Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Flavors

The cold weather has completely activated my taste buds into fall mode. I have been craving flavors like apple, squash, and pumpkin. As my cupcake recipe testing continues, I decided it was only appropriate to find the perfect pumpkin cupcake recipe. While I develop my recipes, I am also developing my decorating skills. In an effort to improve, I went to the craft store and got two new piping bags and a few new tips. In addition, I purchased a practice set of patterns to trace for beginners. Let's just say that "practice makes perfect", and I am in need of A LOT of practice! :)

Nonetheless, I am LOVING this and do not mind baking and decorating all the time! If I had the time (and money), I would bake ALL day! The hardest part is refraining from eating them. I am trying to stick to my one serving of dark chocolate chips as a "snack" at night, instead of the delectable cupcakes that stare me down begging to make the button on my jeans pop.

 These pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the culprits of my temptation! Enjoy :)

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 c instant potatoes
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C butter, melted
1 1/2 c sugar
1 egg
3/4 c pumpkin puree 

Directions: Preheat oven to 335 F (I used a convection oven). Set oven to 350 F if using a conventional oven.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the instant potatoes until combined.
With the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg and pumpkin. 

Add dry ingredients slowly until combined. (Be careful not to over-mix). 

Fill about 3/4 up. The batter will not rise much. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Yields 12 cupcakes.

The cupcakes are iced with a cream cheese frosting. I made a maple syrup infused cream cheese frosting and a regular cream cheese frosting, but the maple syrup frosting did not taste any different. My family preferred the regular cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 C butter, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C powdered sugar.

Directions: With the whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar until combined.

Wine Pairings: 
Try a late harvest Riesling. My suggestion: Chaddsford Winery's Late Harvest Style Riesling. 
I also love a semi-dry Riesling from Prince Michel Winery & Vineyard.
Not a fan of Riesling? Try a bold, port wine. 

Readers, I leave you with this old Latin saying: "It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason."

Bon Appetit!

The Fashionista Foodie

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