Once turkey day is over people seem to lose interest in pumpkin and move on to more festive and pretty holiday treats such as cranberry and peppermint-centered items. And while I’m all about those things (well, less so the peppermint), I’m not ready to give up on pumpkin just yet. Truffles are always a popular treat around the holidays, and I try a couple new variations every year. These pumpkin spice truffles are a bit different than typical homemade truffles. The filling is reminiscent of a pumpkin cookie which makes sense since the main components are pumpkin puree as well as crushed graham crackers and gingersnaps.
The mixture is too soft to form into balls just after mixing, but a quick chill in the fridge or freezer gives it just the right consistency. It is important to work quickly when dipping the truffles. Too much contact with the melted chocolate in the bowl can allow any condensation formed on the filling balls to be incorporated into the mixture and possibly seize the chocolate. Sometimes I will start with a new batch of coating chocolate halfway through dipping just to keep things smooth. I think these would be a nice addition to a tray of truffles or assorted truffle gift boxes for the holidays. It’s a tasty way to break up the monotony of all that chocolate. Not that a platter of chocolate has ever been a problem for me, but you know what I mean :)
Yield: about 30 truffles
1 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 5 oz)
½ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup finely ground gingersnaps
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of orange zest
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
about 16 oz. chopped white chocolate, melted (or white candy melts)*
Additional gingersnap crumbs
To make the truffle filling, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water just until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Add the pumpkin, gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and cream cheese. Mix well until completely blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator or freezer until it has thickened up enough to scoop and roll into balls (about 1 hour).
Scoop the filling mixture and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Transfer to a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let chill until firm, about 2 hours.
When you are ready to dip the truffles, melt the white chocolate or candy melts for coating in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Once completely melted and smooth, carefully dip one of the balls of filling into the chocolate. Turn quickly to coat and balance on the tines of a fork to shake off the excess. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with additional gingersnap crumbs, if desired. Repeat with the remaining filling balls. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and chill until the coating is set.
*I prefer the flavor of good quality white chocolate to that of candy melts. However, melted white chocolate can be tricky to work with sometimes so candy melts may be an easier way to go.