Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Halloween honestly isn’t my favorite holiday. Now, it’s not my least favorite holiday either. It’s somewhere in that murky area of borderline indifference. As a kid, getting to dress up, having parties at school, and eating free candy from the neighbors was my ideal holiday. It was right up there with all the other holidays where you got candy but right below the big ones like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

But then, you get older. And Halloween gets scarier.

For whatever reason, people watch these crazy horror flicks and go to haunted houses because they actually LIKE to get scared. I’m sorry, but what is wrong with people?? If you happen to be one of these people, I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I just truly don’t get it. Why would you want to get scared?? You’re telling me that you enjoy the adrenaline dump your body goes through having to decipher the best way to save itself through fight or flight instinct?? You enjoy that sick feeling in your stomach and your damp pants after someone dressed as a psychopath with a chainsaw jumps from the shadows?? I’ve determined that I will never understand the fascination with fear and horror. The only thing I even remotely enjoy that’s related to haunted houses is the segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where she sends her producer Andy through haunted houses with a camera crew. Now, that is absolutely hysterical.  He screams like a little girl and hides behind his poor assistant-it’s great. It’s truly a highlight of my Halloween experience. But beyond that, if it’s not a ride called The Haunted Mansion and it’s not in Disneyland/Disneyworld, I want nothing to do with it. That’s about as much scary as I can take.

There’s too much scary stuff going on in real life, why give your imagination more to work with?? Like all of this ridiculous clown business. What inspires somebody to dress up like a clown, which wasn’t even supposed to be scary in the first place, grab a gun or machete or whatever, and go chase around innocent people, and lure innocent children into the woods?? It’s sick and twisted. And I’m seriously questioning the intelligence of these individuals. I’m sorry, but in an open carry state, you’re going to get shot doing things like that. Just plain and simple. What really makes me nervous about this Halloween is that some kid is going to think it’s funny to show up dressed as Demon the demented clown on someone’s front doorstep, and they’re going to get shot. That, or one of these yahoos dressed as a clown will try to blend in and eventually attack/kidnap/cause physical harm to others. Let’s just say I’m thankful to not be faced with the decision of to trick-or-treat or to not trick-or-treat this year. But my husband and I have a game plan for Halloween.  If someone foolishly enough decides to show up as a clown, we curtly tell him to take a hike and shut the operation down. That’s it, door locked, lights off, no more candy for you. Way to go buddy, you just ruined Halloween for the little kids in the neighborhood. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. We have no interest in messing around with that.

My enjoyment of Halloween has also faded because of the candy issue. And yes, it really is an issue. After going through my NTP schooling and actually learning about all of the awful-ness in all of processed food but especially candy, it makes my stomach sick. Almost as sick as if I had eaten a bucket of Halloween candy. I feel like I’m the spoil-sport though because not everyone around me shares this disgust with candy. I have absolutely no desire to be part of the nastiness or support the companies that make this crap, but that’s most likely not the case in our entire neighborhood. And I’m not about to be that house that hands out dental floss or spider rings. So, I confess, I got a random bag of candy for whoever comes to our door. But in the future, I’m seriously considering finding a cleaner alternative. Meanwhile, the hubby and I will be enjoying a pan of homemade brownies with cream cheese icing while watching Harry Potter. Because not eating some form of something sweet on Halloween just wouldn’t be right-especially while watching Harry Potter. I might be a nutrition therapist, but I’m still human. Geez.  

But hey remember when I was talking about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?? Of course you do because it was just last week. Well, I did it! I found an amazing pumpkin chocolate cookie recipe. I was skeptical that I would actually find one that tasted close to the original, but dang these are darn close. My husband even liked them. You read that right, the man who doesn’t like pumpkin liked these. If I didn’t already have plans to make brownies for Halloween, these would definitely be happening. They’re a nice alternative to the crazy, corn-syrup, food dye-filled sweets, and if you use a smaller cookie scoop, they’re almost bite-sized, so it’s just like candy but better right? Right. 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

⅓ cup almond butter
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup palm sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ pumpkin pie spice
½ cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the almond butter, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (except the chocolate chunks).
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and process until combined. Pulse in the chocolate chunks. Don’t over pulse, or you’ll have tiny chocolate pieces instead of chunks.
  4. Transfer the dough into a bowl and freeze for 10-15 minutes. This helps with the stickiness of the dough.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, scoop out your cookies with a cookie scoop. Either use a piece of parchment paper on top to flatten each ball into a cookie shape of about ½ inch thickness, or flatten them by hand (get your hands wet first, otherwise you’ll have dough stuck to your hands).
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and allow to sit for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator (as if you’ll have leftovers…)

You can find the original recipe here.

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