There is something inherently good about mixing and stirring and throwing things that taste gross on their own (I mean really, who goes into the cupboard for a hit of flour, or nutmeg for that matter?) and managing to create something so delicious that you attempt not to eat it all in one sitting.
That would be the experience of baking Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Cupcakes topped off with bourbon spiked Easy Meringue Buttercream in little silicone cups my stepmom gave me at our wedding. She thought they were silly and thought of me. So without further ado....
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can pumpkin puree
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
3) Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
*You should be happy to know that paying no attention to the instruction to melt the butter until it is far far too late has no ill effect on the finished product.
Recipe from The Food Network (Courtesy of Nick Malgieri)
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
12 oz. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. bourbon
Place egg whites, sugar and salt in medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk gently and constantly until egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees) and sugar is dissolved, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whip by machine until thick and cooled, about 5 minutes. Beat in butter and continue beating until buttercream is smooth and spreadable. Beat in bourbon a little at a time, and continue beating until buttercream is smooth. About 2 minutes.