seeds, but still pumpkin seeds seem like they would be good chicken feed. Well actually, I know they are because I have been feeding all my winter squash seeds to the chicks and they love em.
Speaking of the chicks, my dad thinks I need to tell you guys all about our broody mother hen. Oh yeah, a broody hen is as serious as it sounds.
Just kidding, but it was a little bit of a pain for a few days… well, for my dad anyway.
So, if you are wondering what a broody hen is, it’s a female chicken who wants to hatch her eggs. The thing is, our said hen doesn’t have a rooster to help her along with the process, so she just sits and sits and sits, trying to protect eggs that will never actually hatch. It’s her motherly instinct kicking in and now that I am writing about it, it seems a little sad.
When we realized what she was doing, my dad had to pick her up out of her nesting box (where they lay eggs) and separate her. Otherwise she would stop producing eggs for the 21 day brooding period, plus 5 weeks afterward. Let me just say, she was NOT a happy hen. It’s her job to protect her eggs, so you can only imagine how angry she was. AND she was sitting on five eggs for like two days. Five eggs you guys. That is a lot for one hen. She was stealing and hoarding the eggs from the other two hens!
Apparently they will sit on their eggs for the entire 21 days without taking in practically any food or water. This compromises their immune system and they become vulnerable to parasites. They can also lose up to 1/3 of their body weight. Plus, it encourages the other hens to become broody too. Again, leaving no eggs.
Anyway, we had to keep her in an isolated cage for a day and this kept her from wanting to lay eggs because of the cold ground. Hens like to lay on warm bedding, so keeping her isolated on the cold ground freaked her out enough to break her of her broodiness, or motherly ways. Or at least this is what I got from my dad. He said it all in a way that made much more sense, but me relaying stuff is never quite as clear. I am sorry, but just know that we had one pissed off moma chicken… and now Asher is begging for a rooster so the moma chicken can be happy and have lots of baby chicks.
Can you say freak show?
Sooo, now I should maybe tell you a little more about these Pumpkin Seed Candy Peanut Butter Cups, huh?
They are a great little treat for this time of year. You can make them for Halloween or make the as a holiday dessert OR even make them as homemade holiday gifts. They are kind of perfect because you can make them work for pretty much anyone. Or well, almost anyone. Sorry to the people with a peanut allergy, these clearly aren’t for you. But wait, actually you could swap almond butter or cashew butter. Both would be awesome. So see, pretty much everyone can eat these. They can even be made vegan friendly if need be, which makes them perfect for all the upcoming holidays.
And um, if you sprinkling them with a little flaky sea salt it’s the prettiest presentation. Gotta love a pretty chocolate treat!
Ok so, these are fairly simple. Just eight ingredients and only a little hands on time. The most annoying part is lining the cups with chocolate. This is never fun, but you gotta do it. Once that is accomplished the rest is simple.
For the pumpkin seed candy, I used a combo of honey and coconut sugar. I wanted to keep things on the healthier side, so honey it was. But if you need to make these vegan friendly, use maple syrup. It will be a slightly different taste, but still delish. Here’s the deal with the pumpkin seed candy, my family likes it on the softer, chewier side so I boiled my mixture for only a few minutes, but if you want your candy more, well – candy like (meaning harder and crunchier), just boil yours a little longer. It’s all in the directions and either way, soft, semi soft or hard, you really can’t mess these up. They are easy and so good whatever texture you choose.
You can also use dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I went with dark because again, I wanted these to be healthier, but if you prefer milk chocolate go for it.
The bottom line… just make these, and before Friday.
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And with that, I am done.
How long do these keep in the refrigerator?
These are good in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx
I am really wanting to make this for thanksgiving, they look amazing but I wanted to substitute the peanut butter for something else, I was thinking almond butter or Nutella? Would one of those work or do you have any suggestions?
Thanks in advance, excited to try these!!
Hi there! Either of those should work just fine! 🙂 xTieghan
This recipe looks wonderful!!!!
Question regarding the coconut oil. Mine is liquid right now since the weather is warm. Do I use the 3 tablespoons or is the for the solid form. Should I use less?
I want to use more coconut oil in my baking but recipes never seem to define if they used solid form or liquid.
I think I would use about 2 liquid tablespoons. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thank you! ?
Yes! I’ve always loved pumpkin seeds and I don’t know why. There is something in the taste that reminds me of pure earth or dirt, and I was never even known as a kid to eat the earth…anyway, I’ll be making these for a Fourth of July treat. Why wait for Halloween? ?
Haha yes! I hope you love these Hannah! Thank you!
Made these this weekend for Halloween and they were amazing! A hit with both adults and kids. I want to make them again for the holidays. Thanks for the recipe!
Awh yay! sounds so fun!! Thanks for making them Melissa!
I just came across this recipe and can’t wait to make it. I LOVE pepitas and dark chocolate.
I have to laugh abut your broody hen. I too have had several this past summer and I don’t have a roo either. I have been keeping porcelain eggs in the nest boxes since they started laying. A while back I was at my feed store and telling the owner about my broody hen and everything I was doing to stop it short of building another smaller time out cage for them. She said, why don’t you take the porcelain eggs out of the nest boxes? DUH! It worked.
Whoa, now way! That is genius!! Thanks! 🙂
I made this tonight and I am sure it is the most exotic thing I have ever made. I loved all the flavors. It was delightful.
So happy you loved this!! Thanks Amy!