Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pumpkin Yumkin

This month's WCC#21 theme is Halloween. Halloween isn't really a big holiday here although the supermarkets stock up on pumpkin, coloured corn and candy for the expatriate community.

I've only ever gone trick or treating once when I was a kid. I went with my cousin who lived in a neighbourhood with many American families. The only reason we went around knocking on doors was for the candy (of course). However, we needed to at least look the part and dress up. The only thing available so last minute was an old orange tablecloth of my aunt's.

So we 'borrowed' it, cut 2 holes to fit out heads through and walked around the estate in our giant poncho. I don't know what we were suppose to be but it must have been rather comical to watch us move in a coordinated direction lest we strangle each other.

Hence I've always associated the colour orange with Halloween. I wonder if my aunt ever found out what we did with her tablecloth.

I'm sure there are a plethora of pumpkin recipes for Halloween and I'm going to add to it. This one is adapted from The Pastry Queen, another of my good reads. The author, Rebecca Rather, describes this recipe which she found among her grandmother's things as a cross between a muffin and a cupcake.

I didn't have a can of pure pumpkin so I used a pumpkin pie mix. Dried dates are also all over the supermarket shelves here since we're in the midst of the Muslim fasting month of
Ramadan. Chopping them up was a bit of a pain since they were all so sticky. I wonder if a mezzaluna would have helped... or maybe I should have oiled my knife?

Pumpkin Yumkin

makes 12-15 cupcakes/muffins

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 15oz can pure pumpkin or pumpkin pie mix
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven at 350F. Cream the butter until pale before adding in the sugar and beating until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla until well combined then add in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the sifted mixture in and mix well before folding in the dates and pecans. Scoop into liners, about 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the yumkins are firm to touch. Cool before frosting.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
100g or 3 oz cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp orange juice
1 orange's zest

In a mixer bowl, combine all the ingredients, adding more orange juice to get the desired
consistency if needed. Coat the tops of the cooled yumkins.

Verdict: The pumpkin taste was not distinct enough, probably because I didn't use pure pumpkin. However, these yumkins are versatile. Left plain, they're lovely as muffins. Dressed with frosting, they're very pretty cupcakes. But then anything tastes good with cream cheese frosting!

Update (6 Oct): I tried this again with the pure pumpkin and the taste is much better!


Victoria said...

Hi Eunice! Though i'd tell you how yummy the muffins look. I've never tried pumpkin muffins til a few weeks back and I'm so addicted I froze the leftover puree so I can make some again. Awesome stuff! =)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Eunice, they look so good! I have never baked with pumpkin, it's not that common to do that here in Brazil - but I should try it, I'm sure I'm gonna like it a lot! :)

Sara said...

Mmmm, those look so good, especially the frosted ones! Thanks for taking part in WCC again.