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Archive for November, 2012

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I realize that this post might be a bit out of season but here it is. My favorite month of the year? Easy, September. Hello sunny warm days and cool sweatshirt evenings, the start of football season (go Seahawks), a new school year, fall leaves and everything else good. Yes my favorite season is fall. Close runner up? Summer. Duh. Holidays, the lake, water skiing, camp fires, traveling, there is nothing wrong with this situation.

Foods associated with my favorite seasons: pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and pumpkin (it’s that important that it needs to be repeated) for fall, and berries, fresh fruits and produce, s’mores and bbqs for summer.

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Where I’m going with this is that it was fate for me to make these cupcakes. Pumpkin s’more cupcakes? Hello best of both worlds/seasons.

I have to be honest here, I’m not a cupcake fan. They just don’t make any sense to me. I’m probably the ugliest eater ever so that works out perfectly when I’m handed a cupcake. Can’t I just have a full piece of cake all to myself that I can top with ice cream and eat with a fork like a lady? What a joke. But whenever I’m with the Minnesotan we bake cupcakes. Turns out they are growing on me. Especially thanks to these.

These cupcakes were pretty up there. The pumpkin was delicious, the graham cracker crust was a bit over the top, the hidden chocolate was my favorite, and the marshmallow topping was definitely all right. Again some honesty, next time I’d switch things up a bit, keeping the pumpkin and chocolate combo and topping it all of with a cream cheese icing.

Yes there will be a next time.

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After all, now that we’re entering into winter I’m going to need something to do to keep myself from getting depressed about all of this rain and darkness. 7 more months until summer. But who’s counting.

Pumpkin S’more Cupcakes

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Graham Crust
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with lines.

Combine the melted butter and graham crumbs together, mixing well until combined.

Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon into each cupcake liner, pressing with the back of a spoon to form a crust.

Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups brown sugar      1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla                       1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup pumpkin                1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda                1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt                         1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup milk

Whisk egg and sugar together in a large bowl until combined and no lumps remain.

Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in pumpkin puree.

Add in flour, baking soda, powder, salt and pumpkin spice, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth.

Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust, filling the liners 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely.

Fudge Ganache filling
4 ounces mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp heavy cream

Combine and heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a pot over the stovetop stirring frequently until melted and combined.

Let sit until cupcakes are cool, then fill a pastry bag with the chocolate and insert the top straight down into the cupcake, squeezing the ganache inside.

Marshmallow Frosting

2 large egg whites            1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar     1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water and whisk constantly 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm.

Remove the bowl and using a beater, initially beat on slow, gradually increasing the speed to high.

Beat 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla until combined.

Frost the cupcakes.

Torch the frosting or place in the oven on grill to create the toasted effect.

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My trips to Minnesota to visit one of my closest friends can be summed by a number of words: whirlwind, cute little boys, church life and girl time – think dinners out (hello Melting Pot, nice to meet you!), movie nights, pedicures, baseball games and baking.

Another girl who loves Jesus, Pinterest, baking, country music and sports? I always knew that this would work out. Last time we were together we made Samoa cupcakes, which I think caused my sugar overdose, so this time we decided to tone things down a bit and make these peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate cheesecake frosting. Because that’s toning things down…

I have to admit that these cupcakes were a bit weird because they never seemed to be cooked, which then led to me over baking them. Because of course that’s what would happen. Regardless they were still good and my love for all things chocolate and peanut butter continues to grow.

Did I mention that I’m super excited because she’s coming to Vancouver for the first time next weekend? Aka bring on more baking!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Cheesecake Frosting

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Cupcakes

1/4 cup butter                        1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar                            2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla                            1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder          1/3 cup milk

3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and peanut butter together in a bowl until smooth and creamy.

Add sugar and eggs and beat together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix for another minute or so.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in peanut butter morsels.

Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let cool.

Chocolate Cheesecake Frosting

1/2 cup butter                  1 block cream cheese (8 ounces), softened

1 tbsp vanilla                    4 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder       1-2 tbsp milk, if needed

Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in vanilla.

Slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and add cocoa powder, increasing the speed to mix.

If the frosting it a bit too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  If it is too thin, add additional sugar gradually.

Frost cupcakes once cooled.

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