Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Passing Pumpkin Cupcakes and Midterms

I love how each season of the year has uniquely different foods. In the spring you get to eat fresh fennel, rhubarb, herbs, peas, ramps, and strawberries and in summer you can eat tons of fresh veggies, fruit and my favorite all you can eat blueberries and watermelon, in winter you can snuggle down with big bowls of soup and stew and big warm delicious hunks of meat to get ready for hibernation. But, my favorite foods come during the fall season. As you know, I love winter. It's my favorite season and I have already been dreaming of snow. However, fall foods are the best! It is now time for pumpkins, apple, cranberries, figs, zucchini, acorn squash and pears to name a few. Plus you get the best foods with Thanksgiving. But as a pumpkin lover and pumpkin hoarder (43 cans of pumpkin are in my pantry), this is my time of year to eat all the pumpkin I can (until I turn orange), buy pumpkin and roast my own pumpkin. 

I talk about baking and cooking in my class all the time, so I decided to bring in a special surprise treat. We were studying for midterms by playing Intercom Jeopardy and I showed up with 25 mini pumpkin cupcakes (the remainder of the cupcakes when to Tiffany and a few ended up in my refrigerator) topped with a pumpkin cream cheese buttercream topped with hand grated cinnamon and nutmeg, it was a good time to show off my baking skills, especially since I have been talking about baking for half of the semester. Almost everyone in class took one cupcake and then they all returned for seconds, thirds and one person got a fourth. 3 people offered to take the remaining few cupcakes off my hands. So I returned home with an empty cupcake carrier and the pumpkin cupcakes were a huge hit and the awesomeness of my baking credibility still stands. Do you think I will get an A on my midterms for bringing cupcakes? I hope so!

Fall Favorite Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart

45 mini cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz. ) pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 350˚F
Line the muffin tins with cupcake liners (preferably greaseproof cupcake liners)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside. 
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, butter, and eggs. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add in the pumpkin puree.  
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners with an ice cream scoop, filling each about halfway. Bake until top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Buttercream
a Calamity Kate original

1 stick butter (1/4 pound), room temperature
8 oz (1 box) cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoon Crisco
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1  1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2  to 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon meringue powder, optional
cinnamon stick and nutmeg seed to grate and sprinkle over the cupcakes

In a mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese and Crisco, cream together. Add in the vanilla extract. pumpkin puree and spices and stir to mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl clean and add powdered sugar and beat on high for 3-4 minutes until the butter cream becomes light and fluffy.  Pipe the butter cream onto the completely cooled cupcakes. Dust the cupcakes with the grated cinnamon stick and nutmeg seed. You can also use ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon spices. 

The buttercream needs to be kept refrigerated until served. Serve at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh! I remember my college and mid-term days. Survival has to be better with cupcakes like this. I am drooling as I type. Must go get tools to clean up.



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