Pumpkin Season!!

I’m so behind on my blogging! I’ve been crazy busy with school, dance, job interviews, blah blah blah that I haven’t had time to write up any of my new recipes! But it’s quickly becoming fall, meaning I’m quickly becoming more and more obsessed with the very best part of this season: pumpkin.

Like my collection? I like pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pie, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts, pumpkin spice Eggo waffles, and of course… pumpkin.

Everything tastes good with a little pumpkin in it. Especially desserts. Which brings me to this new recipe…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 cupcakes.

Ingredients
for the cupcakes
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree
for the frosting
8 oz light cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2-4 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, powder, soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla, milk, and eggs. Slowly add pumpkin and mix until smooth.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until a batter is formed.
5. Fill pans about 2/3 full and bake for 22-28 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting, with an electric mixer combine cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup. Slowly sift in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

These cupcakes were light and fluffy, just the way cupcakes should be. They lasted about a day in my house before my friends had eaten them all.

So I know what you’re thinking… Pumpkin comes in a huge can, but these cupcakes didn’t sure nearly that much! So what do you do? Well, you could just make tons of cupcakes, which would certainly be fine, or you could make the easiest and most delicious brownies known to mankind.

Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients
one box of your favorite brownie mix
15oz pumpkin (I used half the 29oz can)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
chocolate chips, walnuts – optional

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until a batter forms. Do NOT use the ingredients called for on the brownie box (eggs, oil, etc).
3. Bake 25-30 min until a knife comes out clean. Let cool, cut, and eat!

Enjoy the rest of pumpkin season!

Dumb Blondies

My cookies from last week’s post made it to Foodgawker!! I am so excited – this is my first time getting a submission approved. Of course, this week’s photos are awful so I’m not even going to try, but it’s okay. In a week I got 138 favorites on Foodgawker, and a bunch of new Pins, which I think is quite an accomplishment.

Sunday night I went to a friend’s place to watch the Tony Awards. Neil Patrick Harris was hilarious… as usual.

Once I got the invite, I quickly whipped up some yummy baked goods to share. Unfortunately I didn’t get very good photos since I literally walked out the door as soon as these came out of the oven. But I promise, they were delicious. More than half the pan was gone by the time the awards were over, and there was only a handful of us eating!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
Original recipe here.

Ingredients
1 stick butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C peanut butter (I used chunky)
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp canola oil
3 Tbsp water
1/2 C chocolate chips, divided

Instructions
1.
 Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 pan with foil.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugars and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.
3. While the pb mixture cools, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
4. Pour in pb mixture, oil, and water, and stir until a thick batter forms. (It will be very very thick!) Fold in 1/4 C chocolate chips.
5. Pour into pan and top with remaining chocolate chips. Bake 25 minutes until set. Cool, cut, and serve.

Healthy Dessert?!!

I got another tattoo yesterday, my third, and I’m really sore. I wanted to bake but I wanted something easy. Easy and healthy. This whole tattoo thing means no working out for at least 2 weeks – I have to avoid sweating as much as possible. According to the extremely reliable Yahoo! Answers, I run the risk of a staph infection – bad news. So I’m trying to keep the fatty foods at a minimum.

This is by far the best brownie I have ever tasted. It’s dense, fudgy, and secretly healthy. I’ve seen many recipes similar to this one and I’ve been absolutely dying to try it out! Seriously, don’t be afraid of it. It’s delicious.

The only thing I’d do differently is put the chocolate chips on top, rather than mixing them into the batter. The walnuts were fine, but the chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom and were lost when I took the brownies out of the pan!

Black Bean Brownies
(Original can be found here)

Ingredients:
1 can black beans
3 eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used grape seed)
1/4 C cocoa powder
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping Tbsp instant coffee
1/3 C chocolate chips
1/3 C chopped walnuts (it actually could’ve used more, maybe 1/2 C)

Special Tools:
Blender or food processor

Instructions:
1.
 Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2.
Rinse and drain your black beans.
3. Put all ingredients except walnuts and chocolate chips into the blender. Blend until smooth.

4. Mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour into an 8×8 baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.