Baking for the office

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Wednesday evening, Andrew asked if I could do some baking for an office Halloween party on Friday.  Actually, he didn't 'ask' me so much as he 'emailed me from his business trip'.

No problem, I have a hundred recipes I could make.  He then emailed me back and said they had to be decorated in a Halloween theme. 

Well.  I bake, but I don’t decorate.  But Andrew has such innocent faith in my ability to whip up any recipe that it’s hard to be cross with him. I desperately cast my mind back to when the girls were young and any kind of Halloween decorations impressed them.  I did a ghost cake one year, and another time I made meatballs and passed them off as eyeballs.  I didn’t think either of those would cut it with Andrew’s co-workers.

I was stumped until I remembered the pumpkin muffins I’d made a week ago. I don’t usually frost muffins, but of course these would require something special.  I found a wonderful frosting recipe on Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice to accompany them.  And the decorations were bat, ghost and pumpkin sprinkles bought at the cake decorating store.

Andrew was back in town Thursday evening and the plan was in place.  And he called from work Friday morning to tell me that everyone, including him, loved the muffins.

I loved them too, both with and without adornment.  But I might love them even more when they’re decorated for Halloween and wearing a delicious orange cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Makes 12 muffins

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch allspice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plump raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease muffin tin or fill it with paper liners.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition, then add the vanilla. Lower the mixer speed and add the pumpkin and buttermilk.

Add the dry ingredients and finish mixing by hand.  Stir in the raisins and dried cherries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one orange
2 – 4 Tbsp milk
3 – 4 cups icing sugar

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla, orange zest, and a tablespoon of milk.  Beat in 3 cups icing sugar, adding more milk and sugar as needed to get a spreading consistency.  Beat until light and fluffy.


Amie said...

Oh yuuuuuuuuum, bring some to my office next please! We'll eat them at any time of year, not fussy!

That's real appreciation, a phone call to say thanks--not even waiting to come home and let you know.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Your pumpkin muffins look delightful. I am also NOT for frosting but the frosting does look nice & lovely! Good job!

Julie said...

I love pumpkin muffins!! Those look so festive with the sprinkles. I have a Butterscotch Pumpkin muffin recipe, I make almost every year. I haven't made them this year, maybe today? Happy Halloween!

Valerie Gamine said...

These look scrumptious, Beth! I still have yet to try Dorie's pumpkin muffin recipe, seeing yours has made me want to make them...soon.

Great idea to add that delicious-sounding frosting. Isn't it fun when someone gives you a challenge at the last minute? :-)

Carol said...

That's a terrific Halloween treat! Looks delicious! and perfectly decorated :)

Anonymous said...

They look delicious and festive! I haven't tried this recipe yet.

Jess said...

Beth, Beth,'ve impressed me once again with a simple, elegant, and delicious bakery item. I'm officially drooling!

With all the talk about National Novel Writing Month being here, and the stress of fitting in 50,000 words in 30 days, I found myself thinking of my food blogging friend...are you that way with Thanksgiving preparations :) If so, would you consider extending invitations to your place for dinner--rolls, corn muffins, pumpkin pie, yum-yum(oh wait a're in Canada, so nevermind).

cookies and cups said...

Those sound great! I will have to try that frosting :)

Unknown said...

Oh yum! These look so delicious, Beth, and I love the orange-flavored cream cheese frosting.

Jeanne said...

Pumpkin muffins are my absolute favorite right now! But I've never put cream cheese frosting on them - that would make them so much better!

Trish Feehan said...

Yet again, my mouth waters! And I love the plate you displayed them on. Happy Halloween!

Katerina said...

You did an excellent job with decorating, I bet they tasted as great.

Pam said...

They look great and the frosting sounds amazing!

chow and chatter said...

oh so sweet what a great wife you are :-)

Anonymous said...

These sound wonderful! You did a great job. I am like you, I bake but I don't decorate well. I am trying new stuff, like my graveyard cupcakes and my "creepy crawler" cupcakes but this is all new to me. ;)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

These turned out so cute! And Orange Cream Cheese Frosting... oh, yes!

Reeni said...

These are scrumptious looking Beth! And so cute with the sprinkles! Thanks for trying my frosting!

Unknown said...

scrumptious :) love all things pumpkin!!

Claudia said...

Well - you certainly go to the best - Dorie and Cinnamon Spice! And they turned out just scrumptious-perfect. Love seeing the pumpkin delectables on everyone's postings.

Mimi said...

Very festive and tasty muffins. Reeni always has the perfect recipe.

Faith said...

Wow Beth.. those look divine! Reeni's frosting was a great addition. Fantastic

Lisa said...

What a delicious treat. Those office people are so lucky and probably enjoyed every bite. By the way, I'm holding a CSN giveaway on my blog and you're welcome to come by and enter.

Victoria said...

It's definitely the season for pumpkin muffins! I think this was a very sophisticated Halloween-themed treat for the office, well done :)

BakingWithoutaBox said...

Baking and decorating are two totally different things. You are so right! But these muffins sound tasty and look just delightful. Great job!

Martha said...

Sound delicious and the frosting and decorations added a nice festive touch. Thanks for your kind comments and good thoughts for my mother last week. She is in a rehab now, still very difficult times. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

Cakelaw said...

You have a very lucky husband! These turned out beautifully, and are a perfect Halloween treat.

Joanne said...

For all you claim you're not a decorator, these muffins turned out beautifully!

FOODESSA said...

I'm sure glad I've been slowly stocking up on mashed's truly the only way to always be ready for the next enticing recipe ;o)
Thanks Beth...these turned out lovely...and I don't mind the frosting as long as it's not too sweet ;o)

Ciao for now,

Nirmala said...

I love pumpkin muffins too. I make mine with chocolate chips. I bet they were a hit, Beth.

Hanaâ said...

What a great recipe, even though I prefer my pumpkin cakes and muffins to be oil-based. I really like the orange zest in the cream cheese frosting.

La Bella Cooks said...

Perfectly decorated in my book. I'm not much for decorations in baking either. I really like the flavors of that frosting as well.

Mary @Delightful Bitefuls said...

Ohhh these are so so so lovely!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

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