Just day's before Christmas I went to this big wholesale trader up in Groningen. There, they have a very succesfull tactic to make you buy much more than what you came for. They let you try everything! (If I ever need a free lunch again...)
So... besides all the extra stuff I served at christmas, I needed a purpose for a family-size bag of Amaretti- cookies. Here it is:
Pumpkin and Amaretti cupcakes
with a vanilla-buttercream frosting, and a cookie on top (or two, if you like. I still have enough of the darn things to last untill next christmas...)
240 ml pumpkin puree, you can make your own or buy it
115 g butter, room temperature or you'll have a hard time mixing ;)
50 g granulated sugar
50 g brown sugar
small pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
120 g flour, I used all-purpose and patent-flour, 2:1
3 Tbsp finely ground Amaretti cookies
Preheat oven to 190 C (375F). Do whatever you need to do to prepare 12 muffin baking-forms.
Sift the flour, baking powder and soda, and add the Amaretti cookies.
Whisk the sugar with the butter, untill it all looks creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Mix in half of the flour, the pumpkin puree and the remaining flour. It should come together fast and easily, so try not to overmix.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin-cups, and bake for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire-rack.
50 g butter, room temperature
130 g powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter until soft. First add the sugar, than the milk and vanilla. Mix untill everything is well incorporated.
You should get a nice spreadable mass. If not, add some more sugar or milk.
Now that I'm writing everything down, it's hard to imagine how much went wrong making these. After pureeing the pumpkin, I realised I had only half of the amount required. Luckily there was also some pumpkinbutter (or "jam"), so I used that instead, and held back a bit on the sugar.
Then I forgot to take the buttercream out of the fridge again, which gave me a very hard time decorating. (it shows, doesn't it?)
And when I was finally ready to deliver them to the waiting crowd, my car got stuck in the snow... and is actually hanging over a ditch right now(!)
That left me with way too many cupcakes, feeling very sorry for myself. But they are good, definitely good. So do I really need to say that now all I have is a smile on my face, and a little less cake to share...?