Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Fall flavors: Ginger molasses cupcakes, salted caramel brownies and monster cookies

Last weekend, what was going to be a lazy Friday night turned into something way, way cooler. I'd spent my week writing coverage of the opening of Kansas City's new fancy schmancy Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Seriously, it's way cool. As the kid of a professional musician, I grew up listening to classical music, going to the ballet and learning composers' styles. For work, I'd gotten to do a tour of the place as well as talk to the companies that will be using it regularly. But 20 minutes before work ended Friday, my boss gave me the chance of a lifetime: a ticket to the grand opening. Lemme tell you, I was WAY out of my element at my first black tie affair, but it was very fun to people watch and see all those fabulous gowns. Inside the theater was just as fabulous, though. Broadway, opera, name it, they did it. I'm so happy I went, and I've already got tickets to a few things at the center. I'm so excited it's open!

A number of my friends right now are transitioning from old jobs to new, and this brownie was for my friend Joe, who was my counterpart on the beloved overnight shift. It was his "real boy" party, as in he now has hours of a normal person and we can all see him outside of vampire hours. So exciting! These were salted caramel brownies, surprisingly enough from Cooking Light Magazine. That makes them healthy, right?

I've made a lot more cookies lately than I normally do. I guess I think they're boring sometimes, but other times they're just perfect and hit the spot. My love for monster cookies came from a high school job in a coffee shop/bakery. This recipe is courtesy of Paula Deen, full of peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips and M&Ms but absent of raisins (yuck!). They spread out a lot, and I was really disappointed with them when they came out of the oven. But I left them out overnight, and they were perfect the next day. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

On my trip to the Louisburg Cider Mill last weekend, I found some awesome Halloween stuff the mill was selling, including these awesome fall leaf sprinkles. Yes, I sometimes choose what cupcakes I bake on the sprinkles I buy. So I decided I definitely needed a fall-flavored cupcake, and went with a recipe from Martha I'd never tried before: ginger molasses cupcakes. Forget that Kansas/Missouri decided to ratchet the temperature back up to the 80s after some nice days in the 50s and 60s. But the cupcakes brought back fall for sure and had a great bite to them. Instead of topping them with whipped cream like the recipe calls for, I went with basic vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, which I thought would nicely offset the spicy, and it did. I almost thought I ruined the icing because it was super runny, but I just beat the crap out of it, and then it was fine. I like desserts that work out that way!!

(Posting to Hoosier Homemade's Cupcake Tuesday.)


  1. I find ginger a unique flavor on this cupcake but the presentation looks so elegantly done. 'think I'm gonna love it together with my kids.

  2. Wow this looks delicious and perfect for Fall :) Your blog is too cute, so glad to be a new follower! xoxo


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