Tag Archives: fall

Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes

If there is one thing other than tasty recipes that I would like for you all take away from this blog, it is that cooking with your kids around is not only doable, but can be extremely fun and a lot of times down right entertaining.

However, there are certain times when even I wish my kids weren’t in the kitchen.

Times like this past weekend when I volunteered myself to make roughly 60 cupcakes for a baby shower. I thought, “Hey, this will be no big deal. The Hubs can watch the girls and I will just knock those cupcakes out in a few hours.”

Ummmm. Yeah.

Here’s what really went down. That morning, The Hubs offered to help out with some home improvement at his boss’s house. So I was stuck trying to bake cupcakes while The Little Dude played on the computer (thank you, NickJr.com!) and The Monkey napped.  That wasn’t too bad, I managed to get all of the cupcakes baked before she got up. Woot!

I was starting to feel pretty smug about how well it was all going until it came time to frost and decorate the bad boys. Even though The Hubs was back home and doing his best,The Dude just seemed bored. So she looked to me for entertainment. You try explaining to a three year old, why she can’t have a cupcake. 

Me:  “Honey, I’m so sorry but these are cupcakes for my friend’s party.” (Holy crap! I can’t believe I just told her I was going to a party! What was I thinking?!)

Dude:  “Can I come to the party?”

Me:  “No baby. I’m so sorry. You can’t come to the party.”

Dude:  “Well, can I have a taste of frosting?”

And on and on it went.

Then The Monkey, who is normally one of the happiest babies you will ever meet, decided to pick this day to be super cranky, take short naps, and be mega clingy to Mommy.

Oh my.

So what should have been only a few hours worth of work, literally took me all day long.

All. Day.

Basically, I don’t really care if I never see these cupcakes again.

Oh wait. Yes I do. They are delicious.

Everybody really seemed to like them. Including my sweet pregnant friend. Which is all that matters in the end.

Wanna see what they looked like at the shower?

Cute huh?

I can’t take credit for the cupcake design, I saw pictures on the internet of  similar ones that fit this shower’s theme. The whole event was put together by one of my other sweet neighbors who is incredibly creative and crafty. She’s basically an all around know-it-all (in a good way), who I ask advice from on everything from fitness and nutrition tips, to fun fun things to do with my girls, to how to arrange pictures on my walls. I have been pestering her for some time now to start her own blog so she can impart all of her useful knowledge on the world (P.S. I think you should all leave comments telling her to get blogging!).

I mean come on, wouldn’t you like to know how to make stuff like this?

But anywho, lets get back to those cupcakes shall we?

I was kind of going for a mulled apple cider flavor. Something that had a nice fall feel to it. They are so so very moist and tender, and are rich with spices. They have an intense warm sweetness thanks to the molasses, which pairs quite nicely with the less sweet brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

They are the perfect autumn cupckae to bake up this week…and totally easy to do with your kids, so long as you aren’t baking a ton and trying to decorate them for someone else’s party.

Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes

(Adapted from Applesauce Cupcakes from The Lady and Sons, Too! by Paula Deen, and Spice Cake from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham)

Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups applesauce

2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350

Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl stir together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat applesauce and baking soda together about 1 minute, until hot. Stir and set aside.

Stir egg, molasses, and vanilla into butter mixture until combined, scraping down sides of bowl once.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Add hot applesauce to the batter and fold in until just combined.

Place in muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

(Adapted from allrecipes.com)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 tablespoon honey.

Combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

When mixture is smooth, add in honey.

Crunchy Sweet Potato Pie Fries

As you know, I have a three year old. And if you know anything about three year olds you know that they enjoy the constant occasional game of dress up.

Here she is as a sweet little bumble bee.

And here she is last Halloween as a pup.

Hahahahahaha! This picture never ceases to make me laugh. I promise that she actually was into it by the time Trick or Treating rolled around. Actually, for that matter, she still asks to bust out this costume.

Sometimes my food likes to play dress up too.

Guess what I had for lunch today?

Yep.

These little guys.

Holy Lord.

That’s right, friends. A sweet potato fry all dressed up like a pie, complete with a graham cracker crust.

In my ongoing efforts to go against the ubiquitous fall pumpkin recipe grain, I present to you yet another sweet potato recipe.

Let’s see, how can I describe these? They are all creamy and sweet and spicy on the inside. And crunchy and slightly sweet on the outside.

Oh yeah, and they are totally addictive too. Seriously. I could not stop eating these. If my pregnant friend had not come over and finished them, I would have definitely eaten the whole pan.

In a medium bowl stir together oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices.

Cut up a sweet potato into long, thin strips. Try to keep them roughly the same size so that they will bake up evenly.

Place the potatoes in the bowl with the spices and toss to coat.

Crush 4 graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs. You could use the food processor, but to save myself from a few dishes I actually just rolled them with a rolling pin right on my cutting board and then transferred the crumbs to a pie plate.

Dredge the potato sticks in the crumbs and lay on a greased cookie sheet.

Anyone care to guess how I cleaned off my fingers?

Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the fries over and bake for an additional 5.

Sweet potato. Pie. Fries.

Yep.

Crunchy Sweet Potato Pie Fries

1 small/medium sweet potato

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

dash cayenne (optional)

4 graham cracker sheets

Preheat oven to 425.

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. Pour into pie plate and set aside.

Slice sweet potato into even strips.

In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients except graham crackers.

Toss potato strips into spice mixture to coat.

Dredge potatoes in graham cracker crumbs.

Bake for 20 minutes. Turn fries. Bake for 5 minutes more.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Well it is officially fall now!

(Which, if you live in the South, doesn’t really mean much. It is still pretty hot during the day…we get a little bit cooler nights though…)

If you pay any attention to food blogging trends, you will notice that around the end of August, people start throwing pumpkin recipes out at you left and right. While pumpkin is admittedly quite tasty, I prefer sweet potato.

So in honor of my first official fall food blog post, I give you one of my favorite sweet potato recipes.

These muffins are so super moist and tender. The sweet potato, cinnamon, and ginger give it a nice warm flavor and aroma. Perfect for fall baking. You are just going to love these.

And I want you to go make them.

Now.

So, no cutesy story or pictures of my kids.

…oh yeah…that’s right. I’m getting serious now…

In your mixer, beat together a ripe banana and a baked sweet potato, until fully combined.

While that those two are getting fully acquainted, stir all of your dry ingredients together.

Then add all of the wet ingredients to the banana sweet potato mixture and blend.

Now dump in the dry ingredients.

Fill up greased muffin tins with the batter and sprinkle them with a small handful of oats. It looks pretty, plus it adds a nice little bit of textural interest. Lightly toasted oats are ever so slightly crunchy and nutty.

Please set a few aside without oats on the top for The Dude. She thought that they were nuts, and consequently picked them all off or spit them out.

Some three year olds are just hard to impress I guess.

(Oops. OK. That’s the only kid story…)

These will make about 14 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins. Since I only have one regular sized muffin tin right now, I actually made up a dozen regular muffins and one dozen mini muffins with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

makes 14 muffins

1 medium sweet potato, baked

1 medium ripe banana

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (plus additional for muffin tops)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.

Beat together sweet potato and banana.

In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.

Stir honey, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla into sweet potato mixture.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Fill greased muffin tins with batter and top with additional oats.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (12-14 minutes for mini-muffins).