Monday, December 1, 2008

Waiting to inhale.

I know I'm too late for Thanksgiving on this one. I simply couldn't get this posted in time, what with work and going out of town to see my family, but I still want to share this one with you because they're so good and I still crave pumpkin goods even after Thanksgiving. Maybe you can use it for next year--or be a little nontraditional and make them any time of the year.

I tried making these pumpkin cupcakes
for a friend who was giving me a ride to the airport last week, and I loved how they made the house smell. I read somewhere recently that the first thing a person notices upon entering a room is the scent. Nothing beats the aroma that comes from the oven, which makes the home welcoming. It even creates a sense of anticipation, because it usually means something good is ahead--or at least there is the hope of something good! And nothing says "cozy" the way apple pie or chocolate chip cookies in the oven does, which no candle or air freshener can mimic. (I have a "Sugar Cookie" scented candle that really does smell just like sugar cookies, but it only leaves me unsatisfied.) Fortunately, the finished product here does not disappoint.

I was originally going to try to make these pumpkin cupcakes after Halloween from scratch. I mean, completely scratch--as in, gut and roast the pumpkin, scoop out and puree the flesh, etc. It didn't seem hard, and thought it'd be kind of cool to be able to say, yeah, I roasted the pumpkin myself. After all, my roommate had bought a pumpkin for Halloween, so why not make full use of it? Except, when I roasted it, the flesh turned yellow (not the nice orange hue you always see), it smelled really strange (I have no words to describe it), and it was extremely fibrous (fiber is good for you, but can you imagine taking a bite out of stringy pumpkin pie?). I learned that pumpkins from pumpkin patches are not ideal for cooking (if I had done my homework a little better beforehand, I would have known this). Thank goodness for organic pumpkin puree in a can from Trader Joe's.

So here it is, pumpkin cupcakes...with pumpkin from a can...after Thanksgiving...but they still smell heavenly.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
(Sadly, I don't remember where I got the original recipe so I'm not able to give credit where it's due.) Makes about 18 cupcakes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinammon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
14 T. (or 1 3/4 sticks) melted unsalted butter (cool to about room temperature)
4 large eggs

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree

- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line the cupcake pan.
- Combine the dry ingredients, except for the sugars, in a bowl, and whisk together.
- In another bowl, use a whisk to combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs.
- Add the flour mixture to the the wet ingredients and mix completely; then add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
- Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. The cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I had originally planned to frost these with a cream cheese frosting similar to what I had used for the carrot cupcakes, but after trying one, I thought they were great on their own.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love the name of this post--LOL--how great!

    I bet these are good with out icing. I have a favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe, but by golly this one looks good enough to give it a run for its money.


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