Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I don't have much to post about Thanksgiving because this year we are so blessed to be guests in my cousin's home in Connecticut for the holiday. I have never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner (read: made a turkey by myself) and I hope that some year soon I can do that in our new home!
Even though I've not had full responsibility for the holiday, I do love making Thanksgiving dishes and I thought I'd share a few ideas with you.
If you need a new stuffing idea, try this. I've had great success with it in past years and made a few changes. I leave out the ham and hazelnuts and use dried cranberries in place of the dried cherries. My colleague at work makes it just as is and loves it.
If you want to try a twist on a pecan pie, this one is also really good. I also like this pumpkin pie variation which has swirls of pumpkin pie filling in a gingerbread "crust."
If you want to skip the pies, and make cupcakes, try the cupcakes I made last night. My friend Katy was in town from Texas and came over for dinner and we made these gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. They were delicious - the texture reminded me a lot of the Martha Stewart Zucchini Spice Cupcakes that I love so much. The little bit of lemon in the frosting is a great complement to the gingerbead spices. If you want a different topping option, try lemon curd or a powdered sugar icing made with lemon juice.
Gingerbread Cupcakes (makes 18) - Martha Stewart's recipe
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the eggs.
Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (frosts 24 cupcakes)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 - 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
Use an electric mixer to beat all ingredients together until fluffy.