Make sure you check out this photo tutorial showing how to make chocolate cups, which will be a big help in forming the pumpkin candy cups.
Yield: about 30 small cups
- 12 oz chocolate candy coating (or real chocolate for tempering)
- 30 small (1-inch) candy cups, paper or foil
- Small clean paintbrush
- 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs (I recommend cinnamon)
- 1-2 tsp milk (optional)
- 4 oz orange candy coating (optional)
- 2 oz green candy coating (optional)
1. Start by preparing the chocolate cups. For this recipe, you will either want to temper your chocolate or use chocolate candy coating. Tempered chocolate will taste better, but chocolate candy coating is faster and more convenient to use. I recommend that you do not simply use melted (untempered) chocolate, as it gets soft at warm temperatures and tends to bloom, or develop grayish-white streaks that are unappetizing. So begin by either tempering your chocolate by following these directions or melting your chocolate candy coating.
2. Fill a candy cup about a quarter of the way full of chocolate, then use the paintbrush to paint the chocolate up the sides of the cup to the top. Try to create an even layer, and inspect the cups as you finish them to make sure there are no weak, streaky areas. Be sure to check out the photo tutorial showing how to make chocolate cups for step-by-step photos of this process.
3. Once all of the cups have had their interiors painted, let the chocolate harden while you prepare the filling.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Mix with a mixer or hand mixer until completely combined.
5. Add the powdered sugar and the graham cracker crumbs, and mix them in well. If the mixture is very stiff, add a spoonful or two of milk, until you get a texture that you're happy with. It should be similar to the consistency of the filling inside a peanut butter cup.
6. Use a teaspoon or a small candy scoop to form small balls of pumpkin filling. Place the balls in the hardened chocolate cups and gently press down on the tops to make an even layer. There should be a small space between the filling and the top of the cup, so that you can top it with chocolate.
7. Once all of the cups are filled with pumpkin, re-warm your chocolate and spoon a small amount on top of a cup. Spread the chocolate around so that it forms a seal and there are no cracks or open areas on the top of the cup. Repeat until all of the cups have been sealed with chocolate on top. If you want to decorate the tops with sprinkles, add them now while the chocolate is still wet.
8. If you'd like, you can decorate the tops with miniature pumpkins. Melt the orange and green candy coatings separately, and place them into different paper cones or Ziploc baggies with a tip cut into the corner. Pipe a round circle of orange coating onto the middle of each cup, then pipe a small green stem on top of each circle. Let the decorations set completely before serving.
9. Pumpkin Candy Cups can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.