Crunchy and creamy and oh so dreamy, these quick-to-make little pumpkin pecan bites are like a mouthful of Thanksgiving, a light, fresh alternative to heavy traditional pies. They also keep well and I’m told they’re even good for breakfast!
- 1 eight oz. block of cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp. pumpkin puree (just pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which has sugar and spices in it)
- 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup Splenda or sugar (I recommend you start with 1/2 cup, mix everything together, taste it, and decide whether you want it a tad sweeter. You can always add more, but once it is sweeter than you like, you have to resort to putting in more of the other ingredients to get your ratios back in line.)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. sour cream (optional)
- 4 cups large pecan halves
Mix together everything other than the pecans. Dip a pecan into the mixture and see if you want to adjust any of the ingredients. If it’s good to go, use a small spoon to heap a little of the goo on top of a bunch of the pecans. Then you have two options: You can either cap off the first pecan with a second pecan on top OR you can finely chop (or grind in a food processor or nut grinder) some of the pecans and you can sprinkle the pecan dust on top.
The first picture on this page shows the double pecan method. The picture below shows the pecan dust alternative.
Why use either? Why not just serve goo-topped pecan halves? Because you don’t want your guests to look like goobers as they lick their fingers after getting the goo on them. These methods make it possible to pick up these pumpkin pecan bites without getting all messy. And you know I hate to get messy!
Some people prefer the double dose of pecans, while others prefer a different goo-to-nut ratio. Satisfy them both by serving some of each!
One more thing – be sure you chill them well before serving so the cheese mixture becomes a little firm.
One OTHER thing — then I promise I will let you go. These little things are cute, but not beautiful. They need to be surrounded with color. Serve them on a lovely platter. Sprinkle a few mint leaves on or some appropriately colored edible flowers, if you have them. It’s not quite like putting lipstick on a pig, but it’s all about making these little brown clods pretty. Turn them from wallflowers to show stoppers!