Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Now, you know how much we love pairing pumpkin and chocolate together, right? Well, if you tried the pumpkin chocolate chippers, here is another recipe I've perfected using those two complimentary ingredients! See, I had these 3 baking pumpkins still sitting here from the fall...and it was high time I used them! So I cut them into wedges, roasted them, pureed them, and was preparing to freeze all of that brilliant orange goodness...when I decided to use some of it right then. Why freeze it all when I could use some fresh??

I remembered a recipe I saw in Deceptively Delicious for chocolate chip cupcakes, and after looking it over, decided to tweak it a bit to my liking...and the following is what I came up with. They must be good, because the kids went nutty over them! Oh yeah, and Sheri had TWO!! (Sheri here... In my defense, I felt it was my job to taste-test the cupcakes once while they were warm and then again when completely cooled. I considered it my duty!)

Pumpkin Cupcakes

1-1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. flax meal
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips


8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. maple syrup
2-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Put paper liners in 16 regular sized muffin cups. Take out your batter bowl if you have one, and if not, well...any old bowl will do. But I must say, I do LOVE my batter bowl! It shakes things up a bit! Now put your pumpkin puree, brown sugar, water, oil, and vanilla in and beat it until it's well blended.

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the puree mixture and mix them completely. Fold in those delightful chocolate chips, and we are ready to go! Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Make sure you remove them from the muffin tins to cool before frosting them so the condensation doesn't build up and make the bottoms wet and sticky!

Now, let's make the frosting! What's a cupcake without frosting??? It must be noted here that I am not usually a fan of frosting. It's just too...sugary. But this frosting is different. It's sweetened with my favorite - REAL MAPLE SYRUP!!! And it's soooooo good! Beat the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Make sure you taste the frosting multiple times to make sure the consistency and flavor are perfect! Remember, we believe taste testing is a must!!!

When the cupcakes are completely cooled and the frosting is just right, cover them in that sweet creamy goodness! You won't be disappointed!! I sprinkled crushed pistachios on mine, but only because I had some sitting there from a previous recipe. It's completely optional!

**We find that these cupcakes taste best when eaten fresh and warm!! The longer they sit, the denser they get!**

Coming Soon... Chicken, Cashews, Water Chestnuts and more....


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