Sunday, September 15, 2013
Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffles
One of the most popular posts on Erin’s Food Files is the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles. I originally posted these way WAY back in 2008. The mere fact that I was blogging in 2008 is a bit mind boggling to me. My life was incredibly different at that time. I actually started my blog in August of that year because I was bored, and had free time on my hands. I loved cooking and baking, and the blog was a great outlet for that, and a way to use up all my free time. Now free time is a lovely memory. In a perfect world I would work fewer hours, and I would have someone come and clean my house once a week. But in reality, I get home at 6:15pm at the earliest every day, Elliott’s bedtime is 7:30, and by the time I finish with that I usually have about an hour or so to wash dishes and prep dinner for the next night. My weekends are spent chasing after my on-the-go-all-the-time toddler, making up for lost time with him & my husband during the week, and also trying to get household chores done. Finding time to bake is rare!
Considering autumn is my absolute favorite season, no matter how hectic my life is these days, I make room in my busy schedule to at least do a little baking! I love seeing the renewed interest in the original Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles each year as autumn rolls in. The original recipe uses white chocolate chips in the pumpkin mixture, and white chocolate almond bark for the coating. These truffles are a riff on those, because I’ve gotten a handful of people asking about substitutions and such. I knew replacing the coating would be a simple sub, but I didn’t want to sub regular chocolate chips for the white chocolate ones in the filling because you’d lose the pretty pumpkin color! Then I realized I could substitute butterscotch chips for the white chocolate chips in the filling (and thinking of these cookies is what triggered that!). The white chocolate in the filling of the original truffles is hardly noticeable, and a similar effect happens here. You really can’t tell there is butterscotch in the filling. Hence the reason this post is not titled “Butterscotch Pumpkin Truffles”. They merely add a depth of flavor and thickness to the truffles.
When I made these, I broke it up into steps; I made the filling one night when I was exhausted before bed. I rolled them into balls in the morning, then stuck them in the freezer. I did the chocolate dipping in the afternoon. As I was waiting for them to cool I was DYING to try one! I could not wait to sink my teeth into them to see if they lived up to my expectations, to see how they compared to the original, and (most importantly) to see if I got it right on the first attempt. Well, the wait lived up to the hype. These were OH SO GOOD! I might even say I like them better than the original. But, I can’t be certain as I did not do a side by side comparison. ;)
Click more for the recipe!
Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffles
Yield: Approximately 18, depending on how big or small you roll them.
½ cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2-2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of fine salt
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
4-5 cubes chocolate almond bark
Melt the 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minutes. Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Add pumpkin, 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. If you feel it's too soft, add more crushed graham cracker crumbs. Cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours. (If you're in a hurry you can try putting it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.)
Once the mixture has chilled, line a large sheet tray with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out a portion and roll into a ball in your hands. It's best to do this as quickly as possible, because the more contact with your hands the softer and stickier the mixture will get. Once complete, place the sheet in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Melt chocolate almond bark in a double boiler over medium low heat. Remove the pumpkin mixture balls from the freezer 2-3 at a time (I like to just cut the wax paper). Then with a toothpick pick up a ball and dip it into the chocolate. Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat. Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray. Dollop a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the top, if you like. (I found that if the chocolate doesn't fully cover the hole the toothpick was in, the pumpkin mixture might ooze out as the truffles rest.)
Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture balls, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.
original recipe, inspired by Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles