Come October and your life seems suddenly to take on a colorful edge – be it the flare of bloodshot, copper-veined leaves carpeting the backyard or the piebald piles of candy. While the former is at least easy on the eyes, the latter is taxing on all your senses. In these times where you can find an entire waxy jungle, replete with its flora and fauna, right on top of a sheet cake for your children to bite into, or chemical rainbows in a box of sour belts, it’s hard to help them make the right choices. There’s not much you can do to keep them from devouring the bulks of Halloween treats they rake in every season, except, maybe feign interest in parts of those and demand a share. We’re going a step further this year, by tricking them with our naturally sweet globs of fun that can turn, at the drop of a witch’s hat, into a monster pop, or a snow-dusted ghoul. Enriched with the super power of dates and galvanized with a trace of cocoa powder, these deep, dark edibles come curiously alive with kisses of tiny seeds and licks of dry fruits, making even the finicky little fiends reach for seconds..
Cocoa-Date Halloween Treats
- 1.5 Cups seedless dates
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Teaspoon neutral tasting oil (optional)
- 2 Teaspoons honey (or as required)
- For decoration – poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries
Place the dates, cocoa powder and vanilla in a food processor and process until it breaks down completely and rolls into a ball. This will take some time, keep running the processor, adding the oil if the mixture seems too dry to come together.
Place the dough in a small container. Break off about 1″sized pieces and roll them into the desired shapes. Use chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruit to make up eyes, noses, hair, ears and teeth. To make these adhere you can lightly brush the spot with honey using a thin brush. Other natural items that could be used are slivered and sliced almonds, raisins, pistachios, dried pineapple and pecans.
To make the ghouls/ghosts, roll the date mixture into the shape shown above. Brush with honey all over. Stick 2 small raisins for the eyes and then sprinkle desiccated coconut. You can then remove the raisins as we did or just leave them on.
To make the hats, form the shape of a witch’s hat and then brush the rim with honey. Dip in a bowl of poppy seeds to coat them all around. The sesame seeds can be used to make a ribbon around the base of the hat.
To make the monster pops, flatten the disk and roll into a rectangular shape. Insert a bamboo skewer or cake pop stick into one end.
- To make the hair, brush a little honey on the top of the pop and dip that area into a small bowl of poppy seeds.
- Stick on 2 sunflower seeds for the eyes
- For the mouth brush the honey in a straight line and sprinkle a few sesame seeds. Use a toothpick to push them together into line.
- The ears are 2 small dried cranberries.
Here’s wishing you a very Happy All-natural Halloween! If you’d rather make something savory and wipe out traces of sweet altogether this Halloween, we have a fix for that too – re-visit our Eggs-quisite Eats For Li’l Devils from last year.