Friday, October 10, 2008

I *heart* fall

I don't think I could love another season more if I tried. There are just so many things I love about this time of year. Being a warm-blooded girl, the cooler weather just suits me so well! I love the crispness of the days, the warmth of fall baking, harvest spices, snuggling in front of a fire. I love outdoors stuff, like apple orchards, pumpkin patches, the changing colors of autumn's glory. I love fall flavors like pumpkin (yum!) and cranberries. My wedding anniversary is in the fall (coming up on 10 years, ya'll)! And Thanksgiving! Don't even get me started on lovin' Thanksgiving! Some pictures of fall goodness I've been enjoying so far:

These harvest cupcakes were made ala Semi-homemade style. The great thing about cooking so much from scratch is that even when you don't, people still will think it's homemade. (sssh! Don't tell anyone I said that!) The cake is a boxed spice mix & the frosting is a recipe from Magnolia. I think presentation goes a long way in making something go from pretty good to extra special. We eat with our eyes first, then with our mouths!

Caramel Frosting
Makes enough to frost about 18-24 cupcakes
2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. milk

1 T. dark corn syrup ~ I didn't have any, but if you do, then go ahead & use it!

1 t. vanilla

Cream the butter for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat on low for 2 minutes. Add the milk, syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Use immediately or store covered for up to 2 days.

**I let my frosting sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes before piping, just to let it firm up a bit. Then I refriged the frosted cupcakes, so the tops could firm up before covering them with aluminum foil for transport.**

The original recipe says to make the frosting one day before you need it, so the graininess of the brown sugar improves overnight. I avoided this by slightly heating the milk & brown sugar together til the sugar dissolves, then completely cooling in the fridge before adding to the butter/sugar. It's up to you.

Hope you're enjoying your own fall goodness!

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