My husband, Chuck and his colleagues have a meeting tomorrow and I was asked to bake something:) I'd have to be sick to turn down the chance to bake, so happily the wheels of creativity started to churn. I had just finished a SKYPE call with our grandson, Ari, and I was feeling happy thinking about for his first birthday I made a pumpkin cupcake that he just devoured!
I decided to start with that pumpkin cupcake, but kicked up the flavor with some ginger chips, then, topped it with a honey butter cream and as a final piece de resistance, homemade peanut brittle garnish. I guess I was still in an autumn mood choosing pumpkin and maybe, like the retail stores I'm pushing the season, but like my mother would say, "Ah Pshaw! Pumpkin is good for you anytime!!"
Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes with Honey Butter Cream
& Homemade Peanut Brittle garnish
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups golden brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1-15oz can of Pumpkin (not pie filling)-approx. 1 1/2 cups
4 cups Cake Flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Cake Enhancer (optional, but helps make a tender, light cake)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cardamon
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup ginger chips
Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
In a KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cake enhancer (if using) and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add alternately with the buttermilk and beat well until combined. Stir in the ginger chips.
Use a scoop to place batter into the paper-lined tins. This recipe makes 24 large cupcakes.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until done. Rotating the pans helps to uniformly bake the cupcakes.
Let cool completely. Meanwhile, make the peanut brittle.
This recipe was given to me by my sister Barbara over 20 years ago. I make it every Halloween and package it to give as gifts. It's done in the microwave, so there's no need for excuses about watching the candy thermometer for 10 minutes!
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup
1 cup dry roasted, salted Peanuts
1 T butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Butter a baking sheet and set aside.
In a 1 1/2 quart glass casserole, stir together sugar and Karo syrup. Microwave on high 3 min. 30 sec.
Stir in the peanuts and microwave another 2 min. 30 sec.
Add the butter and vanilla to the hot syrup, blending well. Microwave 45 seconds. Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup, very hot.
Finally, add the baking soda and gently stir until light and foamy. Quickly pour mixture onto the lightly buttered cookie sheet. Let cool 30 minutes to 1 hour. When cool, break into small pieces and store in an airtight container.
Honey Butter Cream:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 T Vanilla Extract
In the KitchenAid, using the whisk attachment, beat butter until fluffy. Add the honey and beat well to combine. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the last 3 cups of confectioners' sugar and whisk for 1-2 minutes to combine thoroughly.
Fill a pastry bag with a large plain or fluted tip. Frost the cupcakes and add the peanut brittle garnish.
These cupcakes will taste good anytime, but great at Halloween. Enjoy!