Guest Attempt: Operation Cozy / Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

With my dear friend Heather Taylor, things/events/situations tend to fall under one of two distinctions: cozy and not cozy. When we were first becoming friends, it was around the time that the now cult classic The Holiday (I kid!) was coming out in theaters, and I distinctly remember Heather and her sister describing it as "porn for cozy people." I laughed and laughed, and now, four years later, Heather and her sister, Megan, are bringing you the coziest post ever to grace the face of Bon Appétempt. Seriously, if this were a drinking game where every time something cozy was alluded to, you took a shot; you would be w-a-s-t-e-d in no time. So, without further ado, I give you their guest attempt: Operation Cozy.

Heather and Megan's version:

"Are you tired of the same old pumpkin pie?"
There are a few FABULOUS things about when my sister comes to town and we inevitably wind up lazing around my parents' house at some point during the weekend, usually on a Sunday.

1. We watch cooking shows off and on all day long.
2. There are piles upon piles of food (and home and fashion) mags, so the kitchen inspiration potential is everywhere.
3. There are crazy crazy baby pics of us everywhere!
The women in my immediate family love fall so much that it borders on fetish. The other thing we love a lot? In the words of Jack Donaghy on a recent episode of 30 Rock, "Her name is the Barefoot Contessa, Lemon." While hanging out at our mom and dad's house on a recent Sunday and flipping through my mom's issue of House Beautiful, we stumbled upon a recipe for Ina Garten's seductively titled "Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting." Alongside the article, Ina says, "The truth is I've never really liked pumpkin pie, so yes, I have another idea this year: pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting! Everyone gets their own individual cake…and the toffee topping isn't bad, either." Uh huh. Keep talking, Ina…

Here's the dealit's suuuuuuch an easy recipe. A bit of dry ingredients, a bit of wet. Mix them together, stick them in the oven (using your mom's pumpkin-colored bowls in her beautiful kitchen and having what I deemed a mermaid-tail braid in your sister's hair only enhances the baking experience!).
As the sweet and warm pumpkin smell wafted through the house, we could barely contain our excitement about our creation!!!!!
And with the precision indicative of Ina's recipes, the little pumpkin cakes were done in exactly 25 minutesperfectly soft and luscious. While letting these beauties cool completely, we got going on the cream cheese maple frosting. Room temp butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar and maple syrup (recipe calls for Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor but we couldn't be bothered with looking for that ingredient! Last I checked, there was nothing wrong with good quality maple syrup, right?)
Once frosted, the best part of this whole recipe comes to fruition. Chop up some toffee, Heath bars to be exact, and crumble, liberally on top of said cupcakes. And it's these here little crunchy bits that put this recipe completely over the top.
Cozy cozy cozy fall dessert completed! Thank you, Ina! And thank you, Amelia for inspiring us to turn it up just a little bit and make a casual day in the kitchen into a Bon Appetempt! Happy fall!
Recipe via House Beautiful:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Makes 10 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Maple Frosting (recipe follows)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.


Amelia Morris said...

Love: that your mom subscribes to all those food magazines, that one of those is House Beautiful, that you (of course!) found an Ina recipe in House Beautiful, the baby pics, the 30 Rock reference, the mermaid-tail braid,the sisters-tasting-frosting animated gif. So cozy I'm drunk!

Matthew said...

These are cozy x10! I could eat 100000000000000000 of them.

Sunday Taylor said...

Love this blog for obvious reasons! Those baby pictures are so cute, and this is such a great memory of a fun day at our house with the girls cooking. Your blog is, dare I say it ... cozy. I will put it on my list of recommended blogs.

Megan Taylor said...

Amelia! Amelia! Amelia!

This is amazing! Thanks for featuring the fabulous Heather and me on your genius blog!

I spend my life in a 'bon appetempt' to be cozy...xoxxoo

Scott Rogers said...

Just stumbled upon your blog when I was looking up the recipe for Bon Appetit's Devil's Food Chocolate Peppermint Cake. I died laughing at your cake disaster. Ironically, I just made these Ina cupcakes earlier this week- they are amazing! Ina is my all-time favorite! And this may be my new favorite blog obsession!

Jodi said...


jeana sohn said...

COZY overload!!

Mary Anne said...

Cozetown, USA!

i want that maple frosting!

Clare Vivier said...

as one of the recipients of this day's pumkin muffins i can attest they were DELISH. very cute guest blog!

Heather Taylor said...

AMELIA this was so much fun!!!! and thanks for being such an active member of team coz!!!

Jessica said...

OMG. These look amazeballs. Bon Appetempt: Do you get to try all of these? SO JEALOUS.
- Jess

Amelia Morris said...

Jessica: I try to get my hands on every bon appetempt creation. For quality control purposes, obviously.:)

Mark and Marsha said...

Our friend, Amy, made these cupcakes for us and they are indescribably delicious!!

Jessica Conrad said...

I want those in my tummy. SO cozy and delicious!

kelsey louise said...

I've been reading lainbloom a lot lately, she has great taste! No pun intended :) The Taylor sisters seem like such cool ladies.