Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

This recipe is great for a Thanksgiving dinner or a Halloween treat!  I used my pumpkin bread recipe for the cupcake base and baked them at 350F for about 20min (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).  I made mini cupcakes but you could also make regular sized ones and just bake them for a bit longer.  I used a basic cream cheese frosting on top and then decorated them with edible pumpkin candies.  The cupcakes themselves are very moist, I kept them in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting and they tasted great.  Happy Thanksgiving and Enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

I like pumpkin bread because its smooth, light, full of flavor, and easy to make.  I never made a pumpkin bread before so I searched a few recipes online and come up with this one which turned out to be pretty good.  The texture is similar to banana bread but the flavor is like a spice loaf.  You can eat it warm or keep it in the fridge and serve it cold (my boyfriend likes to eat it cold with butter on it!)  I sprinkled raw sugar on top of the loaf before baking it and it gave it a nice crispy topping but you can leave it plain and it tastes just as good.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 Cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 Large eggs
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1/2 Cup butter, melted
1/2 Cup water
2 1/2 Cups white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (15-16 ounce) can pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread

1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease two loaf pans
2) In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice
3) In a large bowl whisk together eggs, then mix in oil, melted butter, sugar, water, and vanilla until well combined
4) Stir canned pumpkin into wet ingredients until well combined
5) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just combined (batter might be lumpy but that is OK)
6) Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 55-65min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
7) Let loafs cool in pan for 30min then enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

I got this recipe from my '100 Best Cookies' magazine by Better Homes and Gardens.  If your craving chocolate, these will definately satisfy your needs because they have cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and melted chocolate all in one cookie!  Here's the recipe for you to enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

3/4 Cups flour
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup semisweet chocolate pieces
3/8 butter, softened
3/4 Cups white granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp vanuilla
3/4 Cups chocolate chips

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2) Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt then set aside
3) In a medium saucepan melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Cup chocolate pieces until melted then set aside to slightly cool
4) In a seperate large bowl beat remaning butter with sugar on medium to high speed for 30sec.
5) Beat in eggs one at a time then beat in melted chocolate and vanilla
6) Beat in flour mixture until dough forms then stir in chocolate chips
7) Droup Tbsp size scoops onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10min or until edges are slightly firm and tops are slightly cracked then enjoy!

 

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

I love popcorn, but not the microwave stuff, the real stuff that you make on the stove in a pot full of kernels and oil.  My boyfriend makes the best popcorn, we eat it almost everyday.  My boyfriend's brother was over a while ago and made some microwave popcorn but hardly ate any of it.  Since there was so much left over I decided to cover it with caramel, toss it with almonds and call it delicious.  You can make this recipe with plain popcorn but microwave just as good because it already has extra butter and salt added to it.

Caramel Popcorn

1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp peanut butter (don't worry you dont taste it, its just for texture)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla
A handful of nuts (I used almonds)

Caramel Popcorn

1) Make popcorn ahead of time and let it set to room temperature
2) In a heavy pot on high heat stir together butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter until it comes to a boil
3) Let it boil for 5min or until it reaches a rich caramel color and smells just right (do not over boil or the mixture will burn very fast)
4) Take the pot off the heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla, the mixture will bubbly up and become very sticky and gooey (yummy!)
5) Add the nuts to the popcorn and then pour the caramel mixture over all the popcorn and nuts
6) Carefully (the mixture will be very hot) stir the popcorn until it is evenly coated then spread it evenly onto a baking sheet
7) Bake popcorn at 250F for 30min-60min stirring every 10min (the longer you bake the fluffier the popcorn will get), then remove from oven and enjoy! (this mixture lasts a few days stored in a ziploc bag)