Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes

Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes

This is our first Fall in the new house, and I am ready for it. We can keep our windows open again soon, having spent the last month sealed up in a freon cold of our air conditioned house. It's been in the 90's lately. It's been so hot the grass has dried up. Leaves are falling while I'm still in short sleeves. It's confusing, but I'm trying to be patient.

The dogs can't seem to notice the difference. They lay on the deck and catch bugs in their paws. Release them. Curious. They're from California, so they like the heat. We bought them sweaters this year, a size larger than what we think will fit them, so they have room to grow, to get older, to fill it out in five or ten years.

I'm ready for Fall. I'm ready to be reintroduced to the hues of colors I hadn't seen since California. Yes, I was in Pennsylvania last year, too, but I was so caught up in my own self-pity, I was distracted. This year, it will be different. This year, I won't let that happen again. This year, I know how it feels to wait and wait and wait and to appreciate the beauty when it's all around you.

Fall has always been my favorite season and I'm ready to keep the windows open and the oven on and to bake again. Bake more. To create the things I haven't had since I was a kid, because it's time for me to look back and realize it all wasn't so bad.

Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes

Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes

This recipe is an amalgamation of one from Nolan's mom and a little bit of classic snack cake elements - a bit more oil to keep it moist, and a bit of decoration on top to keep it fun. This is a great recipe that can be done in one bowl (though I broke the recipe up below into two) and can freeze pretty well too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup AP flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (or peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line an 18" by 13" baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients
  3. Whisk together all remaining ingredients until smooth
  4. Fold your wet mixture into your dry ingredients and continue to blend until everything is fully incorporated and there are no lumps
  5. Pour into prepared pan and smooth evenly. Tap a couple times on a tabletop
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  7. Allow to cool before decorating (see instructions below)

Decorating Instructions: In a stand mixer, beat two egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 cup white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Continue to beat until glossy peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with any tip you'd like. Create your pattern on your cake. Bake for 5 minutes in a 300*F oven to set meringues. 

Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes
Pumpkin Tahini Snack Cakes

Springtime Cupcakes!

After three weekends of plans, we finally got a day to relax! Today, we're going to try to convince Nolan's parents to come over to mow the yard (we don't have a mower yet), and then maybe go into town to put our order in for our chickens!!

This is my first recipe of the new year with lemons. These cupcakes also have a unique ingredient that I think add value and flavor to them, so don't knock it 'til you try it!

Okay, gotta go drink another cup of coffee and get ready to prep the barn! Have a great Sunday!

Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue

Lemon and Mayo Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue!

So! You might be a little grossed out with the addition of mayonnaise in this recipe, but I think it really does add a richness that is sometimes lost in plain Jane lemon cupcakes. Also, as you may have seen in my instagram story, I used a small lighter that I got from the dollar store to toast the meringue and it worked perfectly (I'm kind of scared of kitchen torches). 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 TB unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TB lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare large muffin tin (or regular sized!) with paper liners
  2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar
  4. Add eggs. It will look slightly curdled, but that's okay!
  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and a pale yellow
  6. By hand, mix in dry ingredients, a quarter cup at a time, with a rubber spatula
  7. Divide evenly into your prepared cups
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned for large, 18-20 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes
  9. Allow to cool before topping with meringue

Ingredients and Directions for Meringue: In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 2 egg whites on high and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Add a 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Keep beating until you get to stiff peaks. Use a piping bag (or even a regular ol' freezer bag!) and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes. Use a torch to toast meringue and serve!

Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue
Lemon Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue