Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramal SeaSalt Buttercream Frosting

Thanksgiving Bunko is an annual tradition of ours.  Instead of playing Bunko, we give the winnings to a longtime friend to help her with her kids disease. The hostess places numbered index cards with questions under each plate as we eat the following dinner.  This year the hostess sent us home with homemade table runners.  (A true blessing since mine was ruined last year from a gravy boat spill.) Each lady prepares her recipe from the list below. The hostess makes the turkey and gravy as well as providing the drinks for the evening.

1. Casserole Green (Bean Casserole or Macaroni and Cheese)
2. Summit House Cream Corn
3. Salad (Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad or a cranberry spinach salad)
4. Cranberry Sauce
5. Rolls
6. Creamed Spinach
7. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
8. Sweet Potatoes
9. 2 appetizers (Pumkin dip, Bacon wrapped Stuffed Dates, Stuffed Mushrooms)
10. Turkey
11. Fruit Dessert (Ambrosia Salad or Fresh Fruit)
12. A Pumpkin Dessert

This year I brought the pumpkin dessert in the form of Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramal SeaSalt Buttercream Frosting and toasted pecans.  They were delicious.  Here is how I made them.

Pumpkin Cupcakes 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (costplus world market)
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
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, and nutmeg, set aside.
Combine the  brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Fill cupcake liners. Bake until the center comes out clean - 20 to 25 minutes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream
1/2 cup of your favorite Caramel Sauce
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Warm the caramel sauce to loosen but let cool before adding to the following mixture. 
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  

Candied Pecans

1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups pecans
1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon mixture
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray the wax paper with cooking spray.
Beat egg white until stiff. Add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and stir until coated. Pour the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake until browned, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Dice into small pieces and let cool before sprinkling over the frosting.



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Thanks for sharing!