Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mummies and Ghouls and Spiders, Oh My!

Don't you just love the fall?  The colors, the clothes (man do I love me some boots and a cozy sweater!), the holidays and traditions...I love it all.  I also like the next couple of months because when I bake cupcakes for my class, it is easy to make themed decorations, starting with Halloween.

It was my daughter's very first Halloween, and one of my students got her the most appropriate and perfect costume (in addition to the owl her dad and I had already gotten)...a cupcake!  Now is this not the cutest little cupcake you have ever seen? >>  Next year I"m thinking round 2 with this costume...

I had two things to bake cupcakes for this month - one was my daughter's Halloween play date and the other was my normal baking for my class' birthdays.  I had big dreams of using fondant because of a cool idea I saw on Pinterest...but then the reality of mommyhood and lack of free time kicked me in the butt, and I "just" did frosting.  I'm still super pleased with the results, though, and based on the "no cupcake left behind" - my students thought they were pretty good, too!

For this, I turned to my trusty (and crusty) Martha Stewart book for this tried and true recipe...

Pumpkin - Brown Butter Cupcakes

3/4 cup butter (@ room temperature)
1 2/3 cup all purpose flower
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg  (I use more than this - I LOVE nutmeg, especially fresh)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated shugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Swirl occasionally, until butter turns golden brown.  Skim foam from top and remove from heat.  Pour into bowl to stop the cooking - leave the crusty sediment in the saucepan.  Let it cool.

Whisk together flour, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, whisk puree, both sugars, eggs and brown butter mixture (after it's cooled).  Mix until just combined - don't overdo it or you're headed for flat top cupcakes!

Divide batter evenly and bake - rotating 1/2 way through.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a test stick comes out cleanly!

Top with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!!!  So, so good, my friends!

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