October 28, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes Filled with Pumpkin Cream

Written by: Susan Cope
The weather has shifted. The air is crisp, and the snow has started to fall in the mountains. It is the time of year where you want to curl up in front of a fireplace under a blanket with steaming cup of hot chocolate and good book.The seasons have changed, and you are beginning to crave the scents and tastes of the holidays. Warm mulled cider, homemade pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes with a hint of maple and roasted turkey with apple and sage dressing are on your mind. And you are looking forward to intimate gatherings with close friends and family and feasting on flavorful cuisine.
For over sixteen years Fabulous Food had been part of the valley’s family, and we would like to be part of your holiday celebrations this year. Our kitchen is wafting with aromas of sweet and savory holiday treats that would create a sense of delight in even the biggest Scrooge.

Chef Skip Hause’s Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Filling

Gingerbread Cupcakes
1 Dozen Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt. In another bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat until the mixture it is fluffy. Beat in molasses and the egg until mixture is extra smooth. In a measuring cup combine baking soda with 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir the mixture until dissolved. Stir mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture into the dry ingredients. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon in the batter. Fill them halfway. Bake cupcakes in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and allow to cool.

Pumpkin Filling
1 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Use a pastry bag with a star tip to fill the center of the cupcakes from the top. Be careful not to over fill, as the cupcakes will explode.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat until smooth after each addition. Pipe the top of the cupcakes and enjoy.