Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting

I think everyone loves to eat at work.  Ok, at least we all love to eat where I work.  I think we make any excuse to buy and eat cake.  Or cookies.  Or anything, really.  Especially for birthdays.

Recently, we unanimously decided to bring in our own goodies for our birthdays.  That way, if we wanted to celebrate, we could.  But it wasn’t mandatory if it doesn’t fit in the monthly budget.  So, of course I took the opportunity to try out a new recipe on those poor unsuspecting fools…I mean my beloved coworkers.

Original Recipe Is Here: http://www.thekurtzcorner.com/2012/09/cinnamon-cupcakes-with-pumpkin-pie.html

What You Need:

For the cupcakes
1 box vanilla cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon

For the frosting
1 16oz container buttercream frosting
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (don’t get the pumpkin pie filling!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (I used a lot more)

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare a standard cupcake tin using your favorite meathod (I’m a fan of the little paper liners)
  3. Mix the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Fill each cupcake well about 2/3 of the way full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until done.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, mix together the frosting, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch. I used my hand mixer on low, and added more cornstarch as my frosting was a bit on the thin side.
  6. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. Garnish with a bit of nutmeg.  (Oops, I forgot to do this)

I know I’m not normally a cupcake maker.  But these had so much appeal that I couldn’t help myself.  And we don’t have much room to store a whole mess of cupcakes in the house.  However, these caught my attention during a recent Pinterest session.  They weren’t terribly complicated to make, and I loved the idea of mixing the pumpkin with the buttercream frosting.  I really cut down on the sweetness and gave the frosting a nice tone of all the lovely pumpkin spice flavorings.

If you are looking for something slightly different from your-rum-of-the-mill chocolate or vanilla cupcakes, these will work perfectly.  I used one of my two frosting tips to pipe the frosting on these cupcakes.  And now I know why I’m a baker and not a decorator…

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

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Valentine’s Day Double Whammie!

Last week was pretty busy at work, and I have some of the world’s best coworkers.  What could have been a very stressful week wasn’t bad, and I have them to thank.  So, I decided to make them some cookies.  And what better way than to be super seasonal about it and make Valentine’s Day-themed cookies?

I made two different kinds this week – Red Velvet and Strawberry.  This is my first attempt at making Red Velvet anything, but I think that the results speak for themselves!

The red velvet recipe is here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/08/red-velvet-white-chocolate-chip-cookies/#comment-25805

And the strawberry is here: http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/cake-mix-cookies/

 Strawberry  Cake Cookies

What You Need

1 box strawberry cake mix

2 eggs

½ cup oil

½ cup coconut

And Here’s What You Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs and oil until well mixed.  Stir in the cake mix and the coconut.
  3. Drop by teaspoon full onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes.

photo 2(1)

Red Velvet Cookies

What You Need

2 ¼ cups flour

2 ½ tbsp. cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp cornstarch

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

8 Tbsp butter, softened

6 Tbsp vegetable shortening

1 ½ cups sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tsp white vinegar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp red food coloring

1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips

And Here’s What You Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and set adie
  3. In a stand mixer, beat together butter, shortening, and sugar until pale in color and fluffy.  Add in egg and egg yolk, mixing until well combined.
  4. Add vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring and mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Mix in ½ cup of the white chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop out dough by tablespoonful, roll into balls, and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Press approximately 6 white chocolate chips into the top of each cookie, being careful not to flatten the cookies too much.
  8. Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Allow to cool for several minutes on the sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely

photo 1

I won’t bother to go into what I did, since I pretty much followed the recipes this week.  No changes or substitutions whatsoever.

Reaction

I love seeing my coworker’s reaction when they are eating something that I’ve made.  It makes my heart happy to see them enjoying it.  That’s really why I do it.  That and I think I might be addicted to baking.

I think I would have liked to see the red velvet turn out a little softer, but I think they were good considering it was my first try.

 

Oh!  I’m on Facebook now!  You can see the link on the right side of this page!  It’s small, but I might post pictures of recipes that I didn’t use here, and some glorious failures that I’ve had along the way!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Chocolate Toffee Cookies – The Cookies That Got Me in Trouble

So, they didn’t really get me in trouble, although there was a conversation with one of my leaders at work where she expressed her frustration in reading this blog and never sampling anything.  Yes, you’re right.  I do need an unbiased opinion in my baking…

She is so getting cookies tomorrow.

What You Need:

1 (18.25 o)z package devil’s food cake mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

¾ cup coarsely chopped chocolate-covered toffee candy bars

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, and eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes until well blended.  With a spoon, stir in the chopped candy.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on to cookie sheets that have been coated with nonstick baking spray.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are firm.  Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

What I did:

 First of all, they DON’T MAKE CAKE MIXES IN 18.25 OZ SIZE!! At least I never found it.  So, I went with the largest that I could find, which was  16.5 oz.  I used slightly less oil since I didn’t have as much cake mix.  And you would think that two eggs and a little under  1/3 cup of oil would be enough.  Hmm…I didn’t use my electric mixer because I wasn’t sure that the cooked-brownie consistency of the dough would behave with my mixer, so I used a spoon and elbow grease.  And mixed.  And mixed.  And added slightly more oil.  And mixed more.  More oil, and mixed more.  I never got it past the consistency of play-dough.  I had fun cutting up the candy bar though…the chocolate knife was happy!

I also used the remaining bit of toffee baking bits that we had in the cupboard.   Yeah, for those lazy types who don’t want to haul out the chocolate knives, there’s a neatly packaged option waiting in the baking aisle…

 

I kept thinking to myself,” If these things turn out, it will be a miracle.”

So, on to the parchment-lined cookie sheet it goes!

And I sat on the floor and watched those puppies bake.  I was prepared to pull out a big molten glob of stuff.

 

Miracles really do happen!

Reaction:

These cookies are quite tasty!  I was afraid that they would be too oily after the dough got a nice sheen to it before baking.  I thought I had gone past the realm of trying to fix and stepped straight into the gates of lunacy baking while spooning out the batter.

They were lovely and fluffy whey I first took them out of the oven, but quickly fell into chocolatey discs of deliciousness.  They are nice and chewy too!

If I had made them just a wee bit smaller, I probably would have gotten 3 dozen out of the one batch.  I think I got 30-32.  That was yesterday.  We have 15 left today.  I think Scott likes them.

Sometimes, things really do work, even when you expect them to fail!

 

Until next time,

 

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!