Mark your calendars! Some of our favorite East Village neighborhood traditions are happening over the next several weeks:
As we’ve mentioned before, the pumpkin (technically a gourd, and not a squash) is an American original, cultivated by the indigenous people who lived here, an integral part of the agricultural trifecta of corn-beans-pumpkin. Explorers and colonists in North America took the pumpkin back to Europe and around the world, starting in the late 15th Century.
And boy, even six hundred years later, we still love our pumpkins. Just the sight of the big orange globes at the farmers’ market has the magical effect of putting us in an autumnal mood. The smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven, or even just the promise of a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend on a latté, enchants us.
So, for Halloween 2016, here are three pumpkin ingredients that cast a spell on us, just like Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother:
The 7th Annual Historic East Village Spooky Paws Parade is Sunday, October 30th, 2 – 3 pm!
Dogs + Costumes + Candy = FUN at the 7th Annual East Village Spooky Paws Parade.
2-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp Cinnamon, Korintje Ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, Ground
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
1/4 tsp Cloves, Ground
1/2 tsp Allspice, Ground
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup white sugar
1/3 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 Cup buttermilk
1 Cup pumpkin purée
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line two cupcake pans with paper muffin liners. (If you are making mini muffins, this recipe will make about 50 mini muffins.) Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. NOTE: You can replace the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and allspice, with 2 tsp of AllSpice Pumpkin Pie Spice blend.
Beat 1/2 Cup of butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl, until mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the buttermilk and pumpkin purée after the last egg. Add the flour mixture, a little bit at a time (so the flour doesn’t go POOF! when the it hits the mixer), mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes for standard muffins or 10 minutes for mini muffins. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, before removing muffins, allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 Cup butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla paste and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and ancho chile powder; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them with the cream cheese icing.
NOTE: for an added twist try omitting the ancho chile powder and adding 1/8 tsp hazelnut extract in the frosting instead.
We missed Talk Like A Pirate Day earlier in September, but with its autumnal spices, ginger, apples, and (the pirate’s favorite) rum, this “Walk the Plank” punch is a wonderful seasonal treat – perfect for cool fall evening potlucks or grown-up buccaneers at your Halloween costume party!
8 Cups (1/2 gallon) apple cider
1/4 Cup Mulling Spice Blend
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup Dark Rum
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
Tie Mulling Spice in a several layers of cheese cloth. Pour the apple cider into a large pan or stock pot with the bundled mulling spices, fresh ginger and brown sugar, and warm mixture over medium low heat. Bring punch to a simmer, stirring frequently until the brown sugar fully dissolves. Continue to simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes, allowing the spices to permeate the warming cider. Remove the Mulling Spice bundle and stir in the dark rum. Add the orange and apple slices. Keep warm, and ladle into mugs to serve.