Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Great Online Cookie Extravaganza!

For the fourth year in a row, Jz is doing her Great Online Cookie Exchange Extravaganza! Simple, you share a recipe or two or three for holiday baking. It can be cookies, cakes, brownie bars or whatever goodness you feel like sharing.  I've gathered a few really awesome recipes from participating in passed years so I look forward to seeing what kind of treats people put up each year. Thanks Jz for doing this!

And as a quick side note, my Toys for Tots holiday fundraiser is up and running for the 5th consecutive year with about 9 days left for making a donation. See this post for details on how you can help donate to Toys for Tots with a few easy clicks and to check out the posts and pictures from years passed. It's a great cause and a donation of as little as $5 will help make this Christmas a little better for a family who could really use the help.

Now on to the goodies!

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes


1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (candied/crystallized ginger should be on the spice aisle)

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Place crystallized ginger and water in Pyrex measuring cup or microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Add in vanilla, milk and pumpkin puree beating until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

5. Use a mesh strainer to strain the ginger from the measuring cup you microwaved the crystallized ginger with the water. Keep syrup for cream cheese frosting. Mince the ginger and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it into the batter.

6. Using a large cookie scoop divide the batter between the prepared muffin wells.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well combined.

2. With the mixer of low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and ginger syrup and mix to combine.

 Now pipe or spread the frosting onto the completely cooled cupcakes and enjoy! :)

Make sure you check out the other Extravaganza participants this year!

2013 Bakers

Happy Thursday!


ronnie said...

Sounds yummy. Will have to check if any of our supermarkets stock canned pumpkin puree. Thanks for sharing.


little monkey said...

MMmm. I bet I could substitute pureed sweet potato too. This looks delish!

Misty B said...

Yum, thanks for sharing!

Jz said...

Oh my yes...
And cream cheese frosting.


Glad to have you join in again, ma'am!

Cat said...

These really look great! Thanks for sharing.


rose said...

i have to admit, i don't really understand the whole pumpkin as a fruit thing. i think it's a memo us aussies never received. These, however, sound pretty darn delicious so i might just have to give them a try. great recipe, thanks!


Ashly Star said...

Ronnie, if you can find sweet potatoes or butternut squash and puree those, they'll work fine as well. I've used both as substitutes before and they came out delicious.

Monkey, yes! I've done that once out of not wanting to go to a store and it worked out well. Butternut squash is also a suitable sub. :)

Thanks Misty!

Jz, thank you! Glad to participate again. :)

Thanks Cat!

Rose, I don't really think of it as a fruit though I use other vegetables in various other baked good items. Some vegetables just have such a great flavor that compliments sweeter things nicely so why not?! Cheers. :)

Ryan Beaumont said...

Very nice! You need to be on cupcake wars!

Ashly Star said...

Thanks Ryan! One day. ;)

Anonymous said...

I want these now! But I have to wait until the New Year to make them.


Angelina said...

Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. I wish we could have pumpkin flavored treats all year 'round, but then I might tire of it. Thanks for the delicious recipe!