Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

Dear Fall,
Welcome to my life. You've been missed the last several months as I've suffered Alabama's heat and humidity. Please get legit quickly, and feel free to stay a while.

These are my favorite pumpkin cupcakes, and I think they'll be yours if you try them. Two key players: brown butter and cinnamon cream cheese icing. I discovered this recipe at Baked Perfection last fall, and it's served me well since then. When my friend Rachel and I planned a dinner for the singles group at our church this week, we figured pumpkin dessert would be a great finishing touch. We were right because there were only three of the seventy-five cupcakes left at the end of the night. Granted, these were two-bite size, but that's still some serious cupcake consumption! Several people at the dinner requested the recipe, so this post is for them... and for you. Because I like you.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground gloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. (For two-bite size, bake 13-15 minutes.)

Yield: 15 standard cupcakes

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then cinnamon and vanilla; mix until smooth.

The flour mixture contains my favorite spices of the season, so it's an automatic win. Everything is measured using the Measuring Spoon Set and the Measuring Cup Set, and I've got a Pinch Bowl and the Cutting Board each doing its thing.

Brown butter is just butter that's cooked until it turns brown and smells nutty. The rich smell will send you into a state of bliss, but there's nothing like the flavor hit inside the cupcakes. Anyway, Rachel is using the 8-Qt. Casserole from the Executive Cookware Collection and the Mix 'n Scraper. What a pro!

Every time I mix a batter, I'm shocked by how disgusting it looks. That's why I included this picture - I want to shock you. One nice thing about this recipe, however, is that it doesn't require a mixer, just a Stainless Whisk, a Stainless Mixing Bowl, and a little T.L.C.

The cupcakes are divided into liners with the Medium Scoop, and they're going to bake up beautifully on a Cookie Sheet. From here, the kitchen will begin to smell amazing, and Rachel and I will have to offer one another accountability to keep from eating all the cupcakes before the evening's feast. That's what friends are for, after all.

Fall vegetables and half an old banana set the mood for baking. These guys are cooling to perfection on a Cooling Rack, but I have to admit one of them didn't make it to see the icing. No, he was eaten by two girls who just couldn't take the temptation any longer. That's all I'll say about that.

Rachel and I worked like fiends on our Sunday meal. It was a huge undertaking, but we said early on that when everything was finished and the kitchen was cleaned we would get one cupcake each. Five hours later, after what I can only describe as organized chaos, we loaded the car, got ready to transport the food, and sat down to enjoy our reward. I don't think I've ever savored anything like each of the four bites I squeezed out of my dessert, and I'm assuming the same for Rachel. At least, that's the impression I got when I glanced over to see her closed eyes and content face. The aching feet and tired backs stopped for a couple of minutes, and all was right with the world.

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  1. I love your blog. And you. I wish you lived closer!

  2. Thanks so much, Amanda Jo! I'm going to have to make the whoopie pies again sometime and eat them out of the freezer like you! :)