Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcake Surprise

The mornings are colder, the days are shorter, and the leaves are changing colour.  It must be fall.  I dream about the hot, humid days of summer, but I still look forward to fall. 

I love this time of year.  Sunlight filters through branches dripping with oranges and golds.  Dry leaves beg to be scrunched underfoot.  Do I smell the scent of turkey in the air?

Canadian Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.  I'm excited.  Turkey is one of my favourite foods and two gobblers recline in our freezer, awaiting the anticipated day.

This month's recipe can accompany pumpkin pie as an added dessert on your Thanksgiving dinner table. 

These cupcakes aren't overly sweet, have a touch of cinnamon, and are bursting with creamy surprise filling.

Even the colour of the batter screams autumn.  It's such a vibrant orange, it could almost masquerade as orange sorbet.  The pan was so pretty I almost didn't want to bake them!

Here's the recipe.

Pumpkin Cupcake Surprise

CUPCAKES (makes about 18)
2 cups white sugar
1 can (498 mL) pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pie filling)
3/4 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder

Beat sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix into pumpkin mixture until well blended.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  (You might need a little longer depending on your oven.)  Test them by poking a toothpick into the middle.  If it comes out clean (with no batter on it) they're done.

Let cool for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and let cool completely.

1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup softened butter
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix cornstarch and milk in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil (it will stick so make sure you stir this constantly).  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Beat the shortening, butter, icing sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the cornstarch mixture and beat until smooth.  (This may take a lot of beating.  If it looks like the mixture is lumpy and separating, keep beating.  It will eventually get the smooth consistency of butter cream icing.)

Using a sharp knife, cut a small circle about 1 inch deep into the top of each cupcake.  Remove the top.  Spoon or pipe the filling into each cupcake.  Replace the top.


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