A Spooky GIVEAWAY, Sugar-Free Goodie Bags, and Spider Web Brownies for a Healthy, Happy Halloween!


I went trick-or-treating right up until the age at which it was no longer socially acceptable. 😀 The last time I donned a Halloween costume and collected copious amounts of candy was with the neighborhood gang, back when we were freshmen and sophomores in high school.

My 15 year old self, and group of friends, trick-or-treating for the last time.

We got some questioning looks and ribbing from our neighbors, but those good people dropped fistfuls of candy into our pillow cases just the same.

Notice how that picture is a scanned photo. Facebook didn’t have us in its inescapable clutches till three years later. Do you remember what life was like before Facebook? *twilight zone music*

For the little ghouls and goblins roaming the neighborhood this week on Halloween, I created a party setup full of creepy, crawly fun! 

Halloween Goodie Bags for Little Ghouls and Goblins!

 To find the festive decor and treats for the sugar-free goodie bags shown here, I hit up the local Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores:

Pictured below is a flip frog, a fake insect (for mischievous pranks… sorry, moms!), bubbles, a glow stick, and a scary eraser. I purchased everything at a Dollar Tree store in Florida.  

Sugar-Free Goodie Bags

These treat bags are lookin’ kinda sparse. What else can we add to them?

Well, that’s where you come in! Leave a comment with a suggestion for a sugar-free trick or treat, and you’ll be entered to WIN a $50 shopping spree at iherb.com! Include your email address in the following format ( healthyindulgencesblog @ gmail . com) so I contact you if you win. 

If you win, all you have to do is register at the site to claim your prize money. Iherb will take care of the shipping costs for you. If you live in the U.S., you’re automatically eligible to enter. If you live outside of the U.S., go to iherb.com and try adding an item to your cart. If your country is on the drop down menu, you’re eligible. 

Remember, you can always use my coupon code ( NIN467 ) to get $10 off your first order with a minimum purchase of $40. When you use the code or share it with your friends, you’re helping to support the site.

For additional entries to the contest…

1.Share this post on Facebook,

2. Tweet it, or

3. Pin it on Pinterest
Do you want to upgrade your current brownie recipe for the occasion? It’s easier than it looks! You basically follow King Arthur Flour’s instructions for making their spider brownies, except you create a connected spiral with the swirl mixture, instead of circles within circles. The other change is using my Dairy-Free, Paleo cream cheese substitute to create the spiderweb design. The brownie recipe is the Simple Cocoa Brownie recipe, tweaked to be grain-free and paleo. You can still make the brownies gluten-free with oat flour if you like. Happy Halloween, everyone!


Spooky Spiderweb Brownies (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)

Serves 4
A creepy, crawly twist on rich chocolate brownies! The topping can be dairy-free, or you can use a traditional cream cheese swirl to create the spider web. The given quantities yield a very thin brownie. You could try doubling the recipe and adjusting the baking time according.

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Prep Time
10 min

Prep Time
10 min

For Brownie Base
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup coconut sugar OR 7 Tablespoons erythritol*
  3. 1/4 teaspoon Mood & Mind pure stevia extract powder
  4. pure stevia extract
  5. 2 large organic eggs
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1/4 cup almond flour, gently packed
  10. 1/4 cup flour*
For Dairy-Free Spider Web Swirl
  1. 1/4 cup coconut butter
  2. 2 Tablespoons cashew butter
  3. 1 egg white from a large egg
  1. Big pinch of pure stevia powder
For the Brownie Base
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8 inch cake pan with a cut out circle of parchment paper. I like to trace around the bottom of the cake pan and cut out the circle to create the perfect sized piece!
  3. Melt butter and cocoa together, whisking until smooth.
  4. Beat in coconut sugar or erythritol, and sea salt, until mixture doesn’t contain any lumps of sweetener.
  5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring them together just until combined. You don’t want to overmix these, or else the texture will end up too dense.
  8. Scrape the batter into the cake pan.
For the Spider Web Design
  1. Whisk together the dairy-free swirl ingredients, and add contents to a plastic zip top bag.
  2. Snip the corner of the bag a tiny bit to create a small opening.
  3. Pipe a dime-sized blob of swirl mixture in the center of the brownie batter, and pipe a spiral design on to the surface of the brownie batter, working outward from the center. If you mess up, you can go over the swirl again to even things out.
  4. Tap the cake pan down on to a hard surface multiple times, to get the topping to sink into the batter.
  5. Take a toothpick and drag it from the center blob to the edge of the pan in a straight line. Rotate the pan and repeat, spacing your drag lines a couple of inches apart.
  6. Pipe the swirl mixture over the straight lines you just created with the toothpick. You can use a small spoon and spatula to scoop out and smooth over any mistakes in the topping. You should have more than enough topping to create the swirl. You should have 1/3 of the swirl mixture left over.
  7. Again, tap the cake pan down on to a hard surface multiple times, to get the topping to sink down into the batter, and to pop any bubbles in the batter.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brownie is firm to the touch.
  9. Cool the pan on a wire rack.
To transfer the brownie to a serving platter
  1. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to ensure a clean separation of the brownie.
  2. Invert cake pan on to a cookie sheet or plastic plate.
  3. Invert cookie sheet on to a serving platter to transfer brownie.
  1. *For the best sugar-free sweetening option, use 6 Tablespoons erythritol and 1 Tablespoon xylitol. Using a combination of sweeteners is a technique that I discuss in the Healthy Indulgences Cookbook.
  2. **You can use a gluten-free flour like oat flour or quinoa flour if you eat gluten-free grains. To make these brownies paleo and grain-free, you can use tapioca or arrowroot starch in place of 1/4 cup flour.
Adapted from Simple Cocoa Brownies the Healthy Indulgences Blog
Healthy Indulgences http://healthyindulgences.net/


47 Comments on A Spooky GIVEAWAY, Sugar-Free Goodie Bags, and Spider Web Brownies for a Healthy, Happy Halloween!

  1. Melanie Witherell
    October 28, 2013 at 2:26 am (9 years ago)

    Sugar free gum

    • Lauren B.
      October 28, 2013 at 2:47 am (9 years ago)

      Melanie, please post your email address here so that I can contact you if you win. 🙂

  2. Jan Johnson
    October 28, 2013 at 2:39 am (9 years ago)

    Those Silly Bandz that were so popular would be good!

    • Lauren B.
      October 28, 2013 at 2:48 am (9 years ago)

      Hi, Jan! Please leave your email here so I can get in touch with you if you win.

      • Jan Johnson
        October 28, 2013 at 3:31 am (9 years ago)

        janschop@aol.com – thanks!

  3. Lisa Sadach
    October 28, 2013 at 2:41 am (9 years ago)

    Russell Stover sugar free marshmallow eggs 🙂

    • Lauren B.
      October 28, 2013 at 2:49 am (9 years ago)

      Hey Lisa, thank you for your entry! Please post your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win. 🙂

      • Lisa Sadach
        October 28, 2013 at 4:12 am (9 years ago)

        I put my email in…it just doesn’t show up in public. As administrator of the site you should be able to see it?

        • Lauren B.
          October 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm (9 years ago)

          Thank you kindly for the tip, Lisa. You’re exactly right about being able to view email addresses as an administrator. Still becoming familiar with WordPress. 🙂

  4. Jaime Anderson
    October 28, 2013 at 2:56 am (9 years ago)

    Sugar free peanut butter cups (Reece’s )

    Janastasiow @ cox . Net

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks for your entry, Jaime!

  5. Jordan D
    October 28, 2013 at 3:14 am (9 years ago)

    It would be different to hand out single-serving bags of healthier chips like popchips or mini popcorn bags.

    jordan.dunne21 @ gmail . com

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm (9 years ago)

      I hadn’t thought of handing out single servings of a food like popcorn. It’s definitely a lower sugar treat. Thanks for your entry, Jordan!

  6. P.J. Stietz
    October 28, 2013 at 5:07 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve seen little tubs of slime that would be fun, or maybe Halloween-themed stickers, especially if they’re glow-in-the-dark. Orientaltrading.com always has fun stuff in bulk for a reasonable price.

    pjstietz @ gmail . com

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm (9 years ago)

      P.J., I hadn’t heard of that website. I’m looking at it now and thinking that more people should know about it! Thank you for your entry.

  7. Elaine
    October 28, 2013 at 6:42 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve given away silly bands before, and this year it will be sticky eyes.

    aer123123 @ aol. com

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm (9 years ago)

      Elaine, it’s great to hear you have a tradition of giving out sugar-free treats. Silly bands will last much longer than candy!

  8. Terry Schultz
    October 28, 2013 at 6:47 am (9 years ago)

    Definitely spider rings, vampire teeth, wax lips if they still make them, sugar-free candy and possibly cute band-aids (for the little kids). Nothing that’s homemade food since Mom’s throw it away (I used to – Too many weird things happen out in the world). tsdts @ aol . com

  9. Sharon Looper
    October 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm (9 years ago)

    Balloons, halloween pencils, those long plastic fingernails that you can slide onto your finger, halloween tattoos.

  10. Moira
    October 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m a big fan of sugar-free gummy bears – though I would portion them into small serving bags so there are no, erm, unfortunate incidents. 😉

  11. Moira
    October 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm (9 years ago)

    Email is moira dot richardson at gmail.

  12. Sheelagh
    October 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm (9 years ago)

    Mmm sugar free Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Can’t get enough of those!

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks for your entry, Sheelagh! Just gotta be careful with the portion control with the sugar-free PB cups. 😉

  13. JennM
    October 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm (9 years ago)

    My trick-or-treat bucket includes little plastic skeletons, the ubiquitous spider rings, mini Halloween puzzles, ink stamps and tattoos.

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm (9 years ago)

      The puzzles sound like a great way for little ones to exercise their minds. Thanks for your entry, Jenn!

  14. Mary
    October 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm (9 years ago)

    Lauren, it all looks so good! Do they still make silly putty??? That would be so much fun! fourstubbs @ msn dot com. 🙂

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm (9 years ago)

      Mary, they do still make it! Now I’m getting nostalgic. 😀 What a fun idea.

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks for your entry, Rebecca!

  15. Bonnie
    October 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm (9 years ago)

    They make mini-tubs of play dough – those are always popular with my son’s class (but not the cheap ones, they are terrible!). Pencils, stickers, foamies, temporary tattoos, bracelets, bouncy balls… I try to avoid the typical “treat bag” goodies as they are often really worthless (whistles don’t work, etc).

    bonnie @ weboardshop dot com

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing those wonderful ideas, Bonnie! I like the idea of including toys that encourage creativity in the little ones, like play dough.

  16. Jennifer Bertrand
    October 29, 2013 at 4:08 am (9 years ago)

    Halloween stickers! Pinned!
    jelaineb @ aol . com

    • Lauren B.
      October 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks for your entry, Jennifer!

  17. ikkinlala
    October 30, 2013 at 12:42 am (9 years ago)

    It depends what you mean by sugar free, but for no added sugar all-natural fruit leather (not homemade, unfortunately) usually seems to go over well.

    For truly no sugar, I’m not a fan of plastic trinkets so I usually end up with pencils or stickers.

    ikkinlala @ yahoo . ca

    • Lauren B.
      October 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm (9 years ago)

      I’ve been meaning to make some fruit leather. Do you have a good recipe? Thanks for your entry!

  18. Brenda
    October 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm (9 years ago)

    My grandkids love puffy stickers.

  19. Anne-Marie
    October 31, 2013 at 2:29 am (9 years ago)

    My brother-in-law, who is a dentist, always gives out glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth. 🙂 My six-year-old still loves little bouncy balls and my ten-year-old still loves stickers! If I was the one trick-or-treating, though, I’d LOVE a sugar-free peanut (or almond) butter cup! Yummmmmmm. 🙂

    Your brownie cake looks awesome…definitely pinning this one to make later!

    amc @ tcain . com

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