But seriously, lovely friends, it’s almost autumn, my favorite time of year. I’ll admit that I love doing fall activities like apple-picking or sweater-wearing (hey, that’s totally an activity), watching the weather change, and partaking of everything else that comes with the season. My favorite aspect by far, though? (And that says a lot, now that Sam Adams is putting out their fall seasonal brew-packs. Come to mama, Octoberfest.)
Pumpkin! (And all of its accompanying spices — allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon)
In the spirit of my favorite gourd — which can successfully be added to pies, coffee (thanks, Starbucks, for bringing back
liquid crack your best seasonal latte), chili, tarts, and more — I came across this pin for Pumpkin Poppers, from the lovely Haley at Just the Little Things. Here’s the original, drool-inducing picture in all of its fall-flavor glory:
Yeah … this recipe had to happen. Thus, this weekend, I popped into my neighborhood Giant Grocery and grabbed (then promptly paid for — sheesh, guys) my first (of hopefully many) cans of pumpkin to make the recipe. After successfully baking a batch, and distributing them to my coworkers in an attempt not to slide into morbid obesity at the hands (er … cinnamon-sugar-sprinkles?) of these bad boys, here’s my verdict:
Holy canolli, Batman, these bad boys were delicious. The recipe was easy to follow, and the result turned out almost identical to the original pinned one. Hurrah! Here are mine:
The moist, pumpkin-flavored cake centers were covered in a light layer of cinnamon sugar (adhered with melted butter — no way something this tasty could be totally healthy!), and the flavor combination of spices, pumpkin and fluffy cake was fabulous. When I brought these to work, they vanished by about 9:30 a.m. When I left a few at home, 4 may or may not have simultaneously disappeared immediately after baking. Huh. Mystery.
Pumpkin Poppers — adapted from Just the Little Things. Makes 24-ish mini-muffin-sized bites.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves [NOTE: you can substitute the previous 4 ingredients with 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, as well)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pumpkin (for instructions for roasting your own, check Psych in the Kitchen’s post here)
- 1/2 cup milk
For the coating:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a mini-muffin tin.
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl and lightly mix until well-combined.
- In a larger bowl, combine oil / applesauce, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Slowly add dry ingredients mixture and whisk / mix with a fork until just combined. (Overmixing = not so tasty baked goods.) Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, fill mini muffin tins until nearly full and bake 10-12 minutes.
- For coating, melt butter in small bowl (45 sec – 1 min on high in the microwave should do it). Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. After the pumpkin poppers cool for a few minutes, dip each one in melted butter; then, roll them in the sugar mixture (a la snickerdoodles) and set aside on a serving dish / cooling rack until ready to serve.
Variation: If you’re lacking a mini-muffin tin, bake the mixture in full-size muffin tins at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes, topped with a quick “streusel” topping of 1-2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp cold butter (cut into flour with 2 knives or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs), 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1-2 tsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Are you folks fans of fall cuisine? Are you pumpkin people, or do you prefer other flavors of the season? Have your Pinned recipes been successfully attempted, or are you mostly pinning-and-forgetting? (Like we all do — myself included!)