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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pump Pump Pump Pumpkin Up...

lol I couldn't help it. I had to use pumpkin in a funny way. ahhahahaha.

Some people go shopping when they are bored...or watch tv, or eat ....or whatever - I bake. Last week I had told Mr. Man that I wanted to send a packet of Halloween goodies to his job...

It would consist of a couple cookies, a slice of chocolate decadence (see Brownie with less flour), a seasonal cupcake and various treats for his team. He told me there were only 9 of them in the office so it was no big deal. I wanted to jump back into studying and working out tomorrow so I baked it all off today...

After I ran to the store and got a few things...

Truth be told I don't mind using generic basics, but I will not use generic chocolate and I must use real butter - I can't really get down with margarine or Crisco.

I started with the chocolate decadence first...since it's a one bowl mix and then you bake it off - it's pretty straightforward and then it's finished with a dusting of powdered sugar...

I really prefer the decadence coz it's closer to tart texture than a cakey brownie

While the decadence baked off I started the cookies - just plain old chocolate chip.

Buttery goodness floated up into the air while the logitech boombox pumped Tupac 'Classics'

done and for the cupcakes

Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

yield: 24 large cupcakes, 36 small cupcakes, 2 loaf pans
preheat oven to 350 degrees, sift together dry ingredients - set aside, stir pumpkin stuff and cream - set aside.
grease and flour pans of choice

2 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 c cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 c cream

Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla, add eggs 1 at a time scraping and incorporating thoroughly between eggs. Alternately add dry and pumpkin mix making sure that it is thoroughly mixed. spoon into pans (Large cupcakes - 3 tbsp / Small cupcakes - 2 tbsp / Loaf pans - divide batch in half)

Cupcakes - 30 minutes
Loaves - 60 minutes

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes

Cool 45 mins or in fridge.

Use a simple glaze mixed with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree, once that is stiff also drizzle plain icing

Those are a long bake in my I assembled the bags...candy first with a cookie base

then the baked goods baggie - cookie base then decadence then cupcake on top

Then put it all in a foil thing and it's set to send off...lucky suckas. hahaha.


I have to say that I really like the taste of this cake it has a strong pumpkin flavor without that earthy weird flavor and it's very tender with a crisp outer crust. This is the first time I baked off a pumpkin cupcake from scratch - what I did was take a hard look at a pound cake recipe that I liked but found a bit dry - then adjusted the measurements to add the pumpkin puree and cream - fortunately it came out great the first time. Truth be told the icing isn't even necessary for flavor it's just an aesthetic.

I am also currently working on a low carb bran muffin - the first batch came out "ok" but I found it too dry and untextured so the next batch I'm going to add yogurt, apples and craisins. We will see.


With all these recent changes in my life I find that I have to create my own challenges in my days and see that all of this free time (well until March) is a blessing that I should use to my advantage. And...I like to bake out balls out just to see if I've still got it.

I do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stuff I wanna Do...

Stuff I Wanna Do aka 'stuff that lingers in my head'

1) Have a small wedding and a big marriage
2) Have twin sons
3) Hit Europe again
4) See Africa, Australia, China, Korea, Chile
5) Finish at the top of my RN class (I scored 95.65% on the entrance exam yay)
6) Do 10 huge paintings
7) Do a DVD cookbook for my cousins (and a DVD bakebook for my goddaughter Ally)
8) Workout to where I can do 25 push ups & jump rope for 4 minute segments
9) Pay cash for a house
10) Take our Moms on a surprise vacation
11) Open a pastry shop here and overseas & I'll have a foreign flick night
12) Vacation 1 month a year for the rest of my life
13) Have a dope fish tank
14) Get scuba certified
15) Smoke a blunt in Jamaica
16) Get Lasik
17) Keep doin' shit my way
18) Learn to forgive (a little)
19) Work on that cookbook i have handwritten for reals now
20) Did I say have them twin sons?

Don't Waste It...

"Don't waste it." is a phrase my Mom used to say. My grandmother, my aunts, my play aunts and other women in my life always said this as they were preparing something in the kitchen or even when they were doing things like washing dishes or cleaning, or stocking shelves or cupboards. It was a phrase that always existed to make sure we acknowledged the luck and blessing in our lives. Although we had never known poverty we always knew about the existence of it and respected the possibility of it. So in my life even though I have never had to suffer I also knew not to squander things away. Ironically, these lessons serve me now when the economy is all tilted and I'm going back to school again and desirable jobs are far from grasp.

Which led me to make...

Cinnamon Apple Cupcakes - hahaha.

Basically I had purchased too many pink lady apples and they were approaching the overripe stage and I hated to see them go to waste so I made these cupcakes from a recipe I changed up a bit...I ended up making far too many as you can see but since I had the eggs and flour and butter and the rest of the bits I just sent them to the husbands office...

I made those a few weeks ago and then made them again this last weekend to send with my Momma in Law to her sisters house. A few days after that we had everyone over for Sunday dinner (where I got lessons in Southern Fried Chicken and 7 up cake making) and I think the best compliment I got was from an Uncle in Law about these cupcakes...Uncle Larry said,"I couldn't eat those cupcakes quick enough, they are fantastic and reminded me of a cake my oldest auntie used to make and eating them just took me BACK."

Now THAT is a compliment...when you can get down to the likes of a Big Momma's recipe - you have earned your right to be in the kitchen...

Here is the recipe for the apple cinammon cupcakes

preheat oven to 340


2 pink lady apples cored peeled and chopped
2 green apples cored peeled and chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
2 tsp cinnamon (or add more to your liking)

cook about halfway and set aside...


1 1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
sift together dry ingredients, or i just toss them with a fork
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie mix

2 Tbsp milk or half and half
4 -6 tbsp of apple filling (depending on what you like)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional or you can use loose chop almonds/walnuts)


2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice

You just make the cake as usual...cream butter and sugar until pale gradually adding eggs and vanilla until incorporated - mix in 1/3 of dry mix at a time...then fold in the apple filling and the make a regular size cupcake is 2 heaping tablespoons dropped on the cupcake pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes...

Cool on a baking rack - once cool spoon icing over the top. Once stiff add 1 teaspoon of the filling. The other option is to top with the filling and then drizzle the icing in the style of a danish.

It ain't low carb but it tastes very good. Enjoy.