Pinterest Challenge: Pumpkin Poppers

19 Sep

It’s getting chilly in the mornings, the crunchy leaves are rustling in cool breezes, and I’m in the mood for my “You’ve Got Mail” bouquet of sharpened pencils. What’s that spell, kids? F-A-L-L!

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.)

Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

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:

Is it appropriate to say “hubba hubba” to an inanimate dessert?

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:

4.5 out of 5 Pinterest Ps.

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:

“Nommy nommy nom nom nom.” — the Pumpkin Poppers.

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.

The stars of the show! (Well, aside from the sugar. There’s quite a bit of that.)

Pumpkin Poppers — adapted from Just the Little Things. Makes 24-ish mini-muffin-sized bites.

You’ll need:

  • 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.

Steps for dunking and sugaring your poppers: One, lightly “dunk” in butter until all sides are coated.

Step two: “Stir” the poppers in cinnamon sugar. And avoid getting your non-hand-model hands photographed.

Step Three: Admire your handiwork, and try to avoid eating each popper as soon as you’re finished.

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.

Aww yeah. These are also weirdly delicious with peanut butter.

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!)

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7 Responses to “Pinterest Challenge: Pumpkin Poppers”

  1. Cheryl September 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    They look heavenly. I can’t wait to make this.

    • galleykitchengal September 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks! They’re pretty tasty, and so easy! The recipe also leaves you with lots of leftover canned pumpkin. How terrible … haha. 🙂

  2. Erin September 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Thanks for the recommendation, almost master chef! I’m pretty sure my increasingly pregnant self could finish off the whole batch, but I will use some restraint and save some for my faculty on Monday. I substituted applesauce for the oil (I almost always use applesauce for baking because I think it’s super yummy and adds amazing moisture) and I’m happy that my poppers have a slight apple flavor in there as well. Although I should note that I used more like 1/2 cup of it instead of 1/3. The more Fall-tasting the better! I also had enough batter leftover to make a mini cake (like a 3 to 4 serving sizes “mini” cake) to snack on while watching ND beat Michigan later. I may or may not let Dave share it with me…he’s got Fall beer all to himself. 😀

    • galleykitchengal September 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      I actually used applesauce, too! Glad you liked the substitution — the pumpkin & apple combo is pretty killer, huh? And of course you should keep those mini-cakes to yourself! You need the nutrients, Mama Kimbell. 🙂

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