Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cupcake challenge week 2: Pecan pie cupcakes

Today was a gloomy day. Sort of a gloomy day to cap off a gloomy week. It was rainy, and chilly, and I stepped in a puddle so my shoes AND socks got soaked. Boo.

On the flip side, I had the day off. I got to bake all day. I went shopping for new clothes. I have a friend coming into town this weekend I haven't seen in months. And I bought stuff for future baking. Sounds like I like baking, eh? And, to capitalize on the gloominess of the day, I am currently curled up in sweats and goofy socks drinking wine and watching Finding Nemo. Yup, that's my life. So exciting.

In a little more than a week, I will be at my grandma's house curled up in sweats and goofy socks and watching some other silly movie. That's what I love about holidays. I get to see my family and hang out and not work for a few days. There's the food, yes, but it's really about the time I get to spend with them. Oh, and that interminable drive home where my cat yowls the whole way because he's ticked I put him in the car. I can't WAIT for that.

This week's cupcake challenge for Hoosier Homemade was to make a Thanksgiving cupcake. I'll admit, I'm not much for decorating cupcakes all cutesy; I don't think I have the patience. I prefer to make neat flavors and experiment. So I made pecan pie cupcakes. Okay, another confession. I'm not a pumpkin pie fan. Or pumpkin anything, really. I can handle like one slice of pumpkin pie per holiday season. I much prefer pecan. Or not pie at all. I know, it's blasphemous.

Anyway, this recipe on TasteBook was the best I could find that wasn't muffin-y. Basically it was a brown sugar cake with a pecan pie filling sort of swirled in, and topped with whipped cream. I was skeptical it would work, but they rose beautifully and tasted better than actual pecan pie, I thought. So maybe I will make them for family Thanksgiving instead of pie. I friggin hate making pastry, anyway.

So I'm adding these to the cupcake challenge at Hoosier Homemade.

And since it's just before midnight, here's my late night Veteran's Day tribute. Both my grandpas as I knew them were older men who were loving and wonderful, Grandpa Hawley buying me treats of Necco wafers and tickling my feet. Grandpa Hofmeister would sit in his chair, hardly ever talking but always taking a photo of me before I left his house.

Long before I came along, though, they were soldiers. Grandpa Hofmeister, my mom's dad, was about 30 when he was drafted and served under General Patton in France and Germany. He always had a love for cameras, and actually took pictures of soldiers and burnt buildings and all sorts of things while serving. This is one of those pictures, probably in Germany, right near the end of the war.

And Grandpa Hawley was a trainer in the Army Air Corps, since it wasn't the Air Force yet. He was lucky enough to never get shipped overseas, but he was darn close many times. He flew some pretty amazing planes, too, like the Memphis Belle and a bomber called Strawberry Bitch.

But beyond them, I also have a veteran in my family who is much closer in age to me, my cousin Jon. He served in Iraq soon after the U.S. went in, and I remember writing letters back and forth with him, anxiously waiting for any news (always hoping for good). I still have those letters. Luckily, he did come back, and I get to see him regularly. Sometimes, these things work out well.


  1. This cupcake looks just so yummy. Great blog (and I love the touches of the old family photos)

  2. This cupcakes looks so delicious...and thanks for sharing your story of family.

  3. These look really good! You're getting my vote at Hoosier Homemade because 1) You didn't use a cake mix (I'm a snob like that, 2) You actually posted a link to the recipe, and 3) You spent more time coming up with the perfect flavor than you did making goofy decorations that will have to be removed before eating the cupcake. I'm like you in that I'd rather experiment with fun flavors and then get down to the business of eating them without waiting for intricate decorations to be done. I think your cupcake looks lovely with the nicely piped frosting and garnish. Also love those old photos of your family! There's nothing I like better than looking back at pics of my grandparents when they were my age.

  4. Wow! You mean there's actually someONE else besides ME on the planet that doesn't like Pumpkin??? =D I was really upset when I couldn't find a Mincemeat Pie here this year.

    Love your old photos too! =) Merry Christmas!


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