This is an unforgettably easy mochi recipe. It will work with any type of sweet pumpkin/squash - butternut, acorn, kabocha, whatever you have at hand. The core of pumpkin mochi boils down to 2 ingredients: pumpkin, and mochiko, in 2:1 ratio by weight. Everything else is really optional.
I'm making this with a black sesame paste filling, because black & orange just feels more Halloween. But feel free to skip the hassle, this works great with store bought red bean paste or edible cookie dough (the pasteurized kind without baking soda). You can also just skip the fillings altogether and just slice and pan fry the dough, if you're not entertaining anyone.
1/2 lb butternut squash (or kabocha/acorn)
1 cup mochiko, aka sticky rice flour
black sesame filling:
1/4 cup black sesame
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2~3 tbsp brown sugar - or to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil **
* you can use any sweetener, honey, brown sugar, agave, zero calorie sweetners - adjust based on sweetness of your squash. you want your puree to be sweet enough to offset the addition of rice flour
** any fat that's solid at room temperature will do. I used refined coconut oil, which is flavor neutral. Margarine or Earth balance would work the same. Butter and virgin coconut oil will work texture-wise, just know that they'll affect the flavor a little.
Start with the black sesame filling. Ground walnut & black sesame in a food processor until you get a fine powder. mix in brown sugar and coconut oil. Mix until evenly combined. Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out small balls of fillings. Chill the fillings until ready to use. This will harden the filling a little and make them easier to wrap.
While filling is chilling, make the mochi dough. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Microwave for ~5 minutes or until softened. Scoop out the soft flesh and mash it with a wooden spoon. Add maple syrup, adjust based on sweetness of your squash. Add mochiko. Mix until even and roll the dough out. Cut into small portions & roll into small balls.
Wrap each individual filling in each portion of mochi dough. Carve some wedges around the mochi with a bamboo skewer so they look like little pumpkins. Steam for 10~15 minutes, or until mochi is cooked through. It should look a little translucent, with a deep orange color.
Fresh steamed mochi can be very sticky. Careful not to break them when taking them out of the steamer. You can brush them with a little vegetable oil first to prevent sticking.