I keep thinking pumpkin week can't get any better.
(I mean...it's pumpkin week. Isn't that unbeatable or something?)
But there's one foolproof way to make anything and everything totally irresistible— no matter how magnificent (ahem) it already is.
It's a pretty big secret of mine, but I suppose I can spill the beans. This stays between us, ok?
Dark chocolate drizzle.
I mean, these rich, toasty, caramelly, snacks are laced with aromatic vanilla, spicy cinnamon, and deep espresso. They're salty, sweet, and gooey yet pleasantly crisp, and their strong, contrasting flavors blend perfectly into each complex and harmonious bite of bliss.
But all this without chocolate is decent at best.
Am I dramatic about chocolate? Probably. Is it totally necessary and justified? Absolutely. Case closed.
Let's talk about farmer's markets.
I visited an adorable little market on Sunday that was positively oozing with autumn spirit. Our finds are pictured above and include:
Fruit + Veggies: The last peaches of the season (aw) assorted squash, turnips, purple potatoes, and a celery root
THE BEST HONEY: extra virgin + apricot like sweet creamy heaven on a spoon. They deserve their own personal blog post.
Strawberry banana jam: whaaa?
Honey Cocoa Truffles: 3 ingredients. Amen.
Pasta...in different flavors: Gluten free tomato, mushroom, spinach = delish. Spicy thai, (not gf) and...wait for it...fruit. Lemon, lime, tangerine, and raspberry pasta. Now I've seen it all. Unfortunately, it's not gluten free either, but I'm definitely curious!
As if those treats weren't enough, I finally found a carved mini wooden spoon! And I put it to use right away...take a look!
Maple Espresso Pumpkin Seed Clusters With Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Aka The Best Snack Ever Make These Now You Need Them In Your Life.
Recipe inspired by Half Baked Harvest
You will need:
- 1 cup raw unhulled pumpkin seeds (the best part of making jack-o-lanterns!)
- rounded 1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- rounded 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground espresso (or regular coffee) beans
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch each of nutmeg + ground cloves
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
For the Chocolate Drizzle:
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of your choice
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (use as much as you need to get the chocolate to pouring consistency)
Start by preheating the oven to 325°F
Rinse the pumpkin seeds, then pat dry with paper towel and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and toast the seeds until dry.
Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients except for the almonds and pecans in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in ten-second intervals until the coconut oil is melted, then mix thoroughly.
When the pumpkin seeds are dry, drop them into the maple syrup/spice mixture along with the almonds and pecans and toss to coat.
Pour the mixture back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the seeds are golden and caramelized.
The mixture crisps up as it cools, so let it sit for a while you melt the chocolate.
When the nut/seed mix is cool, use your hands to break the sheet into bite-sized pieces.
Drizzle the clusters with chocolate and set in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container.