Double Pumpkin Cupcakes

I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving, but I had to have something pumpkin, too.

Pumpkin CupcakesThese are great for fall and into winter holidays. The pumpkin makes the cake so moist. People have loved these every time I’ve baked them, from office parties to family gatherings.

Double the recipe below for a “normal” batch, I wanted the just nine that this made.

pumpkin cupcake wrappers

I was given these cute pumpkin wrappers a few years ago. I was happy to finally use them!

I’ve done these before with cinnamon icing, but I decided to double down on pumpkin. I was worried that the frosting wouldn’t work out, the butter and pumpkin did not cream together as one recipe I saw describe them as doing. It worked out once I started adding the vanilla and powdered sugar, though!

Pumpkin Frosting

Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes and Frosting

Makes 9 cupcakes

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 oz. pumpkin purée (use canned or fresh, but make sure it is pure pumpkin - this is 1/3 of a 15 oz. can or a bit more than 1/2 cup)
FROSTING:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 oz. (a bit less than 1/2 cup) pumpkin purée
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line your tins with 9 liners.

Beat the butter and two sugars on medium until creamed. Add the egg.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk.

Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients until just combined, then mix in the pumpkin purée.

Scoop into tins with a ice cream scoop or your preferred method, filling about 3/4. Bake for about 22 minutes, turning halfway through. Cool for 5 minutes in pans, then cool completely on a rack before icing.

For frosting: Beat together the room temperature butter and pumpkin purée until as smooth as possible. Add the vanilla and spices. Slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing well.

[ Posted in Fruit, Holidays, Recipes ] [ 1 Comment ]

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread “cupcake” with Limoneira lemon sauce

One of my favorite desserts as a child was my grandmother’s gingerbread, which she topped with lemon sauce. The smell of this gingerbread hits me with straight nostalgia. It brings back many happy childhood memories of enjoying comforting food in cool weather and anticipating the holiday season.

Gingerbread by Amelie

The spices in the recipe are typical of gingerbread—ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you have Steen’s Sugar Cane Syrup from Louisiana (I can’t eat pancakes without it), that’s what you use. Molasses will do in a pinch.

I recently learned that the recipe for the gingerbread itself had been passed to my grandmother by a long ago neighbor of hers who had gotten it from her mother. So, really, it is a woman named Mattie Lou’s gingerbread (or perhaps her grandmother’s? You never know!). To me, however, it will always be my grandmother Glo’s gingerbread.

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I love these flavors. The gingerbread spices contrasted with the tart lemon sauce make this a perfect dessert for me.

Glo recommends doubling the lemon sauce recipe. And you should always listen to my grandmother! I used bright, juicy Limoneira lemons for this batch. 

You can prepare the dough ahead of time. This batter will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

I hope this gingerbread helps your family make wonderful memories, too!

Thank you to Limoneira, a sustainable citrus grower in California, for the lemons! Visit www.limoneiralifestyles.com for lemons and oranges, natural skin care products, and more.

Recipe: Glo’s Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

Makes 9x13 pan or 24 muffins

2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses or sugar cane syrup
3 eggs
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
LEMON SAUCE:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar, then add the syrup. Beat in 1 egg at a time.

Put baking soda in buttermilk and add to mixture. Add dry seasonings into the flour and sift in slowly.

Pour into a 9x13 pan or muffin tins and bake about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Make lemon sauce by combining sugar, cornstarch and water over low flame, stirring constantly. When thick, remove and stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve lemon sauce over gingerbread, warm.

[ Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Muffins/Bread ] [ 3 Comments ]

Tasting Tour NYC: Roni-Sue’s Chocolates

Lower East Side, Manhattan

Roni-Sue’s Chocolates
148 Forsyth Street
www.roni-sue.com

Go to Roni-Sue’s Chocolate Shoppe for chocolate truffles, toffees, caramel popcorn, pretzel treats, and other confections. Bacon lovers can’t miss the Pig Candy (chocolate-covered bacon). The café has a cute backyard garden and also offers classes and hosts private events. Roni-Sue uses MOHO Chocolate, direct-trade, single origin 60% dark chocolate from Belize.

Amelie Dips Chocolate

I visited Roni-Sue’s for “Fall Into Chocolate” co-hosted by Divalicious Chocolate Events. This was a chocolate-dipping party with both a dark chocolate fountain and—something I’d never before seen—a matcha white chocolate fountain.

Divalicious Chocolate Fountains

Want one of these for a party? Check out Divalicious Chocolate Fountain Rentals.

There were strawberries, cookies, pumpkin muffins, pretzels, marshmallows, cream puffs, popcorn balls, gummy candy…and much more to dip. I think my favorite were the rice crispies treats, the chocolate really got into the crevices!

Dippers for Chocolate

Popcorn, fruit, cookies—including beautiful pizzelles—and even potato chips were perfect dippers for both the dark chocolate and matcha-flavored white chocolate.

Happy Chocolate Dippers

Chocolate Dipped Goodies

To wash it all down, there was hot chocolate and hot apple cider with chocolate-dipped cinnamon sticks.

[ Posted in Bakeries, Candy/Cookies, Desserts ] [ Photos by ] [ Leave a comment ]

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Caramel Apple Mini Pies - Photo by Jason Walker-Yung

Mini Apple Pies topped with Sonoma Syrup Co. Salted Caramel

It is fall here in New York, and the delicious, fresh-off-the-tree apples are to be had in abundance. I don’t want any to go to waste, so it was apple pie time! Of course, I had to try baking some in cupcake tins.

Filling

Baking what I blog, I followed my instructions for making and freezing apple pie filling. I used 7 apples, which were 2 1/2 pounds once peeled and cut. Juice from a Limoneira lemon along with cinnamon and nutmeg flavored the filling. I needed only about 1/3 of it to make 12 mini apple pies, so I froze the rest for a future pie.

Amelie Peeling Apples

I cut the apples in chunks rather than slices to better fit the muffin tins, and I perhaps could have cut smaller, though I did not want it to turn into applesauce. I could only get about 4 pieces of apple in each. It was enough, though I felt there were some gaps in a few pies (gasp!).

Cooking Apple Filling

Crust

I’ve had good results with Simply Recipes‘ all-butter crust recipe, though I use a stand mixer with a flat beater instead of a food processor.

My method: After mixing together the flour, sugar and salt, I stop the mixer to add the butter, tossing with a fork to coat before mixing on medium-low speed until it resembles coarse cornmeal. I then add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to pulls together.

Mini Pie Crusts

I cut out 4-inch rounds to place in the bottom of greased muffin tins. After filling the cups, I cut pieces of pastry dough and wove a lattice with six strips for each. It took awhile, but the results were pretty cute! I could have gone larger for the bottom crusts, I didn’t have a rim to fold back over for a better edge. It worked out ok, I just tucked each strip under, trying to connect to dough below.

Amelie Weaving Pie Lattice

Caramel

To get in just a bit more deliciousness, I used Sonoma Syrup Co.‘s Sea Salt Caramel Syrup to add a finishing touch. I put the caramel in a squeeze bottle for more control and drizzled some over the uncooked pies before putting them into the oven.

Sonoma Syrup Co. Caramel on Apple Pies

When researching caramel apple pie recipes, I’d read one that poured caramel over the lattice, which is all I did here. A taste of just the top crust was delightfully caramel, but overall I’d say that I did not use enough. If you try the same, you should really pour that stuff on!

It got messy in the oven, but once the pies had cooled somewhat and come out of the pans, I was delighted with the results.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies - Photo by Jason Walker-Yung

Thank you to Sonoma Syrup Co. for the caramel syrup. The company handcrafts its extracts, syrups, and bar mixers in small batches in Northern California with botanical ingredients. Learn more at www.sonomasyrup.com.

 

[ Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Technique ] [ Photos by ] [ Leave a comment ]

Tasting Tour NYC: Betty Bakery

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Betty Bakery
448 Atlantic Avenue
www.bettybakery.com

Betty's cupcakes at Atlantic Antic 2016

Betty’s Atlantic Antic spread

I’ve always eyed this bakery when walking past it on Atlantic Avenue, but I have never quite made it inside. When I saw their table outside the shop during the recent Atlantic Antic—an annual can’t-miss street festival, the oldest and largest in Brooklyn—I stopped to give one of their cupcakes a try.

Betty Bakery Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake from Betty Bakery

It was a solid no-nonsense cupcake. Nothing fancy but some sprinkles, the chocolate cake did the job with a sweet berry punch of strawberry frosting.

Stop at Betty’s for a sweet break when shopping Atlantic Avenue, where you can get spices, furniture, knick-knacks, or maybe even a wedding dress.

Betty Bakery Brooklyn

Outside Betty Bakery on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Ave

[ Posted in Bakeries ] [ Leave a comment ]