Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes (Pumpkin Muffins)

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin, and kids know it. A pumpkin muffin heralds in the season and makes a nice memory for a youthful individual.

These cupcake-muffins are super fluffy and nicely sweet and spicy and - though I hesitate to use the word - moist. I made these for the kids and they licked the muffin papers, a rousing endorsement.

I never use food coloring so I just stick a few plastic spiders on top (or other festive Halloween object). Oh, and my kids like these with plain old cream cheese on top. But don't forget the plastic doodad.

Serves: 24 (makes 2 dozen cupcakes)

3 c. sugar (you can use less sugar, or substitute maple syrup or honey for part of it)
1 c. vegetable oil (you can substitute apple sauce for part)
4 eggs, beaten
16 oz. canned, unsweetened pumpkin
3½ c. flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. nutmeg
1.5 t. allspice
2 t. cinnamon
½ t. cloves
2/3 c. water

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Put cupcake papers in the muffin tins.
3. Stir together the sugar and oil.
4. Stir in the eggs and pumpkin.
5. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
6. Mix the dry ingredients and water into the wet mixture, alternating. Don’t overmix.
7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
9. Let stand 10 minutes.
10. Remove from the pans and cool.

Love these eggs we get at the co-op.

Frost with cream cheese frosting: Cream together one 8 oz. block of cream cheese and ½ cup of softened butter. Blend in 1 t. of vanilla extract. Then slowly mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar.

Spread frosting amply on cupcakes. Top with festive spider or other doodad.

Happy Halloween! Happy Fall!

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