These cupcakes encompass all things fall and are the perfect use for those pie pumpkins left over from Halloween. If cooking down pumpkin flesh to make the puree from scratch, be sure to be using baking pumpkins, or the flesh will have little flavor and be stringy.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Toffee Bits
makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée, not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup toffee bits, chopped
The weekend before last, we headed north to my home 30 minutes South of Buffalo for the First Annual Meyer Harvest Patch Bash! And after a quick, but fun-filled couple of short days there, we headed back to DC with a car overloaded with produce from the farm… my favorite at the moment, the delicious and beautiful (they’re currently in a huge silver bowl on my coffee table) turnips that my darling husband dug up for me! Stay tuned tomorrow for a recipe for the hit of the weekend… Caramel Apple Bourbon Butter!!!
Swoon alert!!! I am totally in love with these handcrafted little pumpkins from Danielle of the Thompson Family Blog. I whipped up a bunch this summer and have been meaning to share the pictures and just haven’t gotten around to Photoshopping them. I’m in Buffalo letterpressing today and tomorrow, but will be back with chef of the week on Thursday. Until then, happy crafting!
Having grown up on a pumpkin farm, I get this question a ton… How do I take a pumpkin I buy at the market and turn it into a pumpkin pie? Well, believe it or not, pumpkin pie doesn’t always come from that canned pumpkin in the preserved foods aisle at the grocery store.
Here are my tips for the perfect mashed pumpkin:
- Avoid field pumpkins, which are bred for perfect jack o’ lanterns: they tend to be too large and stringy and not very flavorful.
- Ask the farmer for sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties: small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, these are the suckers you want.
- A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.
I prefer baking the pumpkin over boiling or steaming to get the flesh soft enough to work with. Here’s how…
Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast if you’d like. In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender. (Stick a fork in it – if it’s not soft, keep roasting.) Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it. For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve or pulse in a food processor.
If you haven’t carved the pumpkins on your front steps yet, visit SpookMaster for free patterns for carving your candidates face.
Have a safe and fun holiday!
Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds after carving your Halloween designs… Instead, make a little snack loaded with protein and fiber.
Simply rinse the seeds under cold water and pick up out the pulp and strings. Then place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter. Sprinkle with a little sea salt then bake at 325 degrees until lightly toasted (about 15-20 minutes).
So often canned pumpkin is the ubiquitious ingredient called for in pumpkin pie, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise as hacking and roasting a pie pumpkin can be a bit of a process. Well, if you’ve never baked a pumpkin pie from scratch (and we’re talking roasting the pumpkin scratch), it’s really not that challenging for the perks you’ll get in flavoring it yourself. I’m not the hugest fan of over-spiced fall recipes… There such a thing as too much clove, nutmeg and cinnamon and by roasting your own pumpkins for pie, this is something you can control.
Start by washing the pie pumpkin (a great variety for pies is Baby Pam) and then break off the stem and hack it in half. Then scoop out the seeds. Fill a 13×9″ pan with 1/4″ water. Place pumpkins skin side up and roast at 400 degrees until very tender… This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Scoop the soft flesh from the skins and puree in a food processor with desired spices. Use in the same porportions for pie as with a canned recipe.
Taste the difference!
Gewurz with a Baby Pam at my parent’s house