“Trick or treat, trick or treat, give me something good to eat!”
Sung by countless choruses of costumed, sugar-rushed children, this familiar chant has long characterized the American Halloween spirit. As a kid brought up in the suburban trick-or-treat tradition, I have spent many an All Hallows’ Eve strutting from house to house, reciting this rhyme at the top of my lungs with spooky spunk.
However, with my trick-or-treating glory days now behind me, I am no longer satisfied by this popular chant. Concluding with the trick-or-treaters’ demand that someone provide them with “something good to eat” (and, in some versions, the demand that this same someone smell their feet), the rhyme is, in one respect, rude, and in another, repressive of culinary creativity.
Now that I have grown a little bit older, a little bit more mature, and a little bit more gastronomically savvy, I take pride in my ability to behave in the kitchen with agency and to feed myself independently. This Halloweekend, I therefore took it upon myself to revise the chant to my own purposes and instead sing, “Trick or treat, trick or treat, let’s make something good to eat!” I honored the revised rhyme symbolically by making these delicious Chocolate-Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Fudge Squares with a couple of fellow trick-or-treating retirees.
The squares are, on many levels, the ideal Halloween treat. Requiring absolutely no baking, the preparation process is simple and carefree, matching the general spirit of Halloweekend festivities. Featuring pumpkin puree as a main ingredient, the confections act as a lovely edition to the autumnal gamut of pumpkin desserts. Peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate only augment this perfection, as they give the treats a flavor profile and texture reminiscent of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a universal favorite among trick-or-treaters.
I highly recommend making these fudge squares. Though the Halloween season is behind us, they have the potential to satisfy any sweet cravings that might occur during the remainder of the fall season.
Chocolate-Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Fudge Squares
(Recipe adapted from www.diethood.com)
1 can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1-1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tbs. vegetable oil (or any oil with a neutral flavor)
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies, for topping