Tuesday, October 13, 2020

2 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge #Halloween Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Glaze from Cleo Coyle

From Cleo Coyle: Although I first published this incredibly easy recipe ten years ago, a few of my Coffeehouse Mystery readers asked me to share it again. Today I'm happy to oblige, especially now that pumpkin season is upon us! 

Read on for this fast and fun 
Halloween season baking idea...

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🎃 A Note from Cleo

These chocolate cookies have the flavor and texture of fudge brownies, yet they are lower in fat than a typical cookie because of an undetectable ingredient (one worthy of any foodie sleuth). An entire can of pureed pumpkin takes the place of shortening in the recipe, which means it also brings iron, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E to this Halloween party. Again, you do not taste the pumpkin in this recipe. What the pumpkin brings, along with nutrition and fiber, is enough moistness to make the finished chocolate cookie taste like a gooey fudge brownie.

This super-easy recipe is an adaptation of the famous Weight Watcher Chocolate Pumpkin muffins. To make the 2-ingredient WW muffins, you mix one box of chocolate cake mix with one 15-ounce can of pureed pumpkin (and that's it). The recipe sounded odd, but I gave it a try anyway. The resulting muffins were a little heavy for me. On the other hand, I did like the fudgy flavor, so I experimented with baking it up in smaller bites and (okay) I did add two more ingredients for better flavor: vanilla and chocolate chips. The result is the recipe I'm sharing with you today for an insanely easy fudge brownie-like drop cookie. I also added a pumpkin-colored glaze for a pretty Halloween presentation and extra-tasty finish. 

And there you have it, the origin of today’s healthier Halloween recipe. With thanks to Weight Watchers for the inspiration: It's a treat that’s not a trick to make (as long as you have a can opener).

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 🎃 Cleo Coyle's 2-Ingredient
Chocolate Fudge Pumpkin Cookies


1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin (100% pumpkin and not pie filling)
+ (for even better flavor and a prettier presentation)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or equivalent of chopped chocolate)
Cleo’s Pumpkin Spice Glaze (recipe below)

Step 1 – Make Batter: First pre-heat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray or grease with oil or butter. (For best results, do not use parchment paper. The cookie batter needs to feel the full heat of the baking pan.) In a mixing bowl, combine entire box of cake mix with canned pumpkin and vanilla. Do not add any additional liquid. Gently stir, working the canned pumpkin into the cake mix until a blended, wet batter forms. (This may take a minute but trust me, it will work.) Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 2 – Drop and Bake: Drop batter by tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in a well pre-heated 350º F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cookies should be a bit soft and gooey in the center. While warm, they will be very soft on the outside, as well. Allow them to cool on the pan a few minutes and then transfer carefully to a rack to finish cooling. (They will always be somewhat soft because these are gooey fudge brownie cookies, not hard and crunchy cookies.) 

Step 3 – Decorate: Finish with a drizzle of Cleo’s Pumpkin Spice Glaze (recipe below).

A NOTE ON STORING: Because pumpkin takes the place of shortening in these cookies, they are best eaten within a day or two. Store in refrigerator.

🎃 Cleo's Easy 
Pumpkin Spice Glaze


2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (*see note below to make your own)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring (orange OR red and yellow to make orange)
2 cups powdered sugar

Step 1 - In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and food coloring. Heat slowly, stirring until butter melts. At no time should this mixture simmer or boil.

Step 2 - Add the powdered sugar and stir until it all completely melts into the liquid. Whisk to remove any lumps and blend into a smooth, thick glaze. If the glaze is too thick, whisk in a bit more water.

Step 3 - While the glaze is still warm, use a fork to drizzle it over the cookies. As the glaze cools, it will harden. If the glaze hardens in the pan, simply return the pan to the stovetop and warm the glaze while whisking. If needed, add a bit more water to thin the glaze back to the right consistency for drizzling.

*SPICE NOTE: Pumpkin pie spice is available in most grocery store spice sections. To make your own, simply mix the following ground spices for 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.    

Eat with October joy!

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of The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is us -- Alice and Marc.
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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  1. Thanks for the yummy recipe, Cleo. I love your Coffeehouse series but in honor of Halloween I'm rereading your Haunted Bookshop mysteries. I just love Jack and wish I had a ghost like him around to haunt me.

    1. Hi, Amy - Our ghost Jack would be flattered to know you'd like him to haunt you. (We'll let him know. :)) October is a great month for "Haunted" reads, and we're flattered to know you'll be returning to our Haunted Bookshop. Take care, happy reading and eating!

      ~ Cleo
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    2. I loved the Haunted Bookshop series too and this is an awesome recipe. Thank you!

    3. Cheers, Mary Jane, you're a sweetheart *and* a wonderful writer. Marc and I thank you kindly and hope you have a very happy Halloween season!

  2. What fun! How amazing that it works so well!
    The count down for toxic 2020 is ticking. I'll be very glad to see it go.

    1. Libby - It is a fun recipe, great for kids, especially with very few ingredients to keep track of :) Thanks so much for dropping by today. Be well, stay safe, and...you're not alone in looking forward to a New Year!

      ~ Cleo
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    2. By the way, I was just reading an "expose'" on how canned pumpkin is NOT pumpkin at all, but various squashes. They are chosen because they are less wet and stringy.

    3. Libby - I've worked with homemade pumpkin puree (making pies from it, etc), and the "stringy" texture and overly wet consistency is indeed a problem that the canned "pumpkin" solves. If they use other squashes to achieve that, I'm good with it!

      ~ Cleo