10.12.2012

Pumpkin and Politics


Pumpkin is to fall what politics is to Washington DC. And that is why I made pumpkin cupcakes and brought them to a debate watching party. Because it's fall already, and because this Washington DC. 

My friends and family back in Spain will find it weird to hear that I meet with my friend's at someone's house to watch the presidential debate. Probably a lot of Americans would also think it's kind of weird, or boring, or even lame. However, in this city, politics are a huge part or everyday life as so many jobs here are directly or indirectly related to government. Most of my friends here are lobbiests, lawyers, senator staffers, engineers that work for government contractors..so since I moved here I have had to get used to have politics be a really frequent conversation subject. I guess in Spain we don't really talk about it that much among friends as it is impossible to do so and have a good time.

But I am not as much into politics as I am into food, so I had to bring something to eat to this debate watching gathering. I made Martha Stewart's pumpkin cupcakes recipe. I had tried these cupcakes last year at a Halloween party, and after eating like four of them I had to ask the host where she got the recipe from. 



I used a one bowl approach for this recipe. Sometimes I like to get my hands dirty and my arms tired instead of using the stand mixer. This recipe was simple enough for it, as no whipping or beating was required.



For the icing I used the recipe from Patent and the Pantry and from now on I tell you that this is going to be my go to cream cheese frosting recipe. So good that when I was done covering the cupcakes, I had to pipe some of the leftover icing directly into my mouth. I also think it sounds gross, but it tasted like heaven. 






Obama did a terrible job in that debate, but the cupcakes were the touch of fall that we all needed.

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart, makes 12

For the batter:
1 cups (128 g, 4.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick, 110 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 can (210 g, 7.5 oz) pumpkin puree

For the frosting:
8 oz (220 g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 110 g), room temperature
3 cups (385 g) confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Make the batter and bake the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In another bowl mix the sugars and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at at time and mix until well incorporated. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture gradually and mix well. Mix in pumpkin puree.

Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill each one about halfway with batter. Bake until tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before icing.

Make the icing and finish:

While the cupcakes are cooling down, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and sugar and mix until incorporated. 

Spoon the icing into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes starting on the edges and forming a spiral towards the center. 




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