For my first baking with the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Blog we made Pumpkin Patch Cupbakes. Now I had borrowed out my brand new book to last week to a friend who has yet to return it at the baking deadline, so in desperation I had to use the recipe on her website hoping it was the same one as the book. I figured she couldn't have that many pumpkin patch recipes out there.So if I've made the wrong recipe as the rest of the group, I apologize and promise to get back on track (and get back the book) by next baking.
Now I should admit I have a love/hate relationship going on right now with the pumpkin patch cupcakes. But it's probably not their fault. Nor is it Martha's. It is, however, my tendency to underestimate the amount of work that goes into recipes at times. Like the pumpkin one. I had been wavering toward using just canned pumpkin then decided at the last minute to be a brave, strong grown up and follow Martha's recipe...at least the one she had online.
I'm thinking next time, canned pumpkin all the way.
Clearly my memories of pumpkins were a little skewed. I don't remember them being that much of a pain. And then again, as a kid, my mom did most of the cutting and my sister and I got to scrape the seeds out. I am just flaberasted at the number of seeds a tiny 2 lb pumpkin can hold. They were everywhere. And don't even get me started on the peeling of the pumpkin. I'm fairly surprised I didn't cut myself in the process.
As for the grating...yeah, not so much. I'll confess. I cheated. I cut everything into chunks after sawing off the shell of the pumpkin and dumping them in the blender because I didn't have a food processor and the blender had a pulse tab which I rationalized as being close enough. Despite the fact that every single time I have come up with the brilliant solution to use the blender for an job that really needs to be done by hand or with a food processor it has not turned out well, I still forged ahead. So I had a blender that kept would blend part of it but leave the chunks on top whole requiring me to pull the pure out and start all over. And in order to get the seeds out, I'd somewhat made a mess of the pumpkin that made grating it impossible..although I only tried for maybe all of a minute before giving up. After a good 15 minutes of scraping out the bits clogged at the bottom, I had maybe 2 cups of somewhat grated pumpkin and not the 2 1/2 the recipe said I would have.
I figured that was going to be good enough because at this point, my kitchen was a mess and I was borderline cranky. In the end, I dumped everything into a mixing bowl, pulled out my hand held mixer and after fighting a bit to incorporate the oil, I had respectable batter with little chunks of pumpkin that I poured into the muffin tin. Unfortunately, I realized after it was very nearly baked that I'd forgotten to put the pecans in. I also ended up substituting a pinch of allspice for the cloves as I had none in the house.And I also went with store bought pumpkin candies, skipping the part of making my own as my artistic skills with such things are pretty much non existant.
Despite all of it, I love the muffins. It had a mellow taste to it that surprised me so I'm not sure that I would necessarily make these for a kid...they seem more like grown up pumpkin muffins to me. I also only made 12 as for this recipe, what I made was what I was going to eat.
One big plus in their favor is that they stay moist for several days after baking. I had made them on Friday and was still enjoying them on Monday. And there's even a few left (okay, there's 2). And fortunately for me, I now have a food processor. Although, i still can't see myself making these again with a pumpkin and going though that peeling pain in the...well, you get the point. Now if i could get some precut pumpkin most definitely.