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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

I have a new job!  Ellis Home and Garden in Longview hired me as their event specialist, and our first event, Pumpkin Glow, is less than three weeks away.  Many of you have noted that CindysCozyKitchen has been on hiatus for a month or so.  Blame it on the pumpkins!

I feel fortunate to have work that is fun and fulfilling.  The store is retail, but they have a heart for the community, especially for children and families.  While I am working towards the event, I am also spending time in our area schools meeting teachers and principals, forming relationships that will forge partnerships in the months to come; that's gratifying.  My other duty, the piece that is pure pleasure, is decorating pumpkins with children...lots and lots of pumpkins...724 pumpkins to be exact!

Pumpkin Grin!
After cutting eyes, noses, mouths and wigs to create almost 500 pumpkin faces, it is impossible to get pumpkins out of my head!  Instead of shedding the pumpkin glow, I'm embracing it with a delicious recipe for pumpkin cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs. Blend in pumpkin. Stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition. Spoon batter into well-greased and floured or paper-lined muffin pan cups. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar 
3 tablespoons half and half 

Place butter, shortening, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in mixer.  Mix until smooth.  Alternate adding powdered sugar and half and half until the desired consistency is reached.  Place buttercream frosting in a pastry bag and use star tip or petal tip to pipe frosting on the cupcakes.  Sprinkle with a small amount of cinnamon if desired. 
Cinnamon Desired