Baking is the perfect outlet when I have a lot on my mind. It’s sometimes even more therapeutic than a heavily poured glass of wine, believe it or not!
I recently realized that I hadn’t posted a baked good since March. Yes, MARCH. Clearly, I had to remedy this situation, so I decided to bake this spiced pumpkin bread. I wish I could explain how unbelievably amazing my apartment smelled during the baking process. It was a torturous hour of waiting, but worth it in the end when my roommate and I got to indulge in a slice straight from the oven. The bread was even better the next day.
If you’re looking for more pumpkin inspiration, check out the recipes below:
I’m sure anyone living in Southern California is saying, “Chili? In 90 degree weather? Are you crazy?” Maybe. But it is fall, after all, and I’ve been itching to cook with pumpkin. I also purchased ground turkey, so it seemed fitting that I combine the two to make chili. Though the pumpkin is almost entirely masked by the other ingredients, it still adds a subtle sweet and earthy flavor.
I made these fluffy pumpkin spice cookies with orange buttercream frosting over the weekend. Upon each bite, the palette is hit with the slight tartness of the orange followed by the spice of the pumpkin. My brother took them to work today and said they were a hit with all of his co-workers. :)
Need more pumpkin inspiration? Head over to Maris’ site at In Good Taste for her baked pumpkin doughnuts. Check out Mary’s pumpkin cake with caramel icing over at One Perfect Bite. Also, Erin’s pumpkin spice hot apple cider at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.
In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to bake themed cupcakes. I chose simple vanilla cakes with buttercream frosting, which allowed for ample decorating opportunities. Since I wasn’t confident in my ability to create black frosting, I settled on purple. I most likely would have ended up with a mud-colored frosting if I mixed all the food dyes, as I am not a chemist. The only solution I’ve seen was on the show, Cupcake Wars, when a contestant used squid ink to create a deep black color. Since the ink would add unnecessary (and unwanted) flavor, I vetoed this option.
Using a different recipe, but the same decoration ideas from another blog, I made “candy corn” cupcakes. Although the cakes do not actually have candy corn in the batter, with the help of food dye, the little cakes come to resemble the candy. I divided the cupcake batter in half, dying one yellow and one orange. I proceeded to fill the liners with yellow batter first, then topped them with orange batter. Once baked, I let the cupcakes cool and piped them with a dollop of buttercream frosting and a single candy corn.
For the spider web and witch cupcakes, I used the same batter and frosting recipe as the candy corn cakes. However, instead of dying the batter, I died the frosting. While thinking of something that would be sturdy enough for the witch hat, I realized that oddly, we still had Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies (unopened) in our pantry. I figured even if the cookies were stale, they would work for presentation. The cookies worked perfectly—and still tasted fresh and crunchy. Must have some amazing preservatives!