Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Fig Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yep. That's right. Pumpkin and fig and honey and cinnamon and cream cheese and OMG, THESE ARE THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER! Seriously, everyone who had one told me these are the best things I've ever made.

I think I believe 'em.

Anyway! On to the awesomeness, yes?

Pumpkin Fig Cupcakes
From Southern Living's Big Book of Cupcakes, the "Pumpkin Patch" recipe, with some very slight modifications

1 ½ c butter, softened
2 ½ c sugar
5 large eggs
1 c canned pumpkin
1 ¾ c all-purpose flour (the original recipe calls for soft wheat, which, pfft)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
2/3 c buttermilk (I used lowfat since it's all the store had, and it worked out great)
1 tsp vanilla
7-8 fresh figs, medium size, chopped (this was the major modification)

Directions for cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy, but do not shame them. That's totally crossing the line, yo. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add in pumpkin, beating until blended.
3. Combine dry ingredients; add to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk (begin and end with flour mixture). Mix until just blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and the figs, and do a victory dance because these are going to be awesome.
4. Line muffin pans with paper baking cups and fill each cup 2/3 full with batter.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Only stab one cupcake one time; there's no need to treat them like vampires and stake the lot, okay? Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
6. Taste test one, but I'd let them get cool first. They're very, very moist, and letting them set overnight makes them even more fabulous than nomming them fresh. Their texture is dense and moist, but not in the oh-god-too-much-ugh way. More like the oh-god-this-is-heavenly-I-want-another-one-gimme way. Makes 24 amazing cupcakes.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, cold
2-3 Tbs honey
¼ to ½ tsp cinnamon
2 c powdered sugar

Toss all ingredients into a large, high bowl. Beat with hand mixer or in stand mixer until smooth, making sure not to overbeat. If you do go overboard, your frosting will be sadly floofy and runny. Spoon and spread onto cooled cupcakes. If there isn't enough frosting to your liking or, like me, you've "tested" several spoonfuls and thus are a bit short, mix up another batch. Pile higher on cupcakes and eat the leftovers with a spoon. Try not to drool on yourself; it's unattractive. Om nom nom!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies to Die For

You guys, these were so good! Minty and chocolaty, soft but not too soft, and totally delicious -- I think these are my new favorites!

Adapted from this recipe over at Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever


1 c butter, room temperature
1/2 c white sugar
1 3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c York Peppermint Patty Pieces (the ones that look like blue and white M&M's)


1. Preheat oven to 360* F. Yeah, I said 360.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Or, if you're a lazy bum like I am, just measure them out and let them sit in a bowl, unmixed.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, blending well before adding in the second egg. Add in vanilla and mix until incorporated.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, taking care not to overdo it. Add in the York Pieces and stir until just mixed through.
5. Roll dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet that's lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 11 minutes until lightly golden but still a bit soft inside. Cool on wire racks.
7. Eat while still warm. Then eat some more when they're cool. Eat as many as you like! Delicious by themselves, with a glass of milk, or while taunting those who don't have minty delicious cookies of their own.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Citrusy Vegan Goodness

Yeah, you read that right, kids: citrusy vegan goodness! I've made a variant on Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World's Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes, and it. is. AWESOME. True story! I mean, I'm not a fan of the macadamia, but I am a fan of the lime and the coconut. Because--seriously now--who isn't? I'm also a fan of the cream cheese frosting, vegan or non-vegan.

But these? These are vegan. The recipe for the cake itself is actually one of the best lemon cupcake recipes I've come across. All the other dairy-and-eggtastic ones I've tried are strangely heavy or dry somehow, but this one stays light and tart and spongy once it's cooled down. Slather some lime cream cheese or lime creme cheez frosting on top, and you've got yourself a little slice of citrusy heaven right there in your hand.

So go on and give 'em a try. I dare you to hate them!

Vegan Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with Lime Creme Cheez Frosting


1/3 c canola oil
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c soy yogurt
1/3 c soy milk
1/4 c lemon juice
1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c plus 2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c flaked or shredded coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In medium bowl, stir together oil, sugar, yogurt, and soy milk. Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Mix.
3. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour to liquid in two batches, mixing well after each addition. Add the coconut and stir until well incorporated.
4. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted through the center comes out clean.
5. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting. Makes about a dozen cupcakes.

Lime Creme Cheez Frosting


1/4 c margarine (nonhydrogenated is good!), softened
1/4 c vegan cream cheese, softened
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp coconut rum or coconut milk
1 to 1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest


Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World's directions say to beat the cream cheese and margarine until well combined. Add sugar in 1/2 c additions. After each addition of sugar, add some coconut rum/coconut milk and beat well. Add lime zest and beat until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

I'm a lazy bastard, so I usually just throw it all in the bowl together (I make sure it's a deep one; high sides are important for this) and then mix it all at once for a couple-few minutes until it's all smooth and fluffy, and voila! Fabulous, zingy lime creme cheez that goes brilliantly with the tart-yet-sweetly-smooth lemon coconut cupcakes.

For the non cream-cheese version, use 8 oz. of cream cheese (it's got to be cold!) and a couple of tablespoons of butter (room temperature) instead of the margarine and vegan cream cheese. Double the rum/coconut milk and lime zest. It makes a ton of frosting, yeah (enough for a double batch of the recipe above), but this stuff is so good you're going to want to pile it as high as sand dunes and eat it with a spoon. I guarantee it.