Monday, January 25, 2010

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cupcakes seem to be all the rage right now and I have to confess that I don't really get it. Maybe that's because I'm not a cake person or maybe it's because I tend to forget to set the timer and end up with baked goods that are too done, I'm not really sure. I do think they are super cute and have succumbed to the cute factor and bought a cupcake cookbook. Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

I tend to shy away from Martha's recipes as a rule because she is so fussy and the ingredient list is always as long as my arm but this one has sucked me in. I've been looking at it for 2 weeks now and today's the day. Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes here we come. Of course I added more spices because it just felt like I should and I'm not sure that the browned butter was really worth all the time it took to hover over the pan until it finally turned brown but the result was a pretty darned good pumpkin cake that smelled divine. Add to that the Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting (it's yum on graham crackers too) and we have a winner. I guess Martha knows what she's talking about after all!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 1/2  sticks unsalted butter, room temp (I didn't have unsalted butter so I just reduced the salt)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 4 tsp cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tin with paper liners (I've never had real success with the foil ones). In a saucepan melt the butter over med-low heat and continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter begins to turn golden brown. Skim the foam (this is the butter fat separating from the rest) from the top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop cooking (you can go from golden brown to black before you realize it even happened if you aren't paying attention...but I don't know anything about that). Let cool.

In another bowl blend together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. In your mixer blend the eggs, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth. Pour in the butter and mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, fill each about 3/4 full. The batter isn't runny like a typical cake batter, it's kind of fluffy and stiff so don't get in a hurry, just be patient as you are divvying it out. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Set your timer, do as I say not as I do! :)

Cool on wire racks completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1 8 oz cube cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy. Reduce speed to low (this is critical or you are going to have a giant mess). Add sugar slowly, 1 cup at a time until fluffy and mixed well. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Frost away!

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