Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Cookies

by Darla

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Cookies-by-BakingdomIf you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you know I’m having a fantastic time exploring Scotland this week. You guys, seriously, Scotland is take-your-breath-away gorgeous. It’s been so fun saying, “Oh this reminds me of Vermont!” Or “This is a lot like Wyoming!” Or “I feel like I’m in Oregon!” All those gorgeous landscapes within a few hours’ drive…it’s incredible!

We’ve been doing a lot of walking, lots of exploring, and a lot of hiking, particularly on the Isle of Skye, where we climbed up to the Old Man of Storr – a monolith of stone that towers over the landscape. Although, I kind of wussed out once we got really high. It wasn’t the hike that made me chicken out, but the heights and vertigo. Admittedly, we got very high…we were only a few yards away.

We’ve also been eating lots of great food! We had fabulous curry in Edinburgh, and the Hubster tried – and loved – haggis in Portree on Skye.

One of the best things we’ve had this week has been all of the amazing, homemade Scottish shortbread. Seeing as how shortbread is more or less the Hubster’s favorite sweet of all time, he’s been a very, very happy camper.

Knowing that we were headed to Scotland this week, and with Thanksgiving in America next week, I decided to combine a classic Thanksgiving dessert – pumpkin pie – with the quintessential Scottish cookie.

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread by BakingdomAll I did to create these fantastic cookies was to add pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin puree to my favorite shortbread recipe. I ended up tweaking it slightly, adding a little extra flour and sugar, but otherwise, the recipe is pretty much classic shortbread with a great Autumn twist.

They came out tasting just like pumpkin pie…except cookier. ;)

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies by BakingdomFor a little added festiveness for the upcoming holiday, I pressed my shortbread dough into a 9-inch tart pan, then turned it out onto parchment paper and cut it into eight pie slices. I also sprinkled each slice with a cinnamon-sugar mixture (1 tablespoon ground cinnamon combined with 1 cup granulated sugar) for a little extra flavor and texture.

Last, but not least, I whipped up a small batch of vanilla buttercream and decorated each cookie to look as though it’s adorned with fluffy whipped cream – just like a slice of pumpkin pie.

Cute cookies that are fun, easy, and festive for any Autumn holiday…not to mention perfectly pumpkin pie delicious. :)

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Cookies
Makes 8 to 10 large cookies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 to 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar (for dusting)

1/2 recipe Vanilla Buttercream (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue beating until everything is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles wet sand with large clumps.

Using your hands, press all of the crumbs together in the bowl until it all forms a cohesive dough.

Shape as desired and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before frosting or serving.

Recipe by Darla

Yummy Pumpkin Shortbread by Bakingdom

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Simple Yellow Cupcakes with Easy Jam Buttercream

by Darla

Simple Yellow Cupcakes with Easy Jam Buttercream from BakingdomI made these cupcakes several weeks ago, way back before my Disney trip. Summer was drawing out, all my friends had moved back to the U.S. or Canada, or were traveling for the summer. I was homesick and lonely. Obviously, the answer was easy, delicious, happy cupcakes. Really happy cupcakes. Pink frosting, pinwheels, ballerinas, and sprinkles…pure happy. And they totally did the trick!

Now, Autumn is in full swing, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, everything is pumpkin spice-everything, all of my friends have returned from their travels (or will soon), and I’ve been blessed to meet even more new friends…but you know what? I still wouldn’t mind some happy little cupcakes. Because happy cupcakes are happy. Any time.

Happy Pinwheel Cupcakes from BakingdomI went with a very simple homemade yellow cupcake recipe for these, but you can totally sub in a cake mix recipe, too. As for the frosting, I really wanted something fruity, but not complicated. I have an irresistible raspberry frosting, made with fresh raspberry puree, but I didn’t want to deal with pureeing any fruit, sieving it, and all the work involved. Instead, I totally just stirred a whole bunch of raspberry jam into my favorite buttercream recipe. A little dash of lemon juice, and voila! Easy, fruity, completely delicious buttercream.

Happy Spinning Pinwheel Cupcakes from BakingdomNext came sprinkles (I used SprinkleBakes‘ own sprinkle mix…trust me, that woman knows happy) and pinwheels. Serious question: is there anything happier than a simple little pinwheel?? I’m really not sure that there is.

Sweet Ballerina Cupcakes from BakingdomWell, I mean, okay…ballerinas are pretty dang happy. Sometimes, you just need a happy cupcake. :)

Enjoy!

Simple Yellow Cupcakes
with Easy Jam Buttercream
Makes 12 standard cupcakes

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

FOR THE FROSTING
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 lb. (about 2 cups or 250 grams) confectioners’ sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberry (or preferred flavor) jam (preferably seedless)
about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice (to taste)
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl, making sure there are no streaks of flour remaining (do not over mix).

Place two tablespoons of batter in each of the paper liners in the prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add the jam, and a tablespoon of heavy cream, and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon juice to taste. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Stir in the vanilla, and add food coloring, if desired.

Recipes by Darla

Supplies:

SprinkleBakes Favorite Sprinkle Mix
Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers
Ballerina Cupcake Toppers

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