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The trick to making a pumpkin treat

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Seeds scooped out of your jack-o'-lantern can become a tasty treat: Pumpkin Seed Clusters. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

After carving a ghoulishly great jack-o'-lantern, don't toss aside the seeds from the pumpkin. Transform them into Pumpkin Seed Clusters to share with Halloween doorbell ringers.

One small tip: Pumpkins vary in size, and this recipe is made with a cup of seeds in mind. If you have two cups of seeds, for example, simply double the chocolate and marshmallows.

Trying to stop eating these tasty treats? That's a harder trick.

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What you'll need to get started. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

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Adult's help: Some

Hands-on time: 45 minutes

Total time: 2 hours

Makes: About 24 treats

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KITCHEN SUPPLIES

- 1 cup measuring cup

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- colander

- cutting board

- clean dishcloth

- baking tray covered with aluminum foil

- cereal spoon

- oven mitts

- large mixing bowl

- wax paper

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- microwave-safe bowl

- paper towel

- treat bags

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INGREDIENTS

- pumpkin seeds scooped from a pumpkin

- olive oil baking spray

- pinch of salt

- 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows

- 1 cup of milk-chocolate chips

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STEPS

1. Remove any pumpkin bits from the seeds with your fingers, then place them in a measuring cup. (This way you'll know the amount of seeds for the recipe.)

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STEP 1. Remove any pumpkin bits from the seeds with your fingers, then place them in a measuring cup. (This way you'll know the amount of seeds for the recipe.) Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour seeds into a colander, place the colander in a kitchen sink and rinse with water.

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STEP 2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour seeds into a colander, place the colander in a kitchen sink and rinse with water. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

3. Spread the seeds across a cutting board, then pat dry with a dishcloth. (It's OK if they're not completely dry.)

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STEP 3. Spread the seeds across a cutting board, then pat dry with a dishcloth. (It's OK if they're not completely dry.) Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

4. Transfer the seeds onto a baking tray. Spread into a single layer with a spoon. Squirt a few times with baking spray, then sprinkle with salt. Turn seeds with the spoon to make sure they are evenly covered.

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STEP 4. Transfer the seeds onto a baking tray. Spread into a single layer with a spoon. Squirt a few times with baking spray, then sprinkle with salt. Turn seeds with the spoon to make sure they are evenly covered. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

5. For the next two steps, use oven mitts when handling the baking tray. Place the tray on the oven's center rack. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the tray and put it on the stovetop. Gently stir the seeds with the spoon, then return the pan into the oven to bake 20 more minutes.

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STEP 5. For the next two steps, use oven mitts when handling the baking tray. Place the tray on the oven's center rack. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the tray and put it on the stovetop. Gently stir the seeds with the spoon, then return the pan into the oven to bake 20 more minutes. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

6. Remove the pan from the oven. Seeds should appear toasted golden. If not, stir and bake a few more minutes. Allow the seeds to cool 10 minutes. Lift the aluminum foil, with seeds on it, off the tray. Bend the foil in on itself to pour the seeds (like a chute) into a large mixing bowl.

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STEP 6. Remove the pan from the oven. Seeds should appear toasted golden. If not, stir and bake a few more minutes. Allow the seeds to cool 10 minutes. Lift the aluminum foil, with seeds on it, off the tray. Bend the foil in on itself to pour the seeds (like a chute) into a large mixing bowl. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

7. Measure 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows and add to the seed bowl. Place a sheet of wax paper onto the cooled baking sheet.

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STEP 7. Measure 1½ cups of mini marshmallows and add to the seed bowl. Place a sheet of wax paper onto the cooled baking sheet. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

8. Measure 1 cup of chocolate chips, then pour them into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and heat on high in the microwave oven for 45 seconds. After removing, stir quickly with a spoon to make a melted mixture. If the chips aren't melted, microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is smooth.

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STEP 8. Measure 1 cup of chocolate chips, then pour them into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and heat on high in the microwave oven for 45 seconds. After removing, stir quickly with a spoon to make a melted mixture. If the chips aren't melted, microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is smooth. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

9. Add melted chocolate to the seed and marshmallow bowl, stirring to mix. When done, plop rounded spoonfuls of the mixture onto the wax-paper-covered tray. Afterward, place the tray in a refrigerator for 30 minutes so candy hardens.

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STEP 9. Add melted chocolate to the seed and marshmallow bowl, stirring to mix. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

10. Boo yeah! Your Pumpkin Seed Clusters are ready. Share them on a plate or place them in small treat bags.

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STEP 9. (Cont.) When done, plop rounded spoonfuls of the mixture onto the wax-paper-covered tray. Afterward, place the tray in a refrigerator for 30 minutes so candy hardens. Photo for The Washington Post by Kris Coronado

Related Topics: HEALTHFOOD
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