As with all things pomegranate, acai berry and deep-fried anything, pumpkin seems to be getting its 15 minutes of fame these days. Although the gourd has been around since long before Linus Van Pelt sat waiting in the pumpkin patch all night, this particular fall season seems to give rise to the orange tide with the marketing of pumpkin flavored everything.
There seems to be no end of pumpkin profusion in sight, especially here at Desperately Seeking Gina with her month-long celebration of pumpkin. Gina and I met some years ago via a food message board dedicated to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. She was a newbie to the state of Arkansas and I was desperately seeking friends and any kind of reason to even stay in the state. We shared a nice lunch and a bit of shopping one day but as it turned out, I would move back to North Carolina and she and I would remain virtual friends through the world of blogging and Facebook.
I'm honored that she has asked me to be a guest blogger so I'm bringing these delightful Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles that I found on Pinterest to Gina's pumpkin party. These originated from Erin's Food Filesand are great for even the novice candy maker (like me). Even if you get sloppy dipping your truffles in the white chocolate (like me), they still make an excellent presentation with the dusting of cookie crumbs on top. I made Erin's recipe verbatim but have added a few notes of my own. Enjoy the beautiful fall season, enjoy these truffles and enjoy Gina's month of pumpkin!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles
Yield: I used a small cookie scoop and got about 20 truffles
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
2 cups white chocolate almond bark (I used about 6 or 7 cubes)
1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (I did not have an orange laying around so I used about 1/8 tsp of orange extract)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine salt
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
Melt the 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minute (I can never for the life of me get white chocolate to melt so I added about 1/2 tablespoon of solid shortening to the double boiler to make it smooth). Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours (if you think your mixture is still a bit too soft, add another tablespoon or so of the crumbs to firm it up).
Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Scoop (or roll by heaping teaspoons with your hands) pumpkin mixture and place on tray. Chill mixture in the freezer for about an hour.
Melt remaining 2 cups white chocolate almond bark and transfer to a small, deep bowl. Drop pumpkin mixture 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 a few gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs over the top, if you like. I found it best to work in batches - dip a few at a time while the others stay in the freezer.
Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture and chocolate, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.
** Thank you for being a part of Month of Pumpkin, Alison! Please be sure to check out Alison's blog Wish Upon a Chef. **