Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting And A Giveaway!





So the past two days have been SNOW DAYS here in Seattle! That makes my Thanksgiving break extended by 2 days! Yay! Speaking of Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is here! Well, it's tomorrow but still...Thanksgiving is here!! I don't know about you but it has come just at the right time. I'm fully prepared to stuff my face with delicious food and be around family. I live for the holidays because it's one of the only times out of the year where the whole family gets together. There's just something about it that makes you all happy inside. Anywho, so it's Thanksgiving so it only seems logical to have a Thanks-giveaway! So if you haven't checked out CSN Stores after my multiple posts about CSN Stores, get to it!! Get coffee tables, a lamp, heck even get yourself a huge fountain! Whatever makes you happy. I'll talk about this later.

In honor of Thanksgiving, why not make something pumpkin related. This was my first time working with pumpkin and it was well...Interesting? ha. It was fun working with a new ingredient because I was able to increase my "Ingredient Use Count". You can read on for the end results of these cupcakes late on as well.

Now, back to what you've all been waiting for, the Thanks-Giveaway. CSN Stores is giving you the chance to win a $45 Gift Certificate for any of their online stores! I repeat, $45 Gift Certificate!! Here's how to enter:

You must be a follower of "AJ's Cooking Secrets" through the Google Friend Connect located on the left side bar of my blog to enter this giveaway. If you are not a follower, your entry and/or entries will not be counted.

You have THREE chances to enter!!
1. Leave a comment stating what you would like to buy from CSN Stores with the $45 Gift Certificate, along with your email.
2. Become a fan/liker of my Facebook Fan Page : AJ's Cooking Secrets and leave a comment below stating that you have become a fan/liker. If you are already a fan/liker of my FB Fan Page, leave a comment stating that you are.
3. Follow me on Twitter @aaronjohn04 and leave a comment below stating that you have become a follower. If you are already a follower of my twitter page, leave a comment stating that you are.

Important Guidelines:
-Must be a follower of this blog, "AJ's Cooking Secrets", through Google Friend Connect located on the left side bar for your entry/entries to count. Anyone who "enters" without being a follower of this blog will not be entered into the drawing.
-The Giveaway will last until Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be drawn using Random.org. The winner will then be announced in a blog post, on my facebook page and emailed that they are the winner. From there, the winner will be contacted by CSN Stores where you will receive a Gift Certificate Code.

Tips
-It's a fairly straightforward recipe so don't over mix the batter and don't over bake your cupcakes. Stick a toothpick into the cupcake and if there's a tiny bit of crumbs that stick, it's ready to take out. Some people say to take them out when a toothpick is clean but you have to remember that the cupcakes will somewhat continue to cook because of the heat that is retained in the pan and the cupcake itself.

Results
Taste: The cupcake itself was very reminiscent of a carrot cake in terms of the flavor of the spices but with the slight flavor of pumpkin instead of carrots. I personally felt it was missing an a "lil' somethin' somethin'". The Maple Cream Cheese frosting didn't taste like Maple. Maybe because I used a tablespoon of maple syrup instead? But it was missing that Maple flavor. 

Texture: Definitely a moist cupcake because of the use of the pumpkin and the oil. The frosting was smooth and creamy.


Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Makes 10 cupcakes)
Recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Maple Frosting (recipe follows)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

-Aaron John

22 comments:

  1. the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker - that'd be a fun thing to have :)


    celeste@mail4me.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Donut pan and/or ramekins. I have so many recipes for baked donuts and no pan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It started snowing here as well in Sunderland. The cupcakes look perfect. I've made pumpkin cupcakes before from Martha Stewart book and they were delicious. I gotta try Ina's.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These look like winners to me!

    Happy Thanksgiving AJ!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really actually need a new pan! Maybe something like the Circulon Infinite 4.5 Qt All Purpose Pan.

    ivechosendarkness[@]gmail[.]com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a fan of your FB page!

    ivechosendarkness[@]gmail[.]com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am following you on twitter!

    _vindelm_

    ivechosendarkness[@]gmail[.]com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would get some cookware.

    http://www.csnstores.com/Farberware-50012-FBR1077.html

    tahearn at roadrunner dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I follow with google friends.


    tahearn at roadrunner dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I follow you on twitter

    @tahearn

    tahearn at roadrunner dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. this one looks great. . I like it! I need to win:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. AJ! I haven't been over here in a while and I apologize for that! I was just browsing through all your recent recipes.. they all look delicious. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  13. gosh everything u make looks insanely great!!!!

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  14. Aj these cupcakes look so good. Maple cream cheese, to die for! And hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving. Thanks always for your support (= Hope you're doing well in school!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Would love to get my husband a new coffee maker!

    Sweetimpishpixie(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. like on fb as pennypinchingpixie

    Sweetimpishpixie(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. follow on twitter @PennyPixie

    Sweetimpishpixie(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi AJ, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving day. I just want to let you know that I presented you with an award on my blog. I hope you'll accept it. Have a great one.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to get some new cookie sheets! Those cupcakes look amazing!

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like you on Facebook!

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I already follow you on Twitter! @FakeGradSchool

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John

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