Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes with Buttermilk Buttercream Icing and Caramelized Pecan Topping

This is a great pumpkin spice cake recipe. I’m making mini cupcakes, but you can also make a cake, loaf, standard size cupcakes – just remember to adjust the cooking time.

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For the pumpkin spice mini cupcakes:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt

– Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line mini muffin tins with paper cases.
– In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.
– In bowl of mixer, stir sugars together. Add shortening and mix until combined.
– Add eggs and mix.
– Add pumpkin and mix well.
– Mix in vanilla extract.
– Stir in flour mixture.
– Spoon mixture into muffin tins and bake for 10-15min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
– Cool in tins for about 10min and then cool completely on wire rack.

For the caramelized pecan topping:

1 cup pecans
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup

– Cook pecans in a saucepan until lightly toasted and fragrant.
– Add sugar and syrup and stir constantly until caramelized.
– Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and cool completely.
– Pulse in mini chopper/food processor until desired coarseness. You can also chop nuts by hand with a knife.

For the buttermilk buttercream icing:

2 sticks butter
1 lb confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk

– Mix together until light and fluffy.
– Pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with pecan topping.

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My Mom’s Turkey Croquette Recipe

These are the turkey croquettes my Mom always made after we had a turkey dinner. They are cheese, onion, sage, and turkey all rolled into a golden fried croquette. Yum!

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded leftover turkey
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
12 oz cheddar cheese, grated
salt, pepper, sage to taste
dried breadcrumbs and eggs for coating
vegetable oil for frying

– melt butter in saucepan
– add onions and saute until translucent
– add flour and cook for 1 min.
– gradually add in milk, stirring constantly
– add cheese and allow mixture to thicken, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom
– add salt, pepper, and sage to taste
– remove from heat and stir in turkey
– chill until set enough to form a croquette
– shape turkey mixture into desired size croquettes
– roll in breadcrumbs, then egg, then back in breadcrumbs
– fry in oil until golden brown, turning once if necessary
– remove from oil and drain on paper towel

Dominique Ansel’s Official At-Home Cronut Recipe Tested by Me

This is Dominique Ansel’s At-Home Cronut recipe that I’m making in my kitchen…at home! It’s a 3 day recipe and was lots of fun to try…if you have 3 days.

Ingredients

  • For the pastry dough:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour, plus more as needed for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons Instant yeast (preferably SAF Gold Label)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 large egg white
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Nonstick cooking spray as needed
  • For the butter block:
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
  • Grapeseed oil as needed
  • Glaze of your choice as needed
  • Decorating sugar of your choice as needed
  • Special equipment:
  • Stand mixer with dough hook and whisk attachments
  • Ruler
  • Large offset spatula
  • 3 1/2-inch (9 cm) ring cutter
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) ring cutter
  • Deep-frying thermometer
  • 2 uncut piping bags
  • Wilton #230 Bismarck metal tip or other Bismarck tube
  • Ateco #803 plain tip (5/16-inch/0.8 cm diameter)

Cooking Directions

Two Days Before

Make ganache: Prepare one of the ganache recipes below and refrigerate until needed.

Make pastry dough: Combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, egg whites, butter, and cream in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until just combined, about 3 minutes. When finished the dough will be rough and have very little gluten development.

Lightly grease a medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the dough, to prevent a skin from forming. Proof the dough in a warm spot until doubled in size, 2 to 3 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough by folding the edges into the center, releasing as much of the gas as possible. On a piece of parchment paper, shape into a 10-inch (25 cm) square. Transfer to a sheet pan, still on the parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Make butter block: Draw a 7-inch (18 cm) square on a piece of parchment paper with a pencil. Flip the parchment over so that the butter won’t come in contact with the pencil marks. Place the butter in the center of the square and spread it evenly with an offset spatula to fill the square. Refrigerate overnight.

One Day Before

Laminate: Remove the butter from the refrigerator. It should still be soft enough to bend slightly without cracking. If it is still too firm, lightly beat it with a

rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface until it becomes pliable. Make sure to press the butter back to its original 7-inch (18 cm) square after working it.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, making sure it is very cold throughout. Place the dough on a floured work surface. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 10-inch (25.5 cm) square about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Arrange the butter block in the center of the dough so it looks like a diamond in the center of the square (rotated 45 degrees, with the corners of the butter block facing the center of the dough sides). Pull the corners of the dough up and over to the center of the butter block. Pinch the seams of dough together to seal the butter inside. You should have a square slightly larger than the butter block.

Very lightly dust the work surface with flour to ensure the dough doesn’t stick. With a rolling pin, using steady, even pressure, roll out the dough from the center. When finished, you should have a 20-inch (50 cm) square about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. (This is not the typical lamination technique and is unique to this recipe. When rolling out dough, you want to use as little flour as possible. The more flour you incorporate into the dough, the tougher it will be to roll out, and when you fry the At-Home Cronut pastries they will flake apart.)

Fold the dough in half horizontally, making sure to line up the edges so you are left with a rectangle. Then fold the dough vertically. You should have a 10-inch (25.5 cm) square of dough with 4 layers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Repeat steps 3 and 4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The Day Of

Cut dough: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch (40 cm) square about 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) thick. Transfer the dough to a half sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour to relax.

Using a 3 1/2-inch (9 cm) ring cutter, cut 12 rounds. Cut out the center of each round with a 1-inch (2.5 cm) ring cutter to create the doughnut shape.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly dust the parchment with flour. Place the At-Home Cronut pastries on the pan, spacing them about 3 inches (8 cm) apart. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and lay it on top of the pastries. Proof in a warm spot until tripled in size, about 2 hours. (It’s best to proof At-Home Cronut pastries in a warm, humid place. But if the proofing area is too warm, the butter will melt, so do not place the pastries on top of the oven or near another direct source of heat.

Fry dough: Heat the grapeseed oil in a large pot until it reaches 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Use a deep-frying thermometer to verify that the oil is at the right temperature. (The temperature of the oil is very important to the frying process. If it is too low, the pastries will be greasy; too high, the inside will be undercooked while the outside is burnt.) Line a platter with several layers of paper towels for draining the pastries.

Gently place 3 or 4 of them at a time into the hot oil. Fry for about 90 seconds on each side, flipping once, until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels.

Check that the oil is at the right temperature. If not, let it heat up again before frying the next batch. Continue until all of them are fried.

Let cool completely before filling.

Make glaze: Prepare the glaze below that corresponds to your choice of ganache.

Make flavored sugar: Prepare the decorating sugar on page 208 that corresponds to your choice of ganache.

Assemble: Transfer the ganache to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whip on high speed until the ganache holds a stiff peak. (If using the Champagne-chocolate ganache, simply whisk it until smooth. It will be quite thick already.)

Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit the Bismarck tip. Using a rubber spatula, place 2 large scoops of ganache in a piping bag so that it is one-third full. Push the ganache down toward the tip of the bag.

Place the decorating sugar that corresponds to your choice of ganache and glaze in a bowl.

Arrange each At-Home Cronut pastry so that the flatter side is facing up. Inject the ganache through the top of the pastry in four different spots, evenly spaced. As you pipe the ganache, you should feel the pastry getting heavier in your hand.

Place the pastry on its side. Roll in the corresponding sugar, coating the outside edges.

If the glaze has cooled, microwave it for a few seconds to warm until soft. Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit a #803 plain tip. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the glaze to the bag. Push the glaze down toward the tip of the bag.

Pipe a ring of glaze around the top of each At-Home Cronut pastry, making sure to cover all the holes created from the filling. Keep in mind that the glaze will continue to spread slightly as it cools. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serving instructions: Because the At-Home Cronut pastry is cream-filled, it must be served at room temperature.

Storage instructions: Consume within 8 hours of frying. Leftover ganache can be stored in a closed airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. Leftover flavored sugar can keep in a closed airtight container for weeks and can be used to macerate fruits or sweeten drinks.

Ganaches

Vanilla Rose Ganache

1 gelatin sheet, 160 bloom (If you can’t find gelatin sheets, use powdered gelatin. One gelatin sheet = 1 scant teaspoon [2.3 grams] powdered gelatin. For every teaspoon of gelatin, bloom in 1 tablespoon [15 grams] water.)

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

1 Vanilla bean (preferably Tahitian), split lengthwise, seeds scraped

1/2 cup white chocolate, finely chopped

4 tablespoons rose water

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 1 teaspoon (2.3 grams) gelatin over 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water in a small bowl, stir, and let sit 20 minutes to bloom.

Combine the heavy cream and vanilla bean seeds in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

If using a gelatin sheet, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the cream until the gelatin is dissolved.

Place the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.

Whisk the white chocolate and hot cream until smooth. Add the rose water and whisk until fully blended. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Whipped Lemon Ganache

2 gelatin sheets, 160 bloom (If you can’t find gelatin sheets, use powdered gelatin. One gelatin sheet = 1 scant teaspoon [2.3 grams] powdered gelatin. For every teaspoon of gelatin, bloom in 1 tablespoon [15 grams] water.)

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Grated zest from one lemon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup white chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 2 teaspoons (5 grams) gelatin over 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water in a small bowl, stir, and let sit 20 minutes to bloom.

Combine the cream, lemon zest, and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

If using gelatin sheets, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the cream until the gelatin is dissolved.

Place the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.

Whisk the white chocolate and hot cream until smooth. Let the ganache cool to room temperature.

Whisk in the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Champagne-Chocolate Ganache

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons champagne

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup + 1 tablespoon dark chocolate (66% cocoa content), finely chopped

Combine the water, 2 tablespoons (26 grams) of the Champagne, and the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Mix to a smooth paste.

Combine the cream and the remaining 1/4 cup (76 grams) Champagne in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. Stream one-third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until fully blended, to temper them. Whisk the tempered yolks into the remaining hot cream. Return the pot to medium heat.

Keep whisking! Continue to cook the custard over medium heat until it reaches 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). The custard will turn pale yellow and thicken so that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder paste until fully incorporated.

Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Strain the custard through a small sieve over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds.

Whisk the chocolate and custard until smooth. When finished, the ganache will have the consistency of yogurt. Reserve 1/4 cup (50 grams) for the glaze. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Flavored Sugars

Vanilla Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Vanilla bean (preferably Tahitian), split lengthwise, seeds scraped

Maple Sugar

1 cup granulated maple sugar

Grated zest from one lemon

Orange Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

Grated zest from one orange

Combine the sugar and its flavoring in a small bowl. Reserve until needed.

Glazes

Rose Glaze

1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as “fondant icing” or “pastry fondant.” It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)

2 tablespoons rose water

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as “fondant icing” or “pastry fondant.” It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)

Grated zest from one lemon

Champagne-Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as “fondant icing” or “pastry fondant.” It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)

1/4 cup champagne-chocolate ganache (see above)

Warm the fondant in a small bowl in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between intervals. When the fondant is slightly warm, about 20 seconds, add the corresponding flavor and stir until fully blended.

Original recipe source: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/home-cronut-recipe-dominique-ansel-25948902re

Whip Up a Quick and Easy Pumpkin Pie (Libby’s Recipe)

This is a very easy recipe and works every time. If you’d like to make it a little more homemade, you can always make your own crust and you can puree your own pumpkin.

To make your pumpkin puree, cut a pie pumpkin in quarters, scoop out seeds, place in a large microwave safe bowl with some water in the bottom, cover with cling film, and cook for 15min in mircowave. Once flesh is cooked, puree with food processor or blender. I ususally pass the puree through a sieve to make sure I get a very smooth puree.

Recipe from: https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/libbys-famous-pumpkin-pie/

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

How to Make a German Sour Cream Apple Cake

This is a great recipe for apples and the sour cream custard compliments them beautifully.

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Ingredients for 1-2-3 Dough:

1 cup Sugar
2 cups Butter
3 cups Flour
1 Egg, beaten

– Mix flour and butter together until roughly combined.
– Mix in sugar.
– Add egg
– Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hr.

Ingredients for Cake:

½ recipe 1-2-3 Dough
4-5 Apples, peeled, cored, and halved
Dried breadcrumbs
½ cup Whipping Cream
2 Eggs
1 cup Sour cream
1 tbsp Corn starch
½ cup Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla

– Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC and grease and flour a 9″ springform pan.
– Press dough into bottom and sides of pan. Dough should come about ¾ up the side of the pan.
– Sprinkle enough breadcrumbs to cover the bottom.
– Score the top of each apple and arrange in pan with scored side up, adding pieces to fill in the holes.
– Combine whipping cream, eggs, sour cream, corn starch, sugar, and vanilla.
– Pour over apples and bake for 1-1½ until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
– Cool on wire rack in tin.

How to Make Apple Spice Cupcakes with a Spiced Buttercream (Gluten-Free)

These are great autumn cupcakes. The apples and spice go perfectly together and the spiced buttercream is super yummy!

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Ingredients for cupcakes:

2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups rice flour (or all purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups finely shredded apple

– Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
– Line 2 x 12 cup cupcake pans.
– In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.
– In a mixer, combine brown sugar, eggs, and oil until well mixed.
– Add in flour mixture. Mix on low while slowly adding buttermilk.
– Mix in vanilla and shredded apple.
– Divide evenly into cupcake pans and bake for 20-25min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
– Cool on wire rack.

Ingredients for icing:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp water

– mix butter, sugar, spices, and vanilla in a bowl. Add water to obtain desired consistency.
– Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Crabapple Jelly

Crabapple jelly is fun and easy to make! It takes a little longer than jam as you have to strain it first, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

I used 5.5 lbs of crabapples, which made 10 x 125ml (1/4 pint) jars.

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– place trimmed crabapples in a large saucepan and add 1 cup of water for every pound of crabapples.
– bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
– boil for 15 min and then crush crabapples with a potato masher and boil for a further 5 min.
– strain the crabapples through a jelly bag or cheese cloth into a container for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
– place a small plate in the freezer for checking set point later.
– place juice in a saucepan and add 2/3 cup sugar for every cup of juice.
– bring juice and sugar gently to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 15-18 min while stirring.
– after 15 min, remove the plate from the freezer and add a small amount of jelly onto the plate and return to the freezer for 1 min.
– remove plate again and run finger through the jelly. If the jelly wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, continue to boil jelly for another couple of minutes and test again.
– remove jelly from heat and skim any foam/scum off the top.

To preserve:

8 qt. pan for jam
Smaller pan for lids
Large pan/stockpot for canning – I use a 21 qt. canner that has a jar rack as well.
Mason jars
Funnel
Jar-lifting tongs

– wash jars and lids with hot and soapy water and rinse well.
– to sterilize jars, place jars in canner with just simmering water. Leave the jars in there until ready to use.
– warm lids (do not boil) in smaller pan.
– pour hot jelly into jars.
– make sure there’s no jelly on the rim of the jars that could affect the seal. Clean with a damp cloth.
– place lids on top of jars and screw on bands until finger tight.
– place jars in canner and lower into water. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water over the top of the jars. Bring water to a boil and process jars for 10 min. Use the following chart to adjust water canning times for different altitudes:

Altitude (feet) Increase processing time
1001 – 3000 5 minutes
3001 – 6000 10 minutes
6001 – 8000 15 minutes
8001 – 10000 20 minutes

– remove jars from water and place on a towel for at least 12 hrs. During this time you’ll hear each of the lids pop as they seal.
– check the jars have sealed properly – they shouldn’t move up and down when you press in the middle of the lid. If a jar hasn’t sealed, you can refrigerate it and eat it or you can process the jar again using a new lid.
– keep processed jars in a cool, dry and dark place. They will last for about 1 year. Enjoy!