Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Pecan Frosting….YUM!

This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to try since just after Thanksgiving.  Every time I went to make it, I’d be missing an ingredient or two.  So even though it’s more of a fall type recipe, I went ahead and made it and I am so glad I did.  They turned out so yummy!

To start with the cupcake recipe, you will need:  unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, salt, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, pumpkin puree (not the pie filling!), and 2 eggs.

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Preheat the oven to 325. Line your cupcake pan with liners.

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Start by putting 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter into a pot.  Melt the butter over medium-low and continue to cook, swirling it around often, until it turns golden brown.

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You will get a foam on the top of it, skim that off.

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Remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl.  There will be burnt sediment at the bottom of the pot.  Try your best not to get any of that into the bowl.

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Set it aside to cool.  In a bowl, whisk together 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves,  and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Make sure it is well mixed.

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In another bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the brown butter mixture. If you got any of the burnt stuff from the butter, try not to get it into the batter.  The first picture is all of the gunk at the bottom of my bowl.

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Add the flour mix to the pumpkin mix and whisk until it is just combined.

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Fill each liner about 3/4 of the way full with batter. I got 16 cupcakes out of mine.

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Bake them about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Set them aside to cool.

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Now for the icing!

You will  need maple syrup, softened cream cheese, softened butter, and powdered sugar.

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In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring a 1/2 cup of maple syrup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, swirling frequently, until it has reduced by about a third.

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Pour it into a glass measuring cup that has been nested into ice water.  Stir it constantly until it gets really thick and is just warm.   It will take about 3-4 minutes.

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Remove it from the ice water and set aside.

In a bowl, using a mixer on low speed, combine 2 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of softened butter.

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Beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar (you can add as little or as much as you want depending on the consistency you want your icing to be.) Mine did not turn out as expected.  I added the 2 full cups and it came out as more of a glaze than a frosting.

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Then beat in the syrup.

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If you feel like experimenting, you could play around with the consistency of it.  Like I said, mine turned out as more of a glaze than a thick icing.

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The pecan step is optional.  Half my family likes them, the other half doesn’t.  So I left some without pecans.  You can either get pecan halves or buy them already chopped.  I got the halves.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the pecans out flat.

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Pop them in the oven that has been preheated to 325.  It should only take about 3-4 minutes to cook them.  Watch them closely as they will scorch really fast. Pull them out and either chop them on a cutting board of leave them whole.

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When your cupcakes are cool, you can ice them.  Since mine was thin, I dipped the tops into the bowl of icing.

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Top them with the pecans and then munch away!

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As always, try this one out and come back and let me know how they turned out for you!

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3-Ingredient Nutella Brownies

I saw this one a few months ago and have been meaning to try it but never got a chance.  I did this one last night and it was so stinkin’ easy!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Make sure the whole circle is covered.  I tried out one with a cupcake liner.  It worked out okay, but I prefer to not use them on this recipe. You only need 3 simple ingredients: 2 eggs, 10 TBSP of all purpose flour, and 1 cup of Nutella.

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Mix all of this together in a bowl.  I found it easier to use a rubber spatula to stir it with.  I started it with my fancy dancy Pampered Chef whisk thing and the Nutella is so thick that it just wasn’t working out well.

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Next use a spoon, or an ice cream scoop works really well, and fill each slot about half way. This recipe only made me 9 brownies.  I added some chopped pecans to the top of a couple of them to see how it would work out.

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You want to bake these for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.  Mine took 20 minutes. The ones with the pecans worked out really well.  It’s been requested by my 7 year old to try M&Ms next time and by my husband to add some frosting to the top.  You can also top with some more Nutella if you are so inclined.  Here is the final result.  They are a big hit in my house and I will definitely be making again!

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