Monday, October 27, 2014

Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

Life is like a box of chocolates. True statement. Around the holidays, we would inevitably receive at least one box of chocolates from friends, family or business acquaintances of my parents. Part of the fun is not knowing which flavor you'll get but when your dessert is limited, you don't want to waste your chance for something good! I learned to scout out the chocolate covered marshmallows quite promptly as they were my favorite. My tastes have certainly expanded but when we move into truffles, it's harder to know what the flavors are.

A few weeks ago, I attended a pairing of wine and chocolate at a local truffle shop, Chocolate Therapy. I love the name of this place as it's a term near and dear to my heart and they really do make some very therapeutic chocolates. Truffles can come in many forms and in this case, they come in beautifully decorated and delicate chocolates filled with a variety of flavors. They have found some very unique pairings for chocolate such as basil, lavender and balsamic. I highly recommend seeking them out for hostess gifts, holiday presents or just straight up Monday treats.

Outside of the professional realm, chocolate truffles are doughy balls of chocolate that are typically covered in more chocolate. I have a friend who is a master of mint chocolate Oreo truffles and I tried my hand at snitch truffles a couple years ago (whaaaat, I've been blogging for plural years?!?).

These pumpkin truffles were much cleaner than the snitches, in part because I used a food processor to mix the ingredients together and a melon baller to shape the dough. Gingersnap cookies are pulverized into a grainy 2 cups. Pumpkin puree, or apple cider pumpkin butter in my case, is added to help create a cohesive mixture of ginger crumbs, spices and pumpkin. Melted chocolate adds a special sweetness to it all, assisted of course by powdered sugar. Everything gets mixed together until you get a dough.

Using a melon baller, or your clean hands, bite-sized balls are formed and placed on a tray lined with parchment paper. The dough should be chilled before coating in chocolate to prevent them from falling apart. Once the dough is set, you can dip them in melted white or dark chocolate. Add some sprinkles for a festive touch or leftover gingersnap crumbs. This should be done immediately as the chocolate will harden quickly as it cools.

Just to be safe, test one or two to make sure they aren't poisoned. I found these are great to bring to a party so people can just pick one up and move along the buffet.

  • 1 1/2 cups (approximately 1 sleeve) of gingersnap cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (or apple cider pumpkin butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 16 oz. bag of white chocolate chips
  • Festive sprinkles (optional but encouraged)
  1. Using a food processor or pent up frustration and a bag, reduce the gingersnap cookies to crumbs.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor or mixing bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs with the softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and powdered sugar until well-combined.
  3. After melting the semi-sweet chocolate carefully in the microwave using its melt setting or over a double boiler, fold in the melted chocolate with the pumpkin dough.
  4. Using clean hands or a melon baller, scoop bite-sized amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Allow the truffles to chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. 
  6. In the meantime, melt one bag of white chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  7. Carefully dip the chilled truffles in the melted chocolate to cover. Allow any excess chocolate to drain back into the bowl before returning the truffle to the cookie sheet and coating with sprinkles.
  8. Repeat the dipping-sprinkling process until all of the truffles are beautiful and tasty. 

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