Wednesday in the Kitchen
Programming Note (& a Friday Photo)

Happy First Day of Fall!

Would you care for a Harvest Spice muffin? :)

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I whipped up a batch of these beauties yesterday in honor of Autumn's arrival (which, according to my sources, happened sometime before midnight last night). I had help from my littlest baker (natch) and together we had fun measuring and mixing and smelling and spooning and watching them rise ...

But I especially had fun setting up this fancy thing:

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I decorated my Wilton cupcake stand with pretty silk leaves and then nestled the freshly frosted muffins into the display. A dusting of natural decorating sugar lent just the right festive touch.

Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try making a batch for yourself!

Harvest Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups flour
 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used a little less)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pear baby food
1 cup squash baby food
3 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients. (I use a giant whisk). In separate bowl, beat eggs; add oil and sugar; cream together. (I do this in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.) Stir in pears and squash and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Spoon into 24 muffin cups (sprayed with Pam or lined with paper cups). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Test with a toothpick or cake tester. Let cool before frosting.

 (Note: this recipe is based on one found in Frozen Assets by Deborah Taylor-Hough)

Cream Cheese Frosting can be found here.

(Though I should mention, this recipe makes more frosting then you'll need for the 24 muffins. But having extra frosting on hand isn't such a bad thing, is it?)

Earlybird can't have oranges but THIS frosting recipe would also be wonderful paired with these muffins!

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Now, I made these just for fun - for my family to enjoy this week - but they would be lovely at all kinds of fall functions: bake sales, harvest fairs, Halloween parties or on Thanksgiving Day itself. If you try them out, please drop me a line and let me know how you like them! :)

In the meantime ... Happy Fall, everyone! I wish you all a season filled with family fun, peace and plenty, and many memorable moments ...

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile." ~ William Cullen Bryant

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