Saturday, November 19, 2011

Allison's first post: pumpkin spice cupcakes

Fall means pumpkin flavored things are everywhere. My kitchen is no exception. What is it about the season the sends us into a fall flavor craving frenzy?

I subscribe to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It's a great source for new recipes to try and most of the ones I choose to try are successful. Some are fun to try once, others become household favorites.

November's issue included a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes from Emeril Lagasse's monthly feature in the mag...
"Cooking with Emeril" where Emeril and his adorable children guide the reader through delicious recipes.

Emeril's pumpkin-spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

nonstick cooking spray
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (from a 15 ounce can)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
cream cheese frosting (from recipe below)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Lightly coat 24 standard muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and vanilla.  In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, until combined.

2.  Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  Let cupcakes cool in pans on wire racks, 15 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from pans and let cool completely on racks, 10 minutes. (Store cupcakes in airtight containers, up to to 2 days.) To serve, spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

For the cream cheese frosting:
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 12 ounces cream cheese and 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, both room temperature, until smooth, about 4 minutes. With mixer on low, beat in 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy, 5 minutes.  Thin with 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk if necessary.  (Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.) Makes 3 cups.

I had to cut this recipe in half because I did not need 24 cupcakes hanging around the house. Also, WARNING!  I did not make the frosting. I do not particularly like frosting (I usually find it sugar overkill, and that's saying a lot, because my sweet tooth is roughly the size of my head!)  and recently
made a recipe with cream cheese frosting that included just about enough cream cheese for me for a month. But more on that another time.
Anyway, back to the delicious cupcakes...

I used coconut milk because I had some hanging around in the fridge
and no buttermilk. The coconut milk's flavor didn't interfere with the pumpkin, I think it basically disappeared, though it would have been a welcome flavor to this cupcake. I think it's thickness played a part
in making these cupcakes very very moist and delicious.I also accidentally used half a can of pumpkin instead of half a cup.  They were in the oven for the full 20 minutes of baking time.

They were delicious enough for me to eat 1 and split another one with
my husband, right out of the oven. Even without the cream cheese frosting.

Do you use baking cups?  I can't justify spending the money on them, I
never remember to stock up on them when I'm at the store anyway, and I kind of like to "go green" in the kitchen when I can.  Though, that is
probably completely negated by the spray oil that comes from an aerosol can that I use instead.... hmmm.....

If you make the cupcakes, let us know how they turn out!  
Yours truly,

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