Random Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Spice Balls

I am on a roll with pumpkin everything. Whether it is fall or I am just nesting I do not think I have tried so many different pumpkin recipes in a season. The leaves are falling (we have crazy amounts that continue to come down). The temperature has changed, and somehow I still cannot believe summer is over and we are heading into November! In any case, these little baked bundles of pumpkin with cinnamon + sugar are yummy, easy to make, and even easier to pop into your mouth!

Baked Pumpkin Spice Balls

Note: Use the topping at your own risk. We also made a batch that had chocolate chips in it.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk

For Topping
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for a few minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

Random recipe: Buttermilk Spice Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Last Sunday was my birthday. Typically we do not make a big ordeal about birthdays and holidays. I can only remember one time since we have been married that I made Chris a birthday cake. On Sunday I was making a dry shampoo for my hair that involved cinnamon and realized we had less than a teaspoon left. I am one to say that the last person that almost uses an item up needs to put it on the list for the grocery. Chris was planning to go to the store that day, and when he got home we had a fresh jar of cinnamon.

I was inspired by the new jar of cinnamon. Knowing that there was fresh cinnamon led me to decide to make myself a birthday cake (well sort of). I did not really care about my birthday or making it for myself, I just had this overwhelming urge to have spice cake with nutmeg, cloves, and of course cinnamon. Oh man was it worth it! We have had a slice (or two) each night this week. Usually I am not one to make a cake. I feel they tend to go dry out too fast, so I resort to going to our favorite cupcake bakery, Saint Cupcake, where we can select a few different flavors to enjoy in the smaller cupcake format.

Buttermilk Spice Cake (Food Network)

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 1999

Ingredients
2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter. With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well. With the electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until the center springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. After the cakes have cooled, invert them onto sheets of parchment paper. Slice each cake in half and set aside.

*Only change I made was I did not have allspice, so I used a bit more nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon in its place. Also, I did not slice the cake in half, I just frosted between the two layers and on the top. Slicing would have been too much work and I was ready for a slice!

The recipe from Food Network did not have a frosting recipe, so after exploring quite a few (and not wanting to use one with cream cheese) I found this one which at first Chris felt was too cinnamon-y. I thought it was perfect. The recipe comes with a cake recipe, but I did not have cake flour, and I already found the cake I wanted to make, so the link has both, but I only made the frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting (Better Recipes)
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg white
Dash of salt
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon into a bowl.
2.  Remove 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture and place in a mixer bowl along with the melted butter.  Beat until blended.  Beat in egg white and salt.
3.  Add remaining sugar mixture to bowl, along with the milk and vanilla.  Beat at high-speed until it is of spreading consistency.

The photo shows a runny frosting. It was the first night but that was because we could not wait to dig in. By the time we had a piece the next night the frosting was firm. We drizzled some extra frosting on our slices the first night. This recipe is my new favorite.

Random recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cups

Sometimes you need an easy recipe to make and devour. My favorite part about this recipe is how easy it is, but also how it made the house smell so good. The moment that they started baking in the oven the smell filled the house. I am a bit addicted to cinnamon and anything with that warm spice, such as chai, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, oh and nutmeg.

This recipe from Mix and Match Mama’s blog – for Cinnamon Roll Cups. Since I did not have time to get approval to post the entirety of the recipe from her blog, you will have to click the link to read the full post. Just know you will need a few basic ingredients and a can of refrigerated biscuits. It makes 12 muffin sized cinnamon roll cups. Much easier than using yeast when you quickly want that cinnamon roll goodness.

Although I did tell Chris that they are very close to just purchasing the cinnamon roll refrigerated can. Much better, but similar. Will we make them again? Maybe. Total time to make is about 20 minutes. You just have to make sure you have cream cheese (for the frosting) and a can of refrigerated biscuits on hand. While they were baking you can make the frosting.

They are an easy dessert, midnight snack, or breakfast treat. Enjoy!

Random recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread

I am a fan of banana bread and pumpkin bread. They are almost both impossible to screw up. I have a version that takes sour cream, and a few years ago I found a version that has a crunchier top crust. That has become my favorite because there is a nice juxtaposition of crunchy top with soft insides.

I could hardly wait for this new version to come out of the oven. The smell of cinnamon sugar was wafting through the house. Of course once it came out of the oven it had to cool and I was pooped and ready for bed. I cannot take the credit for this random recipe. It was all Chris. I was working late and he graciously went into the kitchen to make it. Although I guess it is a win-win for him because he gets to enjoy such an amazing loaf of bread.

I would never have thought to put bananas, blueberries, and cinnamon sugar together. It works though.

CINNAMON SUGAR BLUEBERRY BANANA BREAD
Cook time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons sour milk (make sour milk by adding 1 teaspoon vinegar to 6 1/2 tablespoons nonfat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, be sure to remove any ice crystals)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan with butter and coat it with sugar. (You do this like you would grease and flour a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter. You can skip the sugaring and just use cooking spray, if you wish.)
  2. Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.
  3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, vanilla, and baking soda to a blender jar and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in blueberries. (Make sure that your frozen berries are not overly wet; pat them dry and/or remove any ice crystals or your batter will be too wet.) Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.
  7. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.