Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I needed to make something pumpkin.  Every magazine, food blog – everybody is all about pumpkin and I was feeling left out.  But then I made these, and now I’m not feeling that way.  And I have lots of leftover pumpkin which I will use this weekend to make Pumpkin Donut Muffins and then I’ll feel like I totally belong to the Pumpkin Club.

In fact, I think I should be President of the Pumpkin Club because I didn’t take the SHORTCUT that everyone else is taking buying pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.  I made it myself.
Take that, Pumpkin Club.

There were good, but really – when was something with cream cheese icing NOT good?   I know.

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For the pumpkin pie spice:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(This makes one teaspoon – you need to double this for this recipe.)

For the cupcakes:
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For the icing:
12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons of while milk for thinning, if necessary
(This makes 3 cups of icing, which is WAY more than I think you need.  You could eat the remaining with a spoon or I’d half this.)

Preparation Instructions

For the pumpkin pie spice: combine all the ingredients.

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly coat muffins tins with cooking spray or line with papers.  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 the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, until combined.  Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  Let cupcakes cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on racks, 10 minutes.  (Store cupcakes in airtight containers for up to 2 days.)  To serve, spread icing onto cooled cupcakes.  Yield: 24 cupcakes.

For the icing: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth – about 4 minutes.  With mixer on low, beat in icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  Thin with whole milk if necessary.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day, bring it to room temperature before using.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I made and ate this a few weeks ago, but looking at this picture, I’d like to make it and eat it again.  NOW.  This cake + a cup of tea or a cup of coffe or a glass of milk or a glass of wine = breakfast heaven.

This recipe comes from Edna Staebler – if you don’t know who she is, I’ll tell you…another time.  First, make this cake.  Then, we’ll talk.

Dear friends attending the girls weekend in Collingwood this weekend:  I am bringing this cake.  Well, not this one.  A fresh one.  I may ot may not share it with you.

Source: Food That Really Schmecks

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
For topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

Preparation Instructions

Blend butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Combine sour cream and soda, add alternating with flour and baking powder to the creamed mixture.  Spread half the batter into a greased 9×9 cake pan.  Sprinkle with half of the topping.  Cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle the rest of the topping on top.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Peach Cobbler

QUICK!  You still might have time to make this before peach season is over.  Our local market still had lots and I heard someone say that peaches would likely be around until Thanksgiving.  I didn’t think I’d enjoy this, but I was very, very wrong.  It was amazing!

Trick to peeling the peaches – place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water.  Drain after 3 minutes and the skins will easily peel off.

Side note: I think I need to iron this tablecloth?  Maybe next time.

Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

5 ripe peaches
¾ cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cups butter, softened
1 egg
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¾ cups flour
¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Peel, halve, and pit the peaches. Slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges.  Combine the peaches, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Let the fruit stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes.

Make the dough: Cream together the butter and remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest until the batter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined.

Transfer the peaches to an 8-inch square-baking pan. Drop the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls over the fruit.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Let the cobbler cool slightly and serve it warm – alone or with ice cream.

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

I made these over the weekend because I had some frozen berries to get rid of.  My first batch was an epic FAIL.  They looked terrible and all of the filling ran out of them – but they tasted good.  These take some serious patience and they’re a little tedious.  BUT, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be good to go.

Mmm, pastry.

They are cute and little and taste like pie – but honestly, a pie probably would have been easier to make.

I took the recipe from here.  She’s a cute little blogger to check-out if you’re looking to waste some time.  I feel like we could be friends – minus the RUN part.  I’m not big on running.

Mixed Berry Hand Pies

 

Photo taken from http://www.eatliverun.com/mixed-berry-hand-pies/

Ingredients

1 box of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in fridge
1 16oz bag of frozen mixed frozen berries
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of cold water
1 egg
1 tablespoon of warm water

Preparation Instructions

Whisk together the cold water and the cornstarch in a small bowl until dissolved.  Set aside.

Combine the berries, lemon juice and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-high.  Once the berries have burst and the mixture has started to simmer, slowly add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring constanting and bring the mixture to a boil.  Continue to boil until it thickens – about 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool while you prepare the pastry.

Preheat the over to 375F.

Working with once piece of puff pastry at a time, roll out, smoothing the edges and slice into 6 equal sized squares.  Place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Pleace 1-2 tablespoons of the berry mixture onto half of the pastry.  Carefully fold the pastry over and pinch all of the edges together well.  Using a knife, make 3 small slits across the top.

Whisk together the egg and the water and brush on each pie.  Sprinkle sugar over each.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tips: don’t try and put too much filling in, it will only run out when it bakes.  The pinching is crucial – you really need to get the pastry to stick together and hold the filling in.  Also, the cuts in the top are important – use a really sharp knife.

Classic Chocolate Pudding (Plus 4 Flavor Variations)

This was heavenly.  Bill Cosby should have been in my kitchen to taste test this.  Jello has got NOTHING on me.
I let the Bud lick the spoon when I was finished making it and he said “I need more, Mama”.
C had thirds.

The recipe that I came across offered 4 different flavor variations and I probably won’t rest until I’ve tried them all.

Classic Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preparation Instructions

Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, milk and egg yolks; add to saucepan.
Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens and is bubbling, 8 to 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture through the sieve and into the bowl.  Stir in butter and vanilla until combined.
Press plastic wrap directly against surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate for 3 hours (or up to 3 days).  To serve, whisk until smooth and divide among bowls.  Serves 4.

Variations:

    • Classic Vanilla: omit cocoa, Increase vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon.
    • Coffee: omit cocoa, add 3 tablespoons of instant espresso powder along with the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
    • Butterscotch: omit cocoa, replace granulated sugar with 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar in the first step.
    • Lemon: omit cocoa and vanilla, add 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest along with the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into the chilled pudding before serving.

Double Chocolate Pound Cake

We had a very busy, yet productive weekend.  Yesterday I spent the entire morning baking – tales of filling my chest freezer, part one.  I should probably be trying to preserve some of the summer goodness right now and be focusing on freezing fruits and vegetables.  I should also probably be trying to fill the freezer with wholesome things.  No, instead I made this.  It’s delicious.  I made it thinking ‘this will be so great to serve when we have someone over for coffee’.  We never have people over for coffee.  That’s what old people do.
So, instead it will probably sit in the freezer for a month or two and then I’ll pull it out thinking it needs to be eaten and I’ll consume the entire thing myself. 

Anyone want to come over for coffee? 

I don’t have  a picture because I still don’t have a camera.  I’m working on it.  It’s hard to justify 3 months worth of grocery money right now, people. 

This makes one large loaf – it’s good on it’s own, but would be good served with icecream or whipped cream and some berries.   

Double Chocolate Pound Cake

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt
6 ounces of chocolate chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly butter and flour a loaf pan.  In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until very light and fluffy, 7 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute.  Add vanilla, then gradually add eggs, beating well and scraping down the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low, add salt and then gradually add flour and cocoa (mixed together), scraping down the bowl as needed.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 65 minutes.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 1 hour.  Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.  To Store, wrap in foil or plastic and keep at room temperature for up to three days.

Tip: the temperature is important.  Let the butter sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  If your eggs are cold, place them in warm water for 15 minutes.