I'm not usually one to gush. My emotions usually stay fairly well in check with the occasional real high or the incidental low, but for the most part I'm pretty darn straight and even. However... today I'm going to gush!!! WOW! Wow!! Wow!!! White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cups are amazing! Awesome! Spectacular! Dazzling! Fabulous! Magnificent!!! And I could go on!
What a treat these little packages are. Pumpkin Pie spiced filling surrounded with a crisp outer white chocolate shell and topped with decorative, seasonal sprinkles. A bit labor intensive, but most definitely worth the effort.
Searching numerous stores for "foil lined" mini muffin cups proved unsuccessful, and I ended up experimenting with a last minute find of mini silicone cups. The little cups worked like a charm and actually brought me around to appreciating the reusable factor as I'm thinking these treats will be oft repeated. A dollop of melted white chocolate is spooned into the cup and swirled, then painted up the sides. I rested mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes and the hardened shells popped out like a charm.
The filling whisks together in a flash, but actually filling the cups takes a bit of time and some care is needed with the fragile chocolate. A little bit of a learning curve had some of my cups a bit lumpy on top or filling showing due to incorrect coverage, but now that I've got my groove down I know the next batch, which will grace our Thanksgiving table, will be beautiful in addition to delicious.
White Chocolate Pumpkin Cupsadapted from Healthy Food for Living
12 oz. good quality white chocolate (I used Guittard chips... they melted like a dream!)
1 Tbs non-trans fat shortening (I used Earth Balance Shortening)
1/4 cup low fat cream cheese (I used Trader Joe's whipped)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (7 sheets)
Seasonal sprinkles or edible decorations
12 silicone or foil lined mini muffin cups or other small silicone cups (I found a silicone tray with 18 small squares for candy making, a bit smaller than the mini muffin cups, and darn cute as well!)
Melt white chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler over medium heat on the stove, stirring constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Using a small spoon, place about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the melted chocolate in a reusable silicone mini cup or into a foil lined mini muffin cup, tilt the cups to swirl the chocolate to cover as much as possible. If necessary, use a paint brush to paint up the sides of the cups with extra chocolate. The chocolate should be thick enough that you can not see through it. You should have left over chocolate when all the cups are done.
Place the cups onto a tray and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until completely hardened. Remove from freezer and peel the silicone or papers off of the hardened shells. (This step may be completed days before filling!)
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, spices and the vanilla, whisk or beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until combined. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
Using a small spoon, gently divide the mixture among the chocolate cups filling to just below the ridge. Smooth the tops to create an even surface.
Re-heat the remaining melted white chocolate if necessary. Spoon a small amount of melted chocolate over the smoothed filling surfaces, making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges to seal the cups. Sprinkle with decorative seasonal sprinkles or edible decorations.
Chill, to harden the tops. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!