Tuesday, November 24, 2009

pumpkin cupcakes with nutmeg cream cheese frosting

I have more than a slight obsession with nutmeg. Good friends of mine will tell you that I like to drink my eggnog with the nutmeg shaker close by- and regularly give it a good dose. I also think that besides the eggnog application, nutmeg is rather undervalued. It is often added to recipes alongside loud cinnamon and pushy ginger; it's quiet voice lost.

No more- in this treat it is nutmeg's turn in the spotlight. I think it pulls off quite a performance.

The pumpkin cupcake recipe is from Martha Stewart. com. The Cream Cheese frosting is in Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook - the nutmeg is my addition.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (pre-ground is just fine)

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

3) Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

4) When cooled completely, frost with nutmeg cream cheese frosting (see recipe below). Add a dash of nutmeg to the top of each.

Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature

3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 pounds confectioners sugar, sifted

1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (to your taste- Of course I go for the 1/2 teaspoon)

1) Blend together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and nutmeg.

2) Add the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth.

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