I've decided that I shouldn't be allowed in craft stores. I walk in and instantly want everything I see. Only problem is that I never have enough time to actually make the crafts that I buy. When they're food-related, though, my chances are a little higher. When I walked into A.C.Moore a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but pick up materials for making Halloween chocolates. I mean, who doesn't want chocolate tombstones?!?
Or spiderweb lollipops?
It's been years since I've made chocolates, probably in middle school when my mother and I would use those horrible "chocolate" buttons in an assortment of colors to make candies for her favorite holiday, Valentine's Day. I had forgotten how much fun (and how easy) these are to make, and the results are always impressive. I opted for good dark chocolate this time (and yes, some crappy white chocolate for contrast). And there's something so satisfying about whacking those little plastic trays on the counter to get out all the air bubbles...
But my real achievement with my Halloween candies were the pumpkin cups I created. I wanted to create chocolate pumpkin truffles, but I just couldn't get the consistency right, so I opted for pumpkin cups instead (in mini black and orange paper cups, of course). They ended up working really well, like a little shot of pumpkin pie enrobed in chocolate. The filling was still a little loose, so they're best eaten in one bite to avoid a mess. And yes, the spices may seem strong when you're mixing them in, but the chocolate can be overpowering, so you need that much for the flavor to come out. (I also eyeballed the cream and chocolate, so while I provided measurements, they're not exact.)
Chocolate Pumpkin Cups
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup heavy cream
about 1/3 lb white chocolate
about 1 lb dark chocolate
mini paper cups
In a pan over medium heat, mix together pumpkin and spices. Cook pumpkin for 3-5 minutes or until it begins to condense and look dry. Whisk in cream and heat through, then remove from heat and whisk in white chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and freeze for at least an hour.
Arrange paper cups on a tray that will fit in your freezer. In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate. Add about a tablespoon of chocolate to each cup, and use a small kitchen brush (or a small, new painting brush) to bring the chocolate up along the sides of the cup. Freeze until chocolate is hardened. Add another layer of chocolate to the sides (not the bottom) of the cup with the brush to build stronger walls, then freeze until hardened. Add a small amount of the pumpkin filling (about a teaspoon), then cover with more chocolate. Freeze until hardened, then try not to eat them all at once.