It’s not too late to whip up these Halloween treats from Los Angeles-based Chef Eric Crowley.
Halloween falls on a Thursday this year and many Charleston Halloween events were held last weekend. Instead of sitting around and just waiting for trick-or-treaters to stop by, throw together a festive meal in a semi-spooky setting. And for dessert, serve something besides the candy reserved for costumed drop-ins.
Los Angeles-based Chef Eric Crowley knows healthy cooking and delicious baking equally well. Crowley recently hosted a cooking class all about Halloween treats and shared two recipes perfect for Halloween or anytime. Crowley’s Frosted Pumpkin Cookies are a delicious, not-too-sweet treat perfect with a glass of almond or soymilk, cup of coffee, or cup of Irish Breakfast tea. When measured as directed, this recipe makes 36 cookies.
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons Pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 -15 oz. can Pumpkin Puree (Note: not pumpkin pie filling)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 cups (or two12 oz. bags) Chocolate chips – semi-sweet
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease and set aside.
Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in the pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Drizzle or spread with Vanilla Glaze.
Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well and drizzle on the cookies.
Note: Need to make it vegan? Use Earth Balance instead of butter and an egg replacer. Ghirardelli chips are accidentally vegan.
These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are fantastic as a fall treat. A mix of whole wheat and cake flours boosts the fiber and nutty flavor. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and 2 cups of frosting.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
2 cups Carrots, peeled and finely shredded
¼ cup Lemon juice
1 cup Sifted whole wheat flour
1 cup Sifted cake flour
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
10 tablespoons Butter, melted
¾ cup Honey
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 Cupcake cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl, combine the carrots and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, melted butter, honey and carrot mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed, about 1 minute.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the cupcake pans, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. When a cake tester comes out with 1-2 crumbs sticking to it, the cakes are done.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound Cream Cheese, softened
4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
1cup Butter, unsalted, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
Mix cream cheese with butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Slowly add the sugar and blend until light and fluffy.
Fill and ice cupcakes as desired. Pecans can be added to top of cupcakes for decoration. Use a piping bag with a round #8 tip to create fluffy cupcake tops!
Note: Make them vegan with Earth Balance, egg replacer, and agave nectar or maple syrup, and vegan cream cheese.
If you’re in the area, check out Crowley’s classes. His 4-Week Healthy Cooking Series starts on Saturday, November 11. The $350 tuition includes a logo apron. Other cooking classes include culinary basics and a vegan/vegetarian series. Classes are open to young adults, newlyweds, couples, and singles interested in learning new recipes and techniques.
In Charleston, check out cooking classes at Charleston Cooks, Whole Foods Market, the Coastal Cupboard, the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College, and the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. Not all classes are vegetarian or vegan-friendly, so check the course schedules and descriptions.
Have you taken a cooking class in town? Tell me about it on Twitter, Facebook, or G+. Share your favorite vegetarian and vegan tips, hints, and Pinterest finds.
Stay in the loop. Subscribe to receive Charleston Vegetarian Examiner’s articles via email.