Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate

Mmmm…want some?

I was craving some thick Mexican hot chocolate, but it was cold and late and I had about zero interest in bundling up to go to the grocery store to pick up some authentic Mexican chocolate. So instead, I did the next best thing — rounded up some cinnamon, chipotle powder, cayenne and a pinch of nutmeg, and added the spices to a simple homemade hot chocolate recipe.

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Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

What to do with leftover butternut squash?

Why, make cupcakes of course!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

So, I know there are about a zillion (ok, Google tells me 2,800,000) recipes out there for pumpkin truffles.

But I really, really felt like making some pumpkin cream cheese truffles this week.

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Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites

Of all the recipe posts on Gimme Some Oven, my #1 most viewed post ever (thanks to you all and Pinterest) continues to be these No-Bake Energy Bites. And for good reason! These little guys continue to be one of my personal favorites, as well as one of the most requested snacks by my friends and family. And I love recipes like this that can double as breakfasts, snacks or even a quick dessert!

So for a fun twist this autumn, thought that it would be fun to celebrate the season and make some Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites! I was so excited to try these, and after throwing in a little of this and a little of that, was thrilled with the results. These little bites remind me a lot of my favorite fruit and nut bars. But the best part is that they are super easy to make homemade, packed with protein and ingredients you can feel good about, they are vegetarian and vegan (if you swap some agave for honey), and of course…they are delicious!

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Gingerbread Pancakes

My goal is to make this December a considerably healthier month than in years’ past. And so far — thanks to a little self-control, and less time in the kitchen than usual (December is kind of a busy season working in a church!) — that mission has been mostly accomplished. :) But I can’t let December go by without a little gingerbread in my life. So in addition to making a batch of cookies this week, I also decided to try this recipe I stumbled across for gingerbread pancakes.

It’s not that often that I eat (or much less, make) pancakes, but when I do, I like them to be flavorful. Otherwise, I tend to add on a little too much butter and syrup to compensate! So when I saw that this recipe called for all of my favorite gingerbread spices, and included some healthier ingredients such as whole wheat flour, low fat milk, and only a small amount of brown sugar — I was stoked!

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Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

I absolutely love chai. Ever since college, it is still hands-down my favorite drink to order at coffee shops. (And even lately – I’ve been experimenting with recipes making it at home!) Whether it’s cool and iced in the summer, or warm and cozy in the winter, a good chai is definitely my “comfort” food of the warm drink world!

So when I recently saw some chai cupcake recipes popping up on the blogosphere, I knew I had to give them a try. Then I also found out the theme for this week’s Holiday Recipe Exchange was vanilla, I figured this was the perfect week to try some vanilla chai cupakes – yum!

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Apple Cider Cups

Since I’m on such an apple cider kick this fall, thought I would end this week of apple recipes with a fun presentation idea….apple cups!

These are really much simpler than they look, and are such a charming way to enjoy your favorite apple cider! The only requirements are some apples, a paring knife, and a spoon. (Although if you have a melon baller, it’ll make the scooping slightly easier!)

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Appledoodles (Apple Snickerdoodles)

Last night one of my friends served us one of her fall favorites — snickerdoodles!! Which made me realize it has been at least a year since I’ve made some! This should not be so… :)

So this morning I woke up early to whip up a batch to bring to all of my singers at rehearsal tonight. But as I was making the dough, it hit me – why not toss in some apples and make…appledoodles?!? So before popping them in the oven, I mixed some diced apples into the dough (although I would recommend dicing them slightly smaller than I did today), rolled them in that classic cinnamon-sugary goodness, and voila — a new favorite cookie!

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