Sunday, December 18, 2011

Twenty Five Treats for the Holidays - Day 18

A House Beautiful recipe!

So it's one of my favorite magazines.  I get all kinds of inspiration from how the designers use color and pattern.  My imagination tries to work rugs into afghans or quilts.  Painted objects dance merrily around my head and I wonder how soon I can take a trip to the thrift store to hopefully find something to work over.  And of course, my imagination is really good at creating extra time that doesn't really exist!

Today's take home from the library was the October 2010 issue.  In the back was a cupcake recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  Her recipe is on page 89.  You know what I was doing when I was reading the recipe!

Here's the SPH version...

SPH Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
1 yellow cake mix or pumpkin cake mix (I had Simply Organic gluten free on hand)
2 t. pumpkin pie spice (omit if using pumpkin cake mix)
2 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling - omit if using pumpkin cake mix)
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Maple Frosting
1 can vanilla frosting
3 oz. bar of cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into small cubes for easier beating
2 T. maple syrup

Chopped Heath Bars for garnish (you can buy them as "bits" in the baking aisle so no chopping needed - unless you had a really bad day and need to spend some time hammering away on a few innocent candy bars with a rolling pin and a ziptop bag)
Chopped pecans or walnuts, also for garnish

How simple, yet elegant, can these be?!  Make the cake mix according to package directions, using measurements given above for special additions.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers, fill the cups half-full, then bake at 350 according to the package.  Allow cupcakes to cool (i.e., don't let husbands and/or children sneak any while they are still hot).

For frosting, while your cupcakes are cooling and hopefully not disappearing out from under you, empty contents of frosting container and cream cheese into bowl of a mixer.  Beat until well combined and fluffy.  Beat in maple syrup.  Spread over top of remaining cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with Heath bits and walnuts/pecans.  Or not.  You choose.

These were Ina's suggestion as a pumpkin dessert to use instead of pumpkin pie.  What a great idea!  Now you can have them as a dessert with all the wow-factor and half the effort.


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