Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Penuche Frosting

This weekend's baking project were Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes…  We ended up having to shoot on Saturday so I thought it would be fun to bake some cupcakes for the crew.

So Friday Night became bake night.  I love baking while listening to music, so babe played DJ and I baked up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.  And this was a great opportunity to use my new Fall cupcake wrappers from Crate and Barrel.

Autumn is my favorite time of year and really the only time of the year that even after all these years I miss living in Minnesota.  October was always my favorite month when I was growing up there.  And November it's chilly and you start getting the first snow…. I loved it.

autumn cupcake wrappers from crate and barrel - 
I love the leaf motif and the little acorns!!

The recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book.  I just reread my post about my first attempt at this recipe in 2010.  I had added 1 cup too much flour by accident.  This time I counted right! :)  They are still a very dense cupcake.  The recipe calls for sifted flour and then to sift all the dry ingredients together.  I don't think I sifted it enough maybe?

The batter right after mixing in the pumpkin puree - 
it's a thicker batter than the usual thinner cake batters

Right before they go into the oven - 
always tapping the bottom of the pan just like Grandma Twink taught me :)
I think I'm finally getting used to our convection oven.  It's been tough trying to figure out how this convection oven works.  Personally, I'm not impressed.  I always thought that these type of ovens were supposed to be good at baking things evenly but I don't think it does.  Or at least our oven - the right side seems to be hotter and if you have 2 pans in at once they really cook unevenly.  But I've narrowed it down to adjust the temperature… I usually subtract 25 degrees from the Recipe recommendation but still bake using the shortest time given.  Of course always checking a minute or two before the time is ending.

cooling for 10 minutes in the pan - 
the loft smelled so pumpkin delicious when these were baking

I usually make the frosting the next morning if I'm bringing in cupcakes to the mocap shoots.  But Friday night I had decided to just make the frosting so I wouldn't have to wake up at 6am!  But as usual I messed up the first attempt.

Frosting is the hardest part for me.  And Friday night I didn't measure out the right amount of milk to add.  So, I had to wake up at 6am Saturday morning after all.  The good part about that was the color of the sky… This picture doesn't really do it justice but the light bouncing off the Santa Monica Mountains from our terrace was super cool.

sunrise view at the loft

For the frosting I made the family recipe for Penuche Frosting.  So, when I started to make the frosting Saturday morning I realized I didn't have enough brown sugar so I crossed my fingers that it would still work.  And it did.  The coloring was much lighter than it should've been but still tasted good.  

grandma fran's penuche frosting - 
it should be about 3 shades darker and more creamier 

Everyone loved the surprise of having cupcakes for having to work on a Saturday.  I also received thank you's from Our stage Manager and our Creative Director.  Which was very nice.   Plus, it is always a good feeling when people see that you've brought in cupcakes and they dive right in :)  That's what makes getting up at 6am worth it!  I brought in 2 dozen cupcakes and they were gone before we broke for lunch.  That's the best feeling ever!

pumpkin spice cupcakes with penuche frosting - 
November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Football & Sea Salt Chocolate Walnut cookies

Living in Los Angeles we don't get a super colorful autumn here.  I mean it was 80 degrees earlier this week.  But today is Football Sunday and there's finally a chill in the air.  It's as close to autumn as we get!  So today seemed like a great day for some good old fashioned chocolate chip walnut cookies.  

As usual I used the base recipe from the Star Wars Cookbook for the Wookie cookies but instead of using different chocolate chips per the recipe, I used semi sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. Extra loaded with walnuts!

My own extra little addition to these yummy cookies is to sprinkle sea salt on top right before they go in the oven.

FYI The Wookie Cookie recipe is your basic chocolate chip but with cinnamon.  It calls for 1 tsp. but I usually add a little extra dash. :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's pumpkin time

Today is Daylight Savings time… Ahh, I love today.  That 1 extra hour of sleep is the best.  Being as we are now finally in November although yesterday it was 83 degrees in LA… it's time to look forward to the holidays. 

Nothing says November like pumpkin.  Today's pumpkin treat was a pre made mix from William & Sonoma.  It's their Spiced Pecan Pumpkin bread.  It's delicious.  And during this time of year they have this delicious Pecan Pumpkin butter that is amazing!

It is pumpkin overload but so yummy!

Just out of the oven

Hello Pumpkin

Sunday, September 8, 2013

how time flies

Soooooo.... guess it has been a while since I posted anything.... for over a year!  Whoa.  Hadn't realized it had been so long.

Well, I've actually been baking quite a bit lately. I received a new apron from my Aunt for my birthday and I feel like it's now my lucky apron. :)

Today is the first day of the 2013 Football season.  Which means that it is football all day in our loft.  So, to kick the season off I made us Cream Scones this morning.  The recipe is from my bff.  The best part is that the recipe is from a newspaper clipping about Lady Diana and Prince Charles getting married.  I totally remember my mom waking me up so that we could watch that wedding together.