Happy Halloween: Jelly donut zombie (matcha) pancake skulls!

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Happy Halloween!  I have been doing so many fun Halloween activities this year which has really helped get me into the Halloween spirit and has also really helped inspire me in the kitchen. Last week I volunteered at a Halloween event in the next town over. I have volunteered at this even for the last 7-ish years and this year’s event was the most fun I’ve ever had at that event. I had the honor of working with Mary Poppins and we passed out “a spoonful of sugar” aka fun dip to all of the kids. One kid was so excited about his fundip that he gave me a fist bump lol

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And then my friend and I decided to get into the Halloween spirit with the dollar zombie drinks at Applebees which is actually what inspired today’s recipe:

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So I am back with another jelly donut skull pancake recipe but this time they are zombie-fied! You can see the original version here. I am also entering this version into a blogger recipe challenge. Like the other recipe contests I have entered, I am required to use a specific ingredient from TresOmega Nutrition. I was sent their line of gluten free pastas (which you can now find at Sam’s Club here) as well as their coconut oil (which you can also find at Sam’s Club here). You can probably guess which ingredient I chose to use for this recipe but just in case you aren’t sure, I opted to use the coconut oil for this recipe.

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RD tip: Unrefined coconut oil is less processed which is why it has a stronger coconut flavor. It also retains more of the heart healthy polyphenols (which are damaged during the refining process). For the most benefits, choose unrefined over refined!

I even have a whole backstory to go along with these. So these pancake skulls started out as regular skulls but the full moon infected their brains which turned them into zombies. Their “infected” brains are revealed once you bite into their skulls.

Ok really their “brains” are just a homemade strawberry and chocolate truffle filling lol It’s a little gruesome looking (so it’s perfect for Halloween) but I assure you they do not taste gruesome. The combo of strawberry and chocolate truffle filling is to die for.

I had so much fun making these that I made a second version with a mint chocolate dessert hummus that I found so I decided to play around with that as my filling. And then inspiration struck and I threw in the gummy zombie brain that I had received with my zombie drink from Applebees. and here continues the backstory. The zombie lost his brain when it got infected…

And, being the simple zombie that he is that craves brains, he just decided to eat his own brain. Happy Halloween 😉

Jelly donut zombie (matcha) pancake skulls – makes 4

Skull pancakes

⁃ 3/4 cup Kodiak Cakes pancake mix in cinnamon oat flavor (or buttermilk flavor)

⁃ 2 eggs

⁃ 2/3 cup water or milk

⁃ 1 tsp sugar

– 1-2 tbsp matcha powder

– optional 1 tbsp spirulina powder for a more vibrant color payoff

Filling*

⁃ 1 cup frozen strawberries (frozen, not fresh)

⁃ 1 tsp brown sugar

⁃ water

⁃ 2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 extra tbsp to mix in later

Chocolate truffle filling

⁃ 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

⁃ 1/4 cup mashed avocado

⁃ 1-2 tbsp tresomega nutrition coconut oil

Glaze

⁃ 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

⁃ 1 tsp honey, or to taste

⁃ milk

⁃ optional special dark baking cocoa (for the eyes, nose, and mouth details)

*if you’re short on time, you can also sub in a thick jam

Prepare strawberry filling first: In a small pot combine strawberries with sugar and just enough water to cover the strawberries. Stir in cornstarch then cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and strawberries start to break apart. Once strawberries are of a pureed consistency, remove from heat and blend until smooth. Return to heat. Blending the strawberries will thin out the consistency a bit and we want it to be on the thicker side so we can pipe the filling into the pancakes. To thicken it back up, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to a little water and stir into the strawberry mixture. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens back up then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Prepare pancake skulls: In a small bowl, combine pancake mix with eggs, water/milk, sugar, and matcha. Mix well until batter forms. Set aside. Rub butter into each skull then pour batter into each skull, filling only 3/4 of the way full. Bake in a preheated 350 degree f oven for about 10 minuets or until each skull is baked all the way through. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl combine yogurt with a little honey. Add in milk until mixture is more of a glaze consistency. Set aside.

Prepare the truffle filling: melt chocolate in a small bowl by microwaving 1 minute, stirring, then microwaving 30 more seconds, in 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir in coconut oil and avocado until smooth. Set aside.

Put it all together: Once the pancake skulls are cool, use a straw to give your skull pancake a lobotomy aka puncture the top of the skull with the straw and form a little pocket for the filling. Be careful with this part, however, because you don’t want to tear your skulls. I may or may not have lost one due to a lobotomy that went too far. Once you have your “pockets” formed, transfer the strawberry filling to a plastic bag along with the truffle filling, cut a small hole in the corner, and “pipe” into the skulls. Next, dip the tops of the skulls in the glaze. let the glaze on the skulls “set”. If you wish to add some extra detail, you can then stir in the baking cocoa into the remaining glaze and use to add eyes, nose, and mouth details.

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