This post is guest authored by my dear friend Brooke Jackson. I love her and her little family to pieces. She is truly a kindred spirit. When she made these a few weeks ago and tempted me with a photo on facebook I begged her to share them with you. Here you go!
My college experience was far from normal in many ways. Chief among them was my part-time job: Chocolatier.
I worked for a very small, local candy company that made all of its chocolate treats by hand. The owner was also the baker; he cooked the caramels, seafoam, truffles, crème centers, and more. There were two old ladies who lovingly dipped these candies into giant vats of melted chocolate. The ceiling-high shelves in our production room were filled with candy molds of various sizes and styles, from cute bunnies to dancing ladies to toy trains. Can you imagine biting into a piece of solid chocolate shaped like a wrench, or receiving an edible chocolate running shoe filled with candies? The possibilities were endless.
So when I stumbled on a recipe for pumpkin spice “truffles” last month, the nostalgic delight of long afternoons spent stuffing my face with chocolate (like a little girl) immediately surfaced. It’s been more than five years since I dipped my final candy and said good-bye to the store, but the daily need for chocolate hasn’t left me.
The ingredient list is brief and the directions are pretty easy, but don’t be fooled! These pumpkin spice crèmes will surprise and delight you. They’ll be a party favorite; a delight at office. People will want the recipe. And you? You’ll get requests for another batch. Nom on.
Pumpkin Crème Candies: A pumpkin spice crème coated in white chocolate (makes aprox 30 candies)
1 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 5 oz)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup finely ground gingersnaps
¾ cup ground graham crackers
2 Tb powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground orange peel
For rolling the crèmes: Additional powdered sugar
For dipping: 1lb chopped white chocolate (or white candy melts)
For garnish: Additional gingersnap crumbs
Use a food processor, blender, or plastic bag and rolling pin to create the ground gingersnaps and ground graham crackers.
To make the crème filling, use a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water to melt the white chocolate until smooth. (You can use the microwave, but be very careful! White chocolate burns easily and does not taste good when burned.)
Let the chocolate cool slightly. Add the cream cheese and mix until well blended, then mix in the pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (gingersnaps, graham crackers, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and orange peel). Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator until it has thickened up enough to scoop and roll into balls (at least 1 hour).
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the mixture. Dust powdered sugar on your hands and scooping tool of choice (spoon, ice cream scoop, spring-loaded scoop, etc.). Scoop the filling mixture and roll into 1-inch diameter balls. Place each ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add powdered sugar as needed to help with the stickiness.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let chill until firm, about 2 hours.
When you are ready to dip the truffles, melt until smooth one pound of white chocolate or candy melts in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
Drop one of the crèmes into the chocolate (you can do two or three at a time when you’re ready). Use a fork to gently turn the crème and coat it in chocolate. Lift the crème out of the chocolate with the tines of the fork. Scrape the bottom of the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate, then gently slide the coated crème onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with additional ground gingersnaps. Note: Do not tap or aggressively shake the coated crème. This removes too much chocolate from the coating, making for a thin shell that cracks easily.
Repeat with the remaining crèmes. Depending on the temperature of your home, you might need to transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and chill the candies until the coating is set. The candies should be stored in the refrigerator.
Note: Sometimes a crème center will burst through its chocolate shell. This is normal. When the cold crème is dipped in the warm chocolate, the crème expands and pushes on the shell, sometimes cracking the shell or even oozing out. To help minimize this problem, be sure to let the melted chocolate cool slightly before dipping, and do not tap or aggressively shake the crème after it is dipped in chocolate.