Two things I might consider before my next batch of cupcakes:
- Perhaps starting at a reasonable time, and not waiting until after Zumba, after dinner at 8:00, after the 2nd glass of wine had begun (Lincoln Peak Marquette: delightful), to make 4 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
- Reading both the entire recipe AND the comments before picking a new online recipe in order to evaluate likelihood of success. A very bad word came out of my mouth when I got to the dry ingredients part and knew that the amount of leavening was implausible, the ph level would be off, and failure was nearly guaranteed.
Alas, when it comes to my poor kitchen I do sometimes begin a new project with more enthusiasm than good sense. That’s what I get with my multi-tasking, mommified, projects-up-to-here life in the CrankyHouse.
The cupcakes turned out to be incredibly delicious, thanks to a combination of more reliable recipes.
And in spite of all the crazy around here, we know how lucky we are. And we know that too many families are challenged by the approaching winter and holidays. One organization helping folks in need by providing emergency services and supplies is the Joint Urban Ministry Project, who’s having its Best Church Supper Ever event in Burlington on Saturday, November 6. Leave a comment here about how you and your family are gearing up help out neighbors near or far this holiday season and I’ll do a drawing for two adult tickets on Friday 11/5.
1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tins with liners (you know you can get non-bleached, non-dyed ones now?).
2. In a saucepan on the stove, boil until reduced to one cup:
- 2 cups apple cider
Cool to room temperature.
3. While the cider is boiling and cooling, beat together in a large bowl:
- 3/4 c. room temperature unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated organic shortening
- 1 cup sugar
When fluffy and thoroughly combined, beat in:
- 2 eggs, one at a time
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or squash (canned is fine if that’s what you have)
4. Place a sifter over a bowl and measure into it:
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
Sift half of flour mix into butter and sugar mixture and combine with a few firm strokes with a wooden spoon. Add the reduced cider and combine, then sift in the rest of the flour, and stir just until thoroughly combined.
5. Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack and serve as-is, or with frosting.
Brown Sugar Marshmallow Frosting
about 2 cups
Whip together until thoroughly combined:
- 1 1/2 c. Fluff (you could try the rice-marshmallow stuff if you – reasonably – shrink in horror from Fluff)
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 1/4 c. non-hydrogenated, organic shortening
- 3 T. molasses
Spread on cupcakes once they’re completely cool.
Halloween-y Witch Broom Decorations
- 4 slices unsulfured, unsugared, organic mango (yes, in spite of telling you to eat Fluff, I now say you must buy the organic and wholesome dried variety of this), cut with kitchen scissors into wide triangles, then the flat wide edge snipped into “straws.”
- about 12 thin pretzels, broken in half
Place a piece of pretzel and one piece of mango on each. Many children will eat them.