I had the good sense to marry a man who enjoys cooking and is quite good at it. This means that most of the time that I spend working in the kitchen I'm working on quilts. (Read about how my quilting studio doubles as my kitchen in this post.) Tomorrow night I'm scheduled to bring treats to my quilt guild's meeting so I've spent a fair bit of time in the kitchen working on Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles. Since they turned out super cute and I thought to take pictures I'm going to share a tutorial for this simple dessert. (I don't know if other countries have the obsession with pumpkin that we do in America, but as soon as it hints at cold everything here is pumpkin flavored.)
1 cake mix (I used yellow since that's what The Frugal Girls used, but I think next time I'm going to use a spice cake mix so it tastes more like pumpkin bars.)
1 15oz. can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 package of low-fat cream cheese (not pictured)
1 package of almond bark
1 T. vegetable oil (not pictured)
1 can of white frosting
1 bag of pretzel sticks
food coloring (In the picture I show liquid food coloring, but you'll want to use gel or powdered. Liquid food coloring causes your almond bark to seize. Seized almond bark is very good on graham crackers, but not good for dipping our truffles in.)
Mix your cake mix and pumpkin until smooth. Pour into 9x13 greased glass pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow your cake to cool completely. (I covered mine and let it sit over night.)
Crumble cake with a fork or your hands and mix in the cream cheese. Blend until everything is smooth and there's no white showing. (I started with a fork and found it easier to finish mixing with my hands.) Form cake mixture into 1" balls, and roll in your hands to make them round.
Melt your almond bark. I started with 90 seconds in the microwave, stirred, and then continued with 15 second intervals stirring between each interval. When the almond bark is smooth stir in 1 T. vegetable oil and gel food coloring until the desired shade of orange is reached. It took a fair bit of food coloring to get the almond bark to be pumpkin orange, but go slowly. It's always easier to add more. Dip truffles into almond bark and insert pretzel stick immediately. (I broke my pretzel sticks in half and did the truffles two at a time.)
Mix green food coloring into frosting (if you want your frosting a bit stiffer you can also add some powdered sugar, but I just used it as is.) Put frosting into a piping bag with a leaf tip (I used Wilton 65) and add leaves to your pumpkins.