The pumpkin spiced everything obsession always catches me a bit off guard each year, laying into us before September’s end. I’m usually a little resistant to it all, but by the time Canadian Thanksgiving rolls around, the leaves are beginning to change colours, I’ve stocked my pantry with cans of pumpkin puree, and once again I too have jumped on the bandwagon.
After a pumpkin-centric week that saw me baking up some delicious pumpkin muffins with Woodrow, cooking up some pumpkin spiced tamales for Tucos, whipping up a pumpkin creme sauce for pasta, and making my easy peasy Pumpkin Cream Pie, I had a few strangling tablespoons of pumpkin puree kicking around. I couldn’t of course throw it on the compost heap, so I needed to come up with a solution. It struck me that no one ever gets upset when you add chocolate, so I figured some quick and easy chocolate pumpkin butter cups would do the trick.
And low and behold, my guess was bang on. These babies are a HIT. Earthy pumpkin puree is thickened up with just a bit of creamy cashew butter and sweetened ever so slightly with maple syrup, turning simple pumpkin puree into the most amazing filling for these easy, at-home chocolate cups of goodness. It’s actually silly how easy these are to make. Seriously – the hardest part of all is waiting for them to set before eating them.
The addition of sea salt is completely optional, but for me it’s the icing on the cake, so to speak. After running out of my supply a while ago, it took some serious sleuthing to track down Maldon salts in Sudbury, but thanks to a friend who sells the most adorable little mini travel size packs at her bakery, I could finish them with a pinch of my most favourite salt.
These treats would make a perfect addition to any Halloween or otherwise autumn get together over the coming months, but they might just be the perfect little anytime indulgence. At just a couple of bites each, they go quickly so if you plan on sharing with a crowd, I’d definitely suggest doubling the recipe and squirrelling a few away for yourself.
Salted Chocolate Pumpkin Butter Cups
makes 8 mini cups
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tbsp cashew butter
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt (optional)
1. Melt the chocolate. This can be done one of two ways: If you have a microwave, you can place the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds at a time, stopping to stir the chocolate after every interval. It should only take about 3 spurts of cooking time. Remove the bowl from the microwave when the chocolate chips are almost all melted, then continue stirring until you’ve got a nice, melted chocolate. Alternatively you can heat the chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler or bain marie until it’s all melted.
2. Set out 8 mini paper baking cup liners. Pour about a teaspoon of the chocolate into each one, then using a spoon, spread it around to cover the bottom and spread it up the sides of the cup a little bit. Place the liners on a plate or tray and place in the fridge or freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the pumpkin, cashew butter, maple syrup and cinnamon until smooth. try to resist eating this filling while you wait for the cups to finish setting. (Good luck with that!) Remove the cups from the fridge and spoon 1 teaspoon of filling into each one, using the back of a spoon or a butter knife to spread it to the edges.
4. Top the cups with the remaining melted chocolate, about 2 teaspoons each, and again spread it out to be smooth and cover all of the pumpkin filling. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaked sea salts and return to the fridge or freezer to set completely, about 15 minutes. Peel back the paper and enjoy the most amazing little pumpkin-filled chocolate cup there ever was.
Once they are set these will hold up fine at room temperature in a sealed container, although they are also quite yummy directly from the fridge or even freezer. They’re so delicious it really doesn’t matter which way you enjoy them.