Work was normal last week and I was planning to blog more often. Obviously, it simply did not go as planned. Practically, I have been sorting through my work 'zone' - if I may say, I am quite organized person (on the verge of obsessive) however there are days that my desk is covered from one corner to another. As well as floor space...and sometimes, wall. So I had to do some shuffling. Then closet swap - winter/fall clothing out from the box, summer goes in. With tiny closet, there is no other way of doing it.
All that and enjoying fall colors - I run better during fall and winter. I know it's different for everybody, but I have always thought there is something magical about fall and winter, hence I have upped my miles and at that, sore factor. Meeting up with girl friends for catching up. Enough excuses. A week late, but this is what I whipped up as dessert for our Thanksgiving dinner. I did not get to take photos of everything, trying not to make it into habit for asking our friends to sit on the table and wait around until I am done taking photos.
Vik came up with the idea of cupcakes. No extra dessert plates to wash, see? Though I thought, cupcakes for Thanksgiving dessert?? It does not fit the bill - Thanksgiving! Not bake-sale. Then of course, as I give it some thoughts. I know I wanted to do something with pumpkin. Know I don't want to roll out pie dough, so pumpkin pie is out. Something I can make ahead. When I saw a block of cream cheese in my fridge. Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting sounds just about right.
Do I have a recipe on my own though for pumpkin cupcakes? Of course not. I google-d around and found few different ones. However this one was actually from my pilates instructor. Well..she got it from Canadian Living magazine and changed some of the ingredients. How do I get a recipe from an instructor, long story short - I took her session for a while then switched to another instructor, we bumped to one another, she asked and I explained. Two months ago she started new class and as promised, I went in to check it out and I have been diligently going to her class since then. And couple weeks ago, we established another working relationship, she becomes my client. Gotta make back all the money I paid for membership!! The cream cheese frosting is finger licking good! It's what my host family used to whip up for their carrot cake and red velvet cake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I don't have any, so I just mix in nutmeg, ground cloves and cinnamon)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk (original recipe: buttermilk)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (original recipe: vegetable oil)
few tbsp of chocolate chips (I added this simply because I have some in my pantry)
6 oz cream cheese
2/3 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
- For cupcakes: Mix all dry ingredients together with fork. In another bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together. Pour wet ingredients to dry and mix just until moistened. Fill muffin cups to the top. (Surprise surprise, I don't have muffin baking cups/pan, but I do have assorted brioche molds I got from Indonesia, so I used that instead)
- Bake in 375° oven for about 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- For frosting: Cream together butter, cream cheese, salt and confectioners sugar until smooth. Add in cinnamon and vanilla.
- In my dream, I'd have pipe the frosting to make it all nice. But in reality, I just spread it with spatula. It yields 11 cupcakes and all of them have different frosting design. Not because I have excessive talent in cupcake decorating, but simply couldn't decide which one could win 'the laziest effort of frosting' event. ;) So there was swirly kind, spikey, zagged, et cetera.