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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Icing

Pumpkins are in season and they are arriving in supermarkets, all shapes and sizes, wanting to be carved baked and eaten. As common as it now is in pop culture to hull them out and carve them, they still remain part of the squash family and can be prepared just as any other squash would. You could, roast it, boil it, make smoothies, soups, mash or bake with it. Personally I really enjoy this time of year for the arrival of all types of squashes and to discover their unique flavors and what they can offer to new recipes.

Let's start this mini series of squashes, with a very familiar member of this family, the pumpkin. Preparing the meat of this squash is just like any other squash. Put in half, hull out the insides with spoon and boil the pumpkin pieces until the meat is tender to a fork. The seeds of the pumpkin can of course be kept, rinsed, seasoned with oil and roasted. These prepared seeds can be added to salads or other dishes of your choice. So I offer you today this very VERY delicious recipe which will bring you comfort and warmth in these cold and at times damp, autumn days.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Dry Ingredients
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1Tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tsp grated fresh ginger (or powdered ginger)
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon 
Wet Ingredients
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter, room temperature
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- 15oz pumpkin puree (From a can or by preparing from a fresh pumpkin)

Preheat oven to 350F and line 12 muffin tins with papers. 
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and stir to mix well.
2. In a medium sized bowl, cream the 2 sugars and the butter. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well to combine after each egg.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry to combine well but NOT OVER MIXING. Then add the pumpkin puree in the mixture and stir gently to get a uniform, smooth mixture. Spoon equally in 12 muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 

Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 - 250g container of cream cheese, softened 
- 1/2 Cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 Cup icing sugar
- 1 Tbsp liquid vanilla extract 

Mix together the cream cheese, butter and sugar until all combined and smooth. Add the vanilla. The more you beat this icing, the lighter and fluffier it will become. Pipe on cupcakes and serve! 

This recipe is a great hit at thanksgiving parties, potlucks and Halloween parties alike. Impress your friends and family with this great fall tasting treat! 

Eat well and till next time,


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