I had a little scare this week about the upcoming festivities, my mom called me and said that my sister was too swamped to host Thanksgiving dinner at her house this year, although it was the plan for the past few weeks. My grandma recently had knee replacement surgery and could not entertain us and go all out on the holidays as she usually does! (you know Grandma's, it's all or nothing!) So the impulse plan that my mom and grandma came up with was to either, order in, or go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year. . . that was NOT what I wanted to hear as I LOVE having home cooked meals and sitting around the table with family and drinking wine :) so I was quick to object this crazy idea of eating other peoples food on the Holidays and offered to have it at my house, without much thought might I add. My house.. well, my closet as a home is extremely small, as in 650 sqft small :) As much as I would love to host the holidays at my house sometime, it just would not work. My oven won't even fit a regular sized cookie sheet, let alone a huge Turkey! (I know what you're thinking, " how do you bake cookies!?") its called a round pizza tray, don't judge! No, recently I received 2 smaller than normal cookie sheets that I have to lift and drop into my oven, it's tough and frustrating work I tell you!
Anyway! My sister is not as swamped as my mom had thought, so she will still be hosting Thanksgiving dinner! I am thrilled!! I will miss the amazing center pieces and name tags my Grandma creates every year though. . Hopefully she is better by Christmas! Enough about my family's dilemmas and on with this AMAZINGLY DECADENT recipe!!
"Healthy" Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing
recipe adapted from BakedPerfection.com & Martha Stewarts cupcakes
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground gloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
My Adaptations to this recipe:
Makes about 15 cupcakes
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup + 2/3 whole wheat flour + 1/3 cup Oat Bran
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( I added a bit more for taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ( I only had ground nutmeg on hand)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground gloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (Just for an added zip! - I use it in my pumpkin cheesecakes and they are delicious)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 splash of vanilla
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (if you're not a fan of white sugar, add a bit less - the frosting is fairly sweet)
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, about 10-15 min, Skim white foam from top using a spoon, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, splash of vanilla and brown-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Frost with Maple Cream Cheese frosting.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup of whole pecans
Pour into a glass measuring cup nested in a bowl of ice water and stir constantly until syrup is very thick and barely warm to touch, 3-4 minutes. Remove from ice water.
In a bowl, with a mixer on low, beat cream cheese and butter until well blended. Beat in powdered sugar (adjust the amount of sugar to reach your desired consistency); scrape in reduced syrup; beat until smooth.
Once the cupcakes came out of the oven I dusted them with a bit of cinnamon just for a little extra flavor! (and smell!)
My house officially smells like Thanksgiving and that makes me very happy!
``No beginning cook should be nonchalant about measuring. The success of your recipe depends on it.`` - quoted from Baking for Dummies book I just came across on the internet while searching for something else. But there you have it, be careful on which items you add or take out! Spices are fine, but when it comes to acidity, salt or baking soda, leave that for the pros!
Keep Oven preheated to 325 degrees, on a baking sheet place whole pecans and drizzle with maple syrup, dust with cinnamon, and sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 15-20 min or until the flavors are infused.
This is the finishing touch to these cupcakes, it definitely "makes" them! But make sure the pecans are fully cooled before you place them on the cupcakes! (rookie mistake) I was just way too excited and wanted to see the finished product that I placed the pecan on top of the cream cheese frosting, and it slipped right off!
Just a couple of things to add:
I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 + 2/3 cup all -purpose flour and 1/3 oat bran for texture and nutrition - I may have used a bit too much flour in this recipe as my calculations were a bit off, but the cupcakes turned out great and moist considering! Not as fluffy as an all all-purpose flour cupcake would be, but it was definitely delicious and cake-like! If you want them more fluffy use 1/3 cup less of either flour. I just like mine to be a bit healthy so I don't feel guilty eating them all!
Hope you love these cupcakes as much as my boyfriend, my co-workers and I did! :)