Bittersweet Chocolate Pepita Butter Bites

Pepita Butter Bites Pepita Butter Bites

*This post was created in partnership with Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker.  In the below recipe Scharffen Berger’s bittersweet chocolate, with a floral brightness and a deep roasty flavor, pairs beautifully with toasted pepitas sweetened with honey to create festive and seasonal chocolate pepita butter bites. If you’re partial to a sweeter, creamier chocolate that’s fine too – check out all of the chocolate offerings on Scharffen Berger’s website.


Last year was our first year trick-or-treating with the kids the way I remember it from my childhood. The sort where the parents stay on the sidewalk bundled up with something warm to drink, chatting with the other parents while the witches, Harry Potter’s, princesses, and dragons go off to collect their loot.

As rain pelted our faces we slowly wandered down the winding streets knowing which house to knock on by the amount of Halloween flair that littered their windows and lawn. The kids, timid at first then quickly understanding the routine, would make their plea, “Trick or Treat!” and in return individually wrapped packages of childhood happiness would tumble into their pillowcase/candy receptacle for the night. On their way back to the sidewalk to meet up with us they bury their face in the bags examining their loot and confer with their siblings as they begin scheming their trades.

Batman tipped us off to where we could score the full candy bars while the adults urged one another not to miss the house at the corner where they were passing out pulled pork sandwiches for the grown ups. Rumor has it the year before the adults got shots of bourbon.

This neighborhood knows how to do Halloween.

In an ideal world these spiced pepita butter bites would be just the thing I’d like to tuck into the trick-or-treaters bags that came knocking on our door. I can just hear it now, the giddy murmuring along the sidewalk, “that house has homemade candy!” But homemade treats are frowned upon when the one passing them out is a complete stranger – I totally get that. So we reserve these treats for lunch boxes, parties, or the 3:00 pick-me-up in celebration of National Chocolate Day. I mean a day reserved for chocolate celebrating is a great day in my book. And I will gladly take any excuse to praise chocolate.

Of course these are very reminiscent of a peanut butter filled candy with the same shape but these are stuffed with a toasted pepitas that have been blended until smooth with a bit of warming spices and honey. The Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate offsets the sweetness with a good bit of brightness. A pinch of flake salt on top is never a bad idea.

With two sweet-centric holidays – National Chocolate Day and Halloween – right around the corner these are practically begging to be made.

Pepita Butter Bites Pepita Butter Bites

Bittersweet Chocolate Pepita Butter Bites

Makes 3 dozen small candy cups


1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

2 tablespoons honey

3 to 5 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola, rice bran, or vegetable)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

3 bags (18 ounces) Scharffen Berger Semisweet or Bittersweet (62% or 70% Cacao) Chocolate Baking Chunks


In a 350°F oven roast the pepitas until golden and fragrant.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes before adding them to a high power blender like a Vitamix or a food processor.

Grind the pepitas until extremely fine. Add the honey and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Blend more until a stiff peanut butter consistency. You may need to add more oil and scrape down the sides of the container quite a bit. It should be sticky but not runny.

Finish with the salt (and please do feel free to add more if you’d like) and the spices.

Melt the chocolate with 1 tablespoon neutral oil.

Line a mini-muffin pan with candy liners. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of the paper cup then add about 1 teaspoon of the pepita butter. Top the pepita butter with more chocolate. Once they are all filled whack the muffin pan on the counter to help settle the chocolate and pepita butter.

Add flake salt to the tops of the candies if you’d like.

Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

Repeat the process until all of the chocolate and pepita butter have been used.

Any leftover chocolate can be melted and reused as you need. I like to pour the leftover melted chocolate on a parchment lined sheet pan. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set and chop up fine to be stirred into cookies and cakes or into larger chunks to be used later.

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Roasted Corn and Tomato Chowder

Roasted Tomato and Corn Chowder

Comfort. That’s the word that keeps rolling around in my mind today.

Our new pup, Lily, cozies up in her dark blue bed sitting next to the fire. Outside the rain hammers the ground and the winds mightily blow the red, orange and yellow leaves off the trees. Ivy is attempting to play with a dog who huffs at her advances while falling back asleep and the boys are downstairs playing a card game. I have a giddy excitement that I get when there are plans to spend a leisurely afternoon cooking. I’m comfortable.

Then there’s the world that exists outside the comforts of our home. The horrific mess we have with the presidential race that leaves me in tears and feeling sick and embarrassed for our country. There are people living away from their homes as their comfort is now drowning in flood waters. There are people without food, homes, clean water. Uncomfortable.

How is there both so much goodness and so much suffering? How can I be happy with millions are not? Where is the joy in that? I’ve felt often selfish for touting my own comforts while others are so painfully not. Of course there is much that I can do to help but the truth remains that at any given moment there is both joy and pain. Laughter and tears. Shouts of delight and cries of fear.

I want to button this all up with how I’ve come to reconcile this. To give a quick fix for how to live comfortably in a very uncomfortable world. I can’t, except to say that I’m coming to accept it. I’m living into my happiness knowing full well that others may be suffering. My joy does not take away from that nor would my suffering without action help them. There is freedom in simply embracing my feelings and stepping into them without guilt or shame or attempting to force myself to feel differently. To stand firm in my happy and give a voice through the suffering, sometimes at the same time. It still feels awkward, shaky and uncertain – to a certain extent it probably always will. But I’m chipping away at deeper understanding and often the words of others help guide me there:

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things


We’ve had a busy week around here and I’ll admit I already spent too much of this “rest” day on Facebook fighting like mad to use my voice in this crazy world but tonight we’re playing board games around the table with the comfort of meatball sandwiches, homemade potato chips and that crazy delicious peanut toffee corn from my book.

If you want a little comfort from the kitchen but unlike me you don’t want to spend hours there to get it then these Roasted Tomato and Corn Chowder should do the trick. Don’t let the Summery-ness of those ingredients fool you, it’s perfectly suitable for Fall. Cherry tomatoes are the most flavorful of the sort anytime of year but especially after they’ve blistered in the oven. And for the corn, frozen would work just fine, two cups or so to substitute for the three corn cobs. It’s hearty but not too heavy and comes together quickly for near instant comfort in a bowl. One more word of advice – don’t be shy with the dill.

You can find the recipe on the Electrolux website as I created it in partnership with them.

Roasted Tomato and Corn Chowder

Here it is. Just click. 

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