Happy Saturday, my dear friends! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. :o)
Thankfully I had some crafty time last night, so I have a card to post with my tasty treat! I made it with a few challenges in mind, but I had all sorts of trouble with its concept and creation. Sometimes that's just what happens, right? I will still share and participate. :o) A touch of whimsy and a touch of elegance to celebrate the beautiful facets of Autumn... and to remind someone they're a blessing, too.
Harvesty blessings of rich reds, fall foliage, and caramel apples. I realized all of my Fall cards thus far have been of the golden variety, so I wanted to make red center stage this time. I love the pops of reds in the trees. :o) Naturally a seasonal highlight is going to the apple orchards... and then turning your pickings into delicious caramel apples. I added Glossy Accents to the caramel parts of the apples to make them shiny. I made four different flavors: white chocolate (via liquid pearls), pastel nonpareil sprinkles, chocolate chip, and butterscotch. I used toothpicks for the holder thingies, adhered by a tiny red button and gorgeous lime twine. Such fun! The apples are pop-dotted in a double layer and I couldn't resist a nice coating of Shimmer Spritz to capture the sparkle of the season. :o) And of course the centerpiece... I love this ribbon wreath! I made a white one a few months back and had been eager to make one again. It's so relaxing and fun to weave.. and easy to make it ten miles too long because it's just so enjoyable. ;) Surely a holly berry one will be part of some Christmas creations this year. :o)
Wreath Tutorial: En-May Ribbon Wreath Tutorial
(I had hoped to split them up, but cannot rely on time availability this weekend. Grr.)
* Celebrate the Occasion~ Any occasion (must use ribbon)
* Cooking With Cricut~ Apples and/or honey
* Fantabulous Cricut~ Leaves
* Frosted Designs~ Fussy Cutting (I love that phrase. The leaves for my sentiment were cut out of a different sheet of the background paper.)
* Getting Cricky~ Fall Treats
* My Craft Spot~ Ribbon
I think you all deserve a treat. An amazing, fabulous, incredible treat. (I hope my bloggy friend Nita is sitting down for this one.) This is quite possibly my new favorite cupcake... and that's saying a LOT. You guys know I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes. What could be better for Autumn, right? It turns out there is now competition, thanks to this marvelous Pumpkin Spice Latte cupcake.
These are positively scrumptious and I am so grateful someone created (and nailed!) a recipe to mimic this beloved drink. The cake is a dialed-down pumpkin spice cake with espresso powder added in. After baking, the tops are brushed with coffee or espresso to amp up the coffee flavor. With a swirl of freshly whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and caramel drizzle on top... you have just created one fantastic cupcake. I may have eaten one for breakfast as I finished my card today. Resistance was futile. :o)
Note: In case you want to make your own caramel sauce, I'm including a wonderful recipe below. :o)
Thank you for visiting me today! I wish you all a sparkly weekend! Now go make cupcakes. ;)
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Yield: Approximate 2 dozen
For the cupcakes:
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing
For the whipped cream:
2¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
Caramel (recipe follows)
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350º F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. Let cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whipping on medium-low speed, gradually increasing to high speed. Gradually blend in the confectioners' sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat. Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce
Yield: 1½ cups
1 cup sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Spread the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium-low heat, watching carefully. When the sugar begins to liquefy around the edges, use a heatproof spatula to gently stir it toward the center. Continue stirring very gently until all the sugar is melted, taking care not to over-stir. Measure out the heavy cream in a liquid measuring cup and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Set aside.
Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. (To test the color, spoon a drop onto a white plate or bowl.) Carefully whisk in half of the heavy cream along with the vanilla bean seeds. The mixture will steam and bubble violently. Stir until the cream is well incorporated, then whisk in the remaining cream. Stir in the salt and the vanilla. If any sugar has hardened, place the saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If needed, rewarm in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.
Source for both recipes: Annie's Eats
Key Recipe Components (for card):
* Cricut cartridges: Create a Critter, Elegant Edges, Gypsy Wanderings
* Cuttlebug embossing folder: Victoria
* Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Papertrey Ink
* Sentiment: Computer generated
* Ribbon: Celebrate It (from Michael's)
* Twine: Twisted Lime Green Trendy Twine, purchased from My Craft Spot
* Buttons: Michael's dollar bin (score!)
* Miscellaneous: Glossy Accents, Liquid Pearls, rhinestones, Shimmer Spritz (sparkle)