'Tis the season to be pumpkinny.
I suppose this could be a Savour the Season post...and if I'd given more thought to it, I'd probably have trekked out to the pumpkin patch, snapped some photos and done up a proper StS badge...but alas, I did not.
The fact is, I was stuck for Hallowe'eny treats. Last year I didn't do anything for this spooky day--didn't dress up, didn't do the treats. I wanted to rectify the situation.
This year, I wanted to be a bumble bee. We have a great theatrical costumer in town and I recall seeing the striped top, wings and other bee-like acutriments a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I was in an all-morning meeting and couldn't buzz around like I wanted...well, I could have, but it wouldn't have been advisable. Sigh...the problems of being a somewhat responsible grown up...
So I recycled a previous "costume" --dressed normally and wore my tiara (yes, I do own one)...whenever people commented on the headpiece I'd just say in my breathy bunny voice, "What tiara? I don't know what you're talking about," or "Princess? Why do you think that I'm only a princess one day a year?"
The treats weren't as easy to sort out. A few years ago I came up with ghoulish witch fingers...people are still talking about them. I'd seen some other seasonal goodies and thought about doing something really gross, but I've been run off my size sixes.
The fallback plan is always cupcakes. After some pondering, I decided on pumpkin cupcakes with orangy cream cheese frosting.
The frosting was thrown together without measuring...roughly 125g cream cheese (half a packet) a big knob of butter, a couple or four spoons of icing sugar, a dribble of orange essence and a teaspoon or two of orange juice.
The cupcakes are great--moist, spiced like a Thanksgiving pie but with a fluffy crumb...and very, very easy.
I'd thought I'd only bake a couple dozen...and I was well on my way to do that...but accidentally added the entire 796ml tin of pumpkin into the bowl, instead of half. OOPS. Well...I quickly doubled the rest of the ingredients and was soon up to my ears in pumpkin cupcakes. Oh well...there are worse fates...like not having any pumpkin cupcakes.
yields four dozen cupcakes (depending upon size of bowls and how much you fill them).
500g cake flour
2 dspns baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
seeds from one cardamom pod, ground
1 tsp salt
250g brown sugar
1/2 c whipping cream mixed with 1/2c water
1 796ml tin pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and paper the bowls of your cupcake tin(s).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, spices and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars. Beat in eggs, two at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with milk (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour)--scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Fold in the pumpkin.
Dollop into muffin tray bowls and bake for 25ish minutes or until an inserted tester comes out cleanly. Let cool completely before icing (optional).