Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Frosting with Caramel Filling

I've been craving all things pumpkin. I started out with a pumpkin bar recipe and after a couple of tweaks I've come out with a soft, moist, delicious pumpkin cupcake you will love.



PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill your cupcake tins with liners.

In a mixer bowl combine and beat until fluffy:
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (I use canola)
15oz can pumpkin

In a separate bowl sift together:
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low until just combined do not over mix.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

As soon as they are finished remove from the cupcake tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Immediately after they have cooled place in an air tight container. These steps will allow your cupcakes to remain soft and moist. (Again, Do NOT allow to cool in the tin pan.)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

In an electric mixer whip together:
1/2 cup butter softened
8oz package of cream cheese softened
1 tsp vanilla

Add and whip together:
3 cups of confectioners (powdered) sugar

Keep the frosting cold until you are ready to use it.

FILLING
I am still trying to perfect my homemade caramel sauce recipe. So either use some from the store or find a recipe of your own to try.

ASSEMBLY

With a sharp knife gently cut out a hole in the center of your cupcakes and fill almost to the top with caramel. Then frost and serve.

Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are baked. So if you want to split up the work, you can make everything the day before and bake the next day. The cupcake batter will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for about a week. If you use cold batter, you will get a wonderfully mounded top on your cupcake.

Adapted from sweetpeaskitchen.

Funeral Themed Halloween Party

A few years ago my husband and I threw a funeral themed halloween party for six. 
Our beloved Leanard Slipp (three times removed) slipped away just before October 31st. He was known to only a few of us (he was something of a slippery fellow). So the funeral procession was very short. And I am somewhat ashamed to say that we had a good time in spite of our loss. RIP Slipp, RIP. 

The invitation went out with a photo of the deceased and read as follows:

You are respectfully invited to attend a funeral in memoriam of the recently departed Leanard Slipp. Bring your favorite Halloween Treats, Ghoulish games, and frightful films...prepare for a procession of six. Appropriate mourning attire is recommended.

 Above is a photo of the gravestone—which was purchased with Leanard's money of course; and also a picture of the deceased. He was rather wealthy. Below is a photo of Mr. Slipp's unused mansion; we decided to hold the funeral there. (I keep several white sheets on hand. They are handy for all sorts of things.)

My husband and I were caretakers of the grounds. (Although Leanard gave us the slip when our bill was due.)
Below are some of our guests. Some were angry with Mr. Slipp. Some were happy and shocked because they found they had inherited some of Mr. Slipp's wealth.
The mansion walls were covered with images of Mr. Slipp's deceased family members. (Some people have made vintage photos of the deceased available on flickr to download for free.) Also, there were plenty of spiders, bats, and rats to keep us company.
We had soft organ music playing in the background. (Do a google search, you can find funeral organ music for free download.) And of course refreshments were served in honor of Mr. Slipp's final resting place.

Cookie Tubs with Printed Ingredient Cards

We've all seen the cute gift idea with mason jars and ingredients for cookies...but mason jars are expensive! So instead, purchase plastic containers (4 for about 2-3 bucks) and use those instead.

Here, I've created a tag with a photo I took of the cookies, and on the back I put the directions. Then punched a hole in it, tied it with ribbon and delivered! So next time you make your favorite cookies—don't forget to take a picture. You never know when you might need it.