Halloween

Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes

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This recipe belongs to Paula Deen. I’ve made it many times as pumpkin bars. I adapted it just a bit for pumpkin cupcakes. You can find the original recipe here.

For the pumpkin cupcakes, you will need the following ingredients:

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line up your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. This batch made 30 cupcakes.

1. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

2. Stir together the flour (don’t forget to sift the flour, very important!), baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

4. Fill cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 20 minutes. Let completely cool before frosting.

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Ingredients for the icing:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin cupcakes.

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Ingredients for the topping:

7 oz. of sweetened shredded coconut.

To make the topping, lightly toast the coconut: Spread coconut in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently in between.

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Top the cupcakes with toasted coconut and enjoy!

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I entered these cupcakes in a Halloween cupcake contest and it won first prize! That’s why I call them Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes.

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Feeling coco-nutty…

 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween. We did a lot of Halloween themed activities last week.

At work, we decorated our cubicles.

A batman cave by Michelle

My family and I did our yearly visit to the Pumpkin Patch.  We bought a pumpkin and the next day we carved it.

Pretty baskets

We attended a Halloween party. I was the big red riding hood and my son was the little bad wolf:

scary

I went to Clifton’s Republic, a cafeteria and bar in Downtown L.A. and while there, enjoyed viewing the decorations and  Halloween themed sweets and desserts.

yummy…

A patch of pumpkins

I haven’t been in a writing mood lately but I need to remember to always have gratitude for the little things in life (which often times, end up being the big things). So today I am grateful for united co-workers, decorated cubicles, pumpkin patch traditions, Halloween parties with friends, trips to DTLA, eating breakfast for the first time at Clifton’s and loving it and Halloween themed desserts. Most of all, I am grateful for family and friends.

Creepy Halloween Finger Cookies

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Making creepy halloween finger cookies is fun and easy! I made these cookies a few years back for a halloween party and they were perfect for the occasion. Last time, I added green food coloring to the cookie dough, didn’t dye the “nails” (almonds) and then baked. This time around, I didn’t add green food coloring to the cookie dough, but I dyed the almond slivers in red food color. I like this version much better. It’s just so much creepier!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

about 3 to 4 tablespoons red food coloring
about 48 slivered almonds
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place food coloring in a small shallow bowl. Place almond slivers into the bowl and toss until color is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolk of the first egg with the second egg and vanilla. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg mixture. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

When dough is chilled and ready, roll each piece back and forth to form finger shapes about 3 to 4 inches long.

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Pinch the dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with a butter knife. To make the fingers more creepy, make them crooked and uneven. Perfection is not necessary here! The more imperfect the better! Make the fingers extra skinny because they will puff out when baking.

6. When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white.

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Place and push colored red almond nails into the dough to attach.

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Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake until lightly browned, for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. Enjoy!

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