My family is kind of crazy. Our life is essentially one giant musical, we are constantly singing. Any word or phrase can set us off. You say close your eyes? We start singing The Bangles “Close your eyes...give me your hand, darling!” Down South? Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Headed down south to the land of the pines...”
Another one in rotation is Michelle Branch’s Breathe. It’s perfect for a real life musical, it just slips off the tongue. “If I just breaaatthhheee, let it fill the space between...” It’s a fun song.
Yesterday night I noticed that I was gaining a lot of followers on twitter, and lots of hits on my blog. I checked my site meter to see where they were coming from. Twitter, twitter, twitter, and then twitter.com/michellebranch. Michelle Branch? Seriously? I thought I was mistaken, it was Michelle B. Ranch or something. Then I clicked on the link, Michelle Branch had tweeted about me. She said my blog was one of her favorites. Um, what? That’s crazy.
Although it’s great to hear a famous person likes my blog, I have to say I appreciate every comment, tweet, and email I receive from you guys, famous or not. That’s part of the reason I love doing this, knowing someone out there enjoys it. So thank you for stopping by.
In celebration of life’s unexpected joys I bring you Pumpkin Cupcakes. These are really lovely, fluffy and light. I’m not crazy about the frosting though, the consistency didn’t seem right. You might want to experiment with something else. I topped mine with maple sugar that Brien Maple Syrup sent me a while back, but pumpkin spice would probably do the trick.
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple–Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from David Leite via Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 17 to 18 cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.
2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
3. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
Make the frosting:
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy.