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Autumn Spice Truffles

Bittersweet chocolate, spiced rum, pumpkin pie spice and cream cheese combine to make these delicious, grown-up chocolate treats. They're as easy as can be and make a nice alternative dessert for a casual dinner party. For a great pairing, try them with a glass of Ruby Port or a medium-bodied dessert wine like Moscato.

Autumn Spice Truffles

Autumn Spice Truffles

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see notes)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon spiced or dark rum (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Preparation:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl or measuring cup and microwave at full power for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until smooth (about 15 seconds). Add the melted chocolate and beat again until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Stir in 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder, the pumpkin pie spice, rum and vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and combine thoroughly. The mixture will be quite stiff and tough to stir at this point.

Sift the remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa powder into a small shallow bowl. Form the truffle mixture into 1-inch balls and roll them in the cocoa powder to coat the outside.

Place the truffles on your lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and firm. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Makes about 24 truffles

Recipe Notes:
We made these truffles using Ghirardelli's 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bar and Ghirardelli Premium Unsweetened Baking Cocoa and got really great results. Both are available on the baking aisle in grocery stores nationwide.

For a non-alcoholic version, replace the rum with 1/2 teaspoon rum extract mixed with 2-1/2 teaspoons water.

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