Monday, November 1, 2010

A fine line between muffin and cupcake

Fall is time for baking with squash and trying to pretend that the addition of zucchini or pumpkin makes it okay to eat cake for breakfast. Feeling the fall spirit while I was browsing Target I found Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix on sale, and somehow the bag ended up in my cart.
I knew that bringing cookies, or even cupcakes to an early morning lab meeting wasn't going to go over too well, but if you call them "muffins" people are suddenly just fine with setting one beside a cup of coffee at 9 am.

So, in an attempt to get the cookie mix out of my house safely I made 16 "muffins" by mixing up:
1/2 cup of cinnamon apple sauce 
tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1/4 cup of water
the bag of cookie mix 
I baked them at 375˚ for about 20-25 minutes.

Although I worried that frosting would blow their cover, I couldn't help but frost them to make them more festive and use up my Halloween sprinkles.

The frosting is:
1 cup of powered sugar
4 oz of cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
I brought them into the lab, completely forgetting to take a picture. By the time I remembered there were only two left, so regardless of what you want to call them, I'm going to call them a success.

Stash-busting: Warm Cabled Cap

The weather has turned rainy in Claremont, so now the knitting kick actually makes sense. Back when it was 115 degrees last month, though I was stuck in the apartment for fear that I would melt if I got into my car. Since hats had become my favorite stash-buster (and oh, my am I in need of a stash-buster) I started looking for cute, but not boring hat patterns online. It was no easy task but here is the PDF of "Van's Twisted Rib Hat" from Dream in Color.
Since I only had a little bit of lovely purple Cascade 220 left I decided to make the kids size. I don’t know anyone with a little girl running around to dress up (but give it a couple of years!) so I don’t have much use for kids hats, but I figure it will make a good addition to a “Giving Tree” gift this Christmas.
It was a fun little pattern and kept my brain working, at least for the band. The crossover stitch didn’t take a cable needle, which I liked. I might just make another one.

Happy Halloween Cupcakes

While I may have been a little hung over a badly scraped up on Saturday morning, I was still in determined to get my October cupcakes made!
Using a box of Devil's food cake mix, 1/2 cup of pumpkin in place of the oil, and more food coloring than any of you who ate them would like to know about I whipped up some cute Halloween cupcakes to bring along to a party on Saturday night. Since I already had the frosting dyed orange and black I couldn't help but throw a couple of Giants tribute cupcakes in there too.

To make the spider web cupcakes:
Frost a cupcake with white frosting. Draw 3 concentric circles on top with black frosting or melted chocolate. Before it sets drag a toothpick from the center out to the edge of the cupcake 7 or 8 times.
To add on a little spider use carefully placed halloween sprinkles to make a little body and 8 legs.